I have a smallish, square garden, I also wanted to plant something that I can pretty much leave to its own devices and concentrate on a couple of beds that I swap between summer and winter planting. I planted a fuchsia hedge across the garden to split between a veg patch and lawn, you could add a few feet of plants to the left or right side to give you that break. I split the whole garden, but no reason why you couldn't plant 4 or 5 plants, I used 18 to go across 13m. Bought from Victoriana Nursery - https://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/Ballerina_Fuchsia_Hedging/ - around £2 each, this is their third summer, cut them back to 1' in the spring and away they go.
I widened the fuschia bed in the middle and plant Dahlias in summer and pansys and bulbs for winter & spring, just adds a variety to the garden. The neighbours willow adds a nice touch, sadly not a nice touch when it is across your face at 7am on the way to work and its wet through.
If you can add some shape to the borders you can than add some shrubs that will grow larger, otherwise you'll just get annoyed that the grass beneath does not do so well. I speak from experience, I have a Hydrangea and a Hibiscus that are starting to spread so i think the beds are going to have to grow. Also means they don't get eaten by the lawnmower quite so easily on the way past.
Crocosmia is great, there are some small varieties, I personally like the larger ones, Lucifer being a particular favourite. It will get bigger over the years, I have been amazed who well it spreads, a little too well.
Adding a tree/large bush helps to give a little something else, I planted a black elder, gets cut back every year and still clears the fence in a season.
I have been in this house for 3 years and started with 100m2 of lawn, slowly but surely I am finding my feet, it's not the finished thing yet, still need to get in to the beds with some decent compost as it is pretty much solid clay.
I have sacrificed a few plants that didn't work last year, I think I may have to rethink a few others, Lupins, they grow well, but want something wider than a 18" border to grow in.
There is no right and wrong, there are a few "rules of thumb" to go by, but if you like the way it looks then no one else's opinion counts.
You need some colour and some height, also try to aim for a continuity of flower over a long season, this is us at present.
Oh Richard, if only you had some clematis.
Richard, meant to say. I love your garden.
p.s. Babies are coming along nicely thanks.
Oh my goodness. Thank you all so so much. Those gardens are just beautiful!! If I can get anywhere near something like that I will be a happy girl. My main issue is struggling in where to plant things. I just even to dot all over with No real idea in mind and then afterwards when they have started flowering realise they would have looked much better elsewhere!! Live and learn. Live and learn. I will get there eventually. ( she says)
Beautiful garden Richard
there's no right or wrong place to plant when it comes to YOUR garden. I'd do a bit of research on the plants which take your fancy, height, spread, flowering time, colour etc.
Nothing is set in stone and when you make mistakes ( we all do, and we learn from them ) you can always dig things and move them. Gives you the insight into which plants do well in your garden ,and which not so well.
Don't be put off by the fear of " failing" It's your garden, have fun.
I'd go for cheaper plants, freebies from friends and neighbours are always good. I'd suggest you don't spend a fortune on specimen plants just yet.
Whatever you do, Enjoy it.
Wow, what a stunning garden Richard.