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new garden

Hey guys! Apologies, I'm a complete novice, but I've just moved into our new home and I've always wanted a garden to potter I have one but i have no idea where to start! We currently have a square area covered with stones with 4 decent sized 'bushes' dotted around them. Dad tells me 2 of them are heather, I'm unsure of the other 2. There's also a path next to the square, then a narrow section along the other side of the path with more plants and bushes, then a small area under the window along the front of the main square that has no plants and I just filled with stones and some weeds (I'm thinking this section might be my planting starting spot!). I plan to remove the stones from this part, dig up the soil and weeds and lay a fresh bed of compost before I plant anything. I'm unsure how to post photos and this would make it a lot easier to describe! Is it worth planting in the spaces between the heather among the stones (removing the stones first)? My partner came back from the bulb fields in Amsterdam and anfter a loong talk with a flower shop owner across there, he sold him a bag of 50 late tulip bulbs and a bag of 50 mixed summer bulbs, and advised that we plant them asap and should see growth of the tulips by early summer and the mixed flower bag by August. Any advice on this? Again, apologies I'm a complete novice but I'm hoping this will become my new hobby and one day ill have a beautiful garden to potter in ???? thanks in advance, sorry about the simple sounding descriptions!


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Hello Michelle image  Welcome to the forum and to what will become an all-consuming hobby.

    Some photos would be really helpful - you can up load them by clicking in the little green tree on the right, above where you type (although apparently this doesn't work on 'phones).  It'd also be useful to know a bit about what type of soil you have (sandy, clay etc.) and where in the country you are.  And when the various bits get the sun on them.

    In the meantime, you won't go far wrong by removing the weeds and stones - unless that area is supposed to be a rockery and you want to keep it that way.  And you'd do well to start a compost heap - you will never have enough of the stuff!

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,692

    Hi Michelle. Look forward to seeing photos of your plot but in the meantime, beware of men selling bags of bulbs. The summer flowering things should be fine but late tulips bloom around May so you won't get them up and flowering by then. They are normally planted in the autumn for flowering the following spring.

  • ah thank you for this. We live in scotland, just over the border in dumfries. we get a LOT of rain, but when the sun is out (as it actually is today and its beautiful!) the front garden is pretty full of sun all day, theres no real shady patch as the hedges are pretty low and the fence on the front is teeny. so here are a few photos of what we have to work with... and the wee patch im thinking of starting with....



  • image

    the front path



     and the wee patch under the window i was thinking of starting with...


     and a view from the window

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    You've certainly got some heather there, Michelle, and I wonder if the one closest to the road is Pieris?  If so, it may indicate acid soil, which is great for some things, less so for others.

    The 'stones' you mention are obviously gravel (maybe limestone?), put there, along with those shrubs, for low maintenance.  There could well be a membrane underneath them, designed to stop weeds growing through.  Worth investigating.  If you want high maintenance you'll need to get them up.  Might be useful elsewhere though.

  • Yea this was my suspicion cause the only sign of weeds seems to be around the edges and in the narrow patch along the other side of the path. I'll investigate this weekend when I've 2 days off work. I love the heather igs a beautiful couour! And yes, its been in bloom since I moved in beginning of march although its getting bigger quickly since the suns come out! We also have a big wooden planter out the back with a very big rosemary plant that smells divine and looks lovely, also flowering at the moment but the rest of the planter is empty. Is there anything I could plant alongside it to fill the rest of the planter? Sorry lots of questions!
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Questions are what this place is for, Michelle!

    Other Mediterranean herbs, like thyme and oregano do well in the same conditions ad rosemary - warm, dry, poor, well-draned soil.  Maybe even basil if we have a hot summer, but I'd have some in a pot on the windowsill as well.

  • Well after some investigation and speaking with the neighbours, there's not a garden on the street with grass out the front and almost all have planters, being by a busy main road I'm told we don't have great planting gardens hence the use of gravel and stones in most of them. So I've decided to leave them be not dig anything up and invest in some shabby chic planters and dot them around instead ???? I came across a blue edible flower in told might grow well I the rosemary planter out the back, I cant seem to find it in the garden centre, does anyone happen to know what they might be called? Tastes a bit of cucumber and looks beautiful in flower.
  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 230

    Hey Michelle!  I only really started gardening three years ago and this forum has been invaluable to me!  I'm also in Scotland, and have some things on top of a windy and wet cliff that have proved indestructible (and gorgeous...) like Choisya, Spiraea, Hamamelis (for winter colour and scent), Clematis and Honeysuckle so long as they get whatever sun is going, and even daylillies (Hemerocallis).  Things like Fuchsia either as standards or trailing or bush form are really happy in our Scottish weather.  I grow rosemary and sage all year outside in containers.  For containers, avoid metal or terracotta and go for plastic (I have some great ones that look like stone from a few feet away...) as they're better for the plants over the winter.  Fleece bags make good protection for stuff in winter, too.  I hope you have fun with it all - it gets addictive image

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