Forum home Garden design

Fixing an overgrown front garden

I've inherited this NNW facing garden (shady in the day but gets some afternoon/evening sun) with my house. It's approx 4m x 4m, and on a slight slope. I've had it for a year now and unfortunately it's no more inspiring in summer, so I think it's time for a redesign. My plans are to get rid of the Leylandi(?) and dig up the large shrubs so that I can start with a blank canvas. I would like to replant it as an interesting garden with shrubs and flowers rather than a lawn (I would like to avoid mowing), but depsite doing research and looking for inspiration for a while, I have absolutely no idea where to start with regards to the layout.

I'm pretty new to gardening, but have been enjoying working on my back garden - so I am happy with something that requires some maintenance but nothing too extreme.

Any ideas?



  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Have a look for a book by Beth Chatto on gravel gardens. That might give you some ideas.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks for the advice - it sounds like a gravel garden is the way to go, and I've done a little looking around and quite like that style.

    Dighouse Riley, thanks for the specific advice - things I hadn't thought of that are definitely worth bearing in mind. The trees will be definitely be coming out, although grass is still a no-no (aside from not wanting to mow lawn, I don't really have space for a mower and would prefer to do garden maintenance like weeding and pruning).

    With regards to using gravel, is it worth using those grids to hold the gravel in place as there is a bit of a slope (the garden rises a couple of feet over the 4m from front to back) and/or weed membrane?

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,218

    I'd say yes to the weed membrane - saves a lot of hassle weeding later on, and you can plant through it.  Bear in mind that you can't have any bulbs if you cover the area with membrane, though.

    Instead of using grids to hold the gravel on a slope, would there be any possibility of terracing the area instead, to create flat gravelled areas?  The grids might well be ok but I've never used them, so can't really comment.

    I'd guess those conifers (not leylandii, not that it matters!) were described as "dwarf" when bought.  I've seen a few like that... including unearthing a pond when I worked as a gardener, which had completely disappeared under the "dwarf" conifers planted round its edge 40 years before.  image

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
Sign In or Register to comment.