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new border for boring garden

I inherited a very boring garden with our new house which is basically just lawn. I have no gardening experience but would love to transform it over the next few years..... I will try to attach a picture.





So far we have replaced the fence between us and our neighbour & installed trellis to hide the shed. Next job is to create some privacy by planting along the new fence but I have no idea what to choose!! I'd like bushy evergreen base plants to create a backdrop and offer year round privacy... any advice?
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  • Sue6Sue6 Posts: 37
    I can't attach a picture image

    Garden gets a lot of sun and is on clay soil but I haven't tested the ph yet.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,762

    Is it in sun or shade and what is the soil like? Will you be making a border in front of the evergreens? Do you like contemporary or traditional? Will the border (if one) be wide or narrow, straight or curvy? To allow for room for spreading plants or not. Why not buy a book such as "How to be a Gardener" by Alan Titchmarsh? Have a look at Amazon and see what they have in the way of how to start a garden sort of books. Gardening is a big subject, also personal taste comes into it a lot.

    Did you want shrubs as your evergreen background? Try "googling" evergreen shrubs. You will find sites like this http://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Plant-trials-and-awards/Plant-awards/10-AGM-plants/10-AGM-variegated-evergreen-shrubs  It all needs research, you can't be a garden designer overnight and then everyone can make mistakes but you learn by them.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,762

    Your second post just came up before my answer. If it's clay soil it will need as much rotted manure and compost as you can lay your hands on to help make it more workable, which will add nutrients as well.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Sue6Sue6 Posts: 37
    Thanks, will certainly get some bags of manure & compost to dig in before planting. Intention is to have lots of plants and flowers in front eventually but not decided on size or shape of borders yet. Thought I'd start by putting in 3 or 4 large bushy shrubs and go from there...



    Would ideally like to buy large established plants (approx 2m height) to get instant privacy but worried about wasting ??'s on unsuitable choices. Am excited to get started so doing some planning whilst waiting for weather to improve!! Will check out Titchmarsh's book.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,762

    Smaller plants tend to transplant more easily and are cheaper to buy. Here are some to get started. Photinia "Red Robin", Ilex altaclerensis "Golden King" (you need male and female hollies for berries), Choisya, Eleagnus "Gilt Edge", Nandina Domestica (perhaps not for background as it's smaller), cotoneaster lacteus (bird's like the berries, so good for wildlife).

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Hi - I have just been looking for similar! I found some good stuff on the Crocus website - they give ideas for whole planting schemes (inluding clay soil). Look under the 'inspiration' tab. 

    http://www.crocus.co.uk/ready-made-borders/

  • A new border with plenty of Sun!! Sounds like a treat. Agree that you should perhaps take your time with the planning. Work on the soil structure first and then go from there. You are right to start with the structural evergreens and any deciduous plants that will give height. How do you feel about that new fence? only you can plump for climbers on that aswell as long as you can support them.

    Then work down to the sub shrubs and perennials. It'll take time and effort but will be worth it.

  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,471
    I have heavy clay and a full sun side , I bought a few laurels to dot between trees (rheum , hazel, silver birch) I also have red and yellow dogwoods, broom deep red and a yellow, spirea snow mound and japonica forget name pink and white flowers) , potentilla , roses, bamboo, I'm on acid so going to plant a rhododendron into my new bed , also buddlea , clematis , weigelia , viburnum ..
  • Sue6Sue6 Posts: 37
    Thanks stephanotis that's a useful site.

    Am keen on planting to attract wildlife so will also check out busy-lizzies suggestions.

    The fence has small sections of trellis at the top so will definitely grow some climbers along part of it.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 8,398

    As man of Kent says what a joy a brand new border in sun. Take your time deciding what you like but try and make the border as wide as you can. Very narrow borders are not easy to make look good. In the first year why not plant loads of colourful annuals.

    Did they tear it out with talons of steel
    And give you a shot, so that you wouldn't feel?
    And washed it away as if it wasn't real?
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