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in Garden design
Hey everyone!! I'm finally following in my old nan's footsteps and developing green fingers now I have a little patch of my own garden (and more importantly a shed!) to play withI've moved in April and I've spent the summer eradicating mosstand saving the lawn (it's getting there) but my bed project is the eastern border!!
The 1x7m area in my picture is to the east of the garden (it's directly south-facing) and I'm torn between extending the lawn a bit so the little'un has more room to play or doing something more creative...as a bit of an amateur, I'd love some suggestions!!
There'a a small wire fence to use if I was going to train something but I'd prefer to cover it up with something perennial/evergreen (someone has suggested laurel?) with maybe something prettier growing underneath. was whole area was riddled with ivy before (which I'm on the last stages of ridding - taken months) and an amalgam of random messy small shrubs (all gone now). The wooden fence behind is next-door's, so I'd rather not encroach on that.
So, any suggestions or similar projects anyone has done would be awesome! Also any advice on pre-treating the area given the above history of it, location and the fact it's already September so the summer is getting on...!!
Thanks in advance!!
I would keep the existing bed and not extend the lawn. I have 2 little kids and they do not need lots of grass.
I would start by going over the whold bed with a garden fork to de-compact the soil, perhaps adding in bark and copost. It looks heavy at the moment and that will help drainage.
You can leave a bit for the kids to dig and sow seeds in: they will enjoy that!
I would plant some evergreen shrubs for interest. Bamboo, Phormium, coloured Cordylines (electric pink - google it!) will lift the area. If you like bulbs then they will be coming on the market now and they can be added after you decompact the soil. I would then cover the area with a mulch of bark to keep weeds from goring and to look nice. Add bedding plants next year with what you like.
What part of the country are you in? Do you have acidic soil - have a look around other gardens if you are not sure. Rhododendrons, camellias, pieris being grown is usually a sign of acidic soil.
Nickhairyegg (WHERE did that name come from?, there used to be a thread on how we chose our names, maybe you could start a new one, I'm intrigued!).
Sounds like the children are important in your garden so, from experience, try to start with plants which you dont spend too much money on and dont mind if they get trampled (well not too much anyway,).
If you want them involved in the garden try veg, or easier, try herbs, most have flowers and are quite robust. I love thyme, oregano, rosemary and of course lavender, all of which need little care.
Kids love their own patch, but if space is limited, let them have a pot rather than a patch in the border. A stawberry pot?
Try stachys ('lambs ears' again great for the kids, soft furry leaves), heuchara, knifopea ('red hot pokers', great for sword fights as I remember), snap dragons, fox gloves, anything to get the little one's interest may even end up with a future undergardener to help out!
Do you have family or friends you can 'steal' plants from? Cuttings now and soon time for splitting and dividing, planting shrubs.
Thanks for your replies guys! I'd agree that the lawn extension was probably the las ton the list and yeah, the little'un is getting in to her gardening so want to keep the interest (we've got some beans running along the south fence!) so like the idea of maybe some herbs etc down there. My dad has a fantastic array of stuff to pilfer, but then he also has half an acre of garden to cope with it all...
I am in the process of obtaining some strawberry plants which is was going to set in a couple of large tubs which might keep them safer from the puppies (as pictured - also responsible for my losing battle with lawn patches
We're in sunny Bedfordshire (much sunnier than Yorkshire where we moved from!) so I think the soil is mostly clay, but thanks for the tip on checking and soil prep...not suere if the Cordylines et al would encroach a little on to the lawn but I really like the idea of the bamboo if it will take. We've already got one massive tree dwarfing the garden that's resulted in three months of de-mossing (i'm trying to work out what it is) so i'm loathed to go down the route of more trees as I think it will dry out the soil...I would like to cover the wire fence with the minimum of fuss though (it's not for shifting as it's well dug-in) so anything that will cling to it and stay evergreen/perennial really.
Lonicera, jasmine, clematis all have some evergreen varieties. (probably best to avoid ivy, but that's just personal, and it would cling to the fence, and over to the neighbours).
I'm sure there's much more helpful advice on the forum yet to come.
Yeah, ivy has been the bane of that patch so far - just waiting for the weed killer to do it's job and can then start working (uprooted most of it). I thought clematis as well but hadn't found an all-year variety - will have a harder look! Thanks for all the advice though - I've got a week or two before I can start work so feel free to keep it coming!!
As for the name, mrsgarden, it was from my university days and came about as the result of chronic mispronunciation of my surname!!!!
Hi Hairy Nick
Have to say at the minute everything is all straight lines. Could you make it a bit more curvy? If as sunny as you say, is it sheltered on that fence? YOu could grow Trachelospermum jasminoides. Evergreen, leaves turn red in winter and the most delicious smell. Would cover most of that fence once it got going.