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Hi, new to gardening and the forum!

Just moved house and trying to get the garden going, I've got some pictures of my garden on my blog 

https://thegardeningfool.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/first-blog-post/

Would anyone be kind enough to have a little look and give me any tips for garden design or where to start?

any advice on planting my apple tree is also welcome (semi-dwarf James Grieve) im worried the spot ive chosen (back right) is too small and sheltered and that the ivy might be a nuisance. 

Ideally going for something more natural and good for wildlife, but happy with something low maintenance because im new to gardening but also trying to juggle gardening with cycles of chemotherapy which tends to knock the energy out of me a lot.

Thanks in advance! 

Obelixx

Haven't time to check your blog at the mo but I do know James Grieve is moderately self-fertile but will crop much better if it has a pollination partner so you should consider planting a second tree unless one of your neighbours has a suitable playmate.    Have a look at this list - https://www.keepers-nursery.co.uk/searchpolpartner.aspx?id=JAMGRI

Good luck with the chemo and well done for planning a garden.

Hi skysearcher and welcome to the forum. I'm pretty new to taking an interest in the world of gardening so I'm not really qualified to add any expert opinion but there are plenty of helpful and knowledeable folks who will I'm sure.

Just some thoughts:

- which aspect does your garden face?

- looks like you have some large evergreen trees at the end of the garden, do they shade much of it?

- the ivy looks nice but 'kills' fences, is that your fence at the end or a neighbours?

- the outbuilding to the right I assume is a neighbours (garage?). Depending on the aspect this may be a nice location for some climbers. You would need to check with them before drilling holes in their property or maybe you could erect a support structure on your side?

- I enjoy spending time in our garden but did / do not want to be a slave to it so it is primarily evergreen shrubs which require little attention other than some pruning and provide all round interest. We have 'run-of-the-mill' plants like choisya, rhody's, azaleas, camilias, japonica's, laurels, olive trees, pittosporums etc so that might be something to think about for your low maintenance criteria

- your borders are very narrow, you'll probably want to extend them

- good luck with all the challenges you are facing

Dave Humby says:

Hi skysearcher and welcome to the forum. I'm pretty new to taking an interest in the world of gardening so I'm not really qualified to add any expert opinion but there are plenty of helpful and knowledeable folks who will I'm sure.

Just some thoughts:

- which aspect does your garden face?

- looks like you have some large evergreen trees at the end of the garden, do they shade much of it?

- the ivy looks nice but 'kills' fences, is that your fence at the end or a neighbours?

- the outbuilding to the right I assume is a neighbours (garage?). Depending on the aspect this may be a nice location for some climbers. You would need to check with them before drilling holes in their property or maybe you could erect a support structure on your side?

- I enjoy spending time in our garden but did / do not want to be a slave to it so it is primarily evergreen shrubs which require little attention other than some pruning and provide all round interest. We have 'run-of-the-mill' plants like choisya, rhody's, azaleas, camilias, japonica's, laurels, olive trees, pittosporums etc so that might be something to think about for your low maintenance criteria

- your borders are very narrow, you'll probably want to extend them

- good luck with all the challenges you are facing

See original post

Thanks for your reply! 

The garden is north facing but does get some decent sun in summer (compared to my old north facing garden), which is the main problem in terms of planting "cottage garden" style plants, especially in the more shaded borders.

The evergreens don't shade the garden much at all which is good, especially as they aren't mine (belong to the flats behind). The fence at the back is the neighbour's as well, so i'm not planning to do much about that for now. I've bought some rambling roses to grow in the far left corner over that fence and up by the trees and ivy, so we'll see how that goes.

Love the idea about having some climbers on the neighbour's garage! That border does get some good sun. My mum was also considering a small plum tree/fruit tree near that garage? But i'm not sure due to size and roots affecting the garage etc...

I agree about the borders they're quite small and they don't get as much of the sun as i'd like, I might look into extending them when I have the time and energy.

thanks for your ideas! I'll have a look at some of the plants you suggested :)

Obelixx says:

Haven't time to check your blog at the mo but I do know James Grieve is moderately self-fertile but will crop much better if it has a pollination partner so you should consider planting a second tree unless one of your neighbours has a suitable playmate.    Have a look at this list - https://www.keepers-nursery.co.uk/searchpolpartner.aspx?id=JAMGRI

Good luck with the chemo and well done for planning a garden.

See original post

 Thanks for replying!

yeah that was one reason I picked this variety, as well as it being ok in the cold. I'm not sure i've got room for another apple tree, and the tree is more for a bit of coverage from the neighbours, rather than harvesting. I've spotted some fruit trees in both neighbours' gardens but not had the chance to ask what they are yet...

I'll have a look at some partners for it and see if there are any small varieties or maybe some I can train on a fence? I'm just too scared to try training and maintaining a fruit tree in case it goes wrong haha and i'm feeling a bit short on space as well.

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Some other shrubs we have that are happy in shade / dappled shade are Elaeagnus and Pieris. We also have Trachelospermum Jasminoides which seem happy in sun or shade (for us at least) and might be an option for your garage wall area. These are all evergreen.

Some of the plants I mentioned in my first post (Rhody's, Azaleas, Camilias) as well as the Pieris like ericaceous soil so you could think about having them in the same bed and condition it accordingly.

My OH liks some colour so she normally gets some bedding plants and pops them in various places!

Dave Humby says:

Some other shrubs we have that are happy in shade / dappled shade are Elaeagnus and Pieris. We also have Trachelospermum Jasminoides which seem happy in sun or shade (for us at least) and might be an option for your garage wall area. These are all evergreen.

Some of the plants I mentioned in my first post (Rhody's, Azaleas, Camilias) as well as the Pieris like ericaceous soil so you could think about having them in the same bed and condition it accordingly.

My OH liks some colour so she normally gets some bedding plants and pops them in various places!

See original post

 Will check these out! Thank you :)

Clarington

Advised admin on above poster due to lack of any other posts (but weird to come on the forum and straight up start posting links).

Paranoid?

I would visit some local garden centers, and there are hundreds of resources available on Google images. If you are stuck to what matches, and color combinations then there is a combination checker to see what matches well, I have used one of these before and it worked a treat

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