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Front garden ideas?



Bit of background first.... we moved into our house July 2014 from a flat (so this is our first garden) and I gave the (neglected) garden a year to fully understand what was there, what should stay and what should go.

The only thing I kept in this front garden is the peony in the left hand side just on the shadow line.  Everything else went, including a horrible 'rockery' in the top left hand corner.

You are looking north towards the fence, so as you can see we've got morning sun .  As its a semi detached, the existing shadow bottom-left gets no sun at all.

The top right hand corner gets a lot of sun once it gets higher in the sky, then top left gets another hit later in the afternoon.

I did a bit of planting yesterday - the Escallonia apple blossom top left in front of 3 verbena bonarienseis (moved from the back garden), next to it Nandina domestica Richmond.  I also put in 3 rudbeckia goldsturm next to the Nandina (again moved from the back garden). Finally just this side of the tree stump is cornus Alba aurea, a small gillenia trifoliata and closer still a random wallflower with a couple of allium globemasters

In the mid top right against the fence there's a ceanothus skylark, choisya ternata and some bulbs a little closer to the grass.

I have plans for the top left corner (across to the ceanothus), to put in Astrantia, poppies, another gillenia trifoliata, some heleniums, verbena bonariensis lollipop, echinops and some foxgloves.

Everything from the choisya (top right) and anti-clockwise is decent easy digging soil, the extreme top right segment is thick clay right from the surface and also has an area approx 3' square next to the fence which is shallow (about 6" max) due to being over the brick drain. All is slightly acidic.

If you are still reading (sorry for the waffle!) I'd like some suggestions for the lower left hand corner (full shade), mid left (part shade) and top right hand area (after the bulbs fade in late spring there will only be the choisya and ceonathus there...).  Also would there be anything that would scramble along the fence at the top?

Ideally I'd like all year round interest....

Many thanks in advance.



  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Distance between shrubs top right is about 2m so possibly enough for a rose - I would like a rose somewhere, and suggestions for a good rambler for this space?

    Always thought clematis prefer going up rather than horizontally along a fence - if that's not the case it opens things up a bit.  Hadn't thought of fuchsias at all - thanks Tetley.

    Ferns would be good - maybe with hostas? 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,743

    Hostas? did someone say Hostas? image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,998

    Definitely hostas image

    And Clematis alpinas and viticellas for the fence - will look fabulous! image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    I know nothing about hostas image - what's a good type that could brighten up that peram-shade?

    Will definitely have to have another look at clematis - are viticella and alpina early type 1s?  Would any later flowering ones extend the interest or not very good at 'rambling' over that fence?

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,456

    Hi Andy there is lots of varietys of hostas just pick on you like, thats what I do. Brunneria - toad lily - pulmonaria are good for full shade.  dicentra - tiarella - japenese anemone - phlox - astible - actea are good for part shade plus many more.

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Ooh fire and ice is lovely.  Any recommendations of a good online place to get it?

    For the gaps I'll have are there also any grasses recommendations that would go with what I've said I'll be getting above?

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