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6 messages
22/08/2012 at 22:59

I have a very large garden. we moved in to an overgrown jungle 2 years ago, well not literally, there is a house too. I cut down the sick trees, leaving others around the perimeter, these include, lime, oak, horse chestnut and oakbeam. from perimeter to house leaves a valley in the middle. We have tried to fill in the valley, only finding that when we have heavy rain a stream returns( which was there before the houses were built) i have put in raised beds, fruit trees, 25 ft wildlife pond and so far minimal flower beds, but when i think about how to landscape it, i just cant see any shape that would fit. It has 3 levels, from the house you can see all 3 levels ruling out secret pathways to seating areas etc. I just cant see it finished, i have no vision of how it should be. i can organise areas, just not as a whole, Its mainly just me and there is always a budget. please help....  

23/08/2012 at 06:39

Could you use hedging to separate areas so you can't see it all from the house? Or maybe keep it to lawn but have large 'island' beds, perhaps with a large tree and shrubbery to at least create a 'path' around those beds? Maybe you should consider making the valley into a water feature - not fighting nature! Could it be a large bog garden bisecting the whole, perhaps with a bridge over? Very tough to be more specific without any photos... It may be worth you investing in a one-off consultation with a garden designer just to get some overall layout ideas and then do the actual work yourself. In big area, mistakes could easily be more costly than the consult... Do make sure you use someone with experience of landscaping large gardens though. Or maybe your local college garden design college would welcome the chance to have their students use it as a hypothetical project - they submit designs to their tutor, and you get copies to peruse after they've been marked with tutor's comments. Does sound like your plot may have enough difficuties to make it interesting for them. Just a thought... 

23/08/2012 at 18:54

Must agree with Auntie Betty, you need someone to have a clear overlook, taking in what you might actually want - and then to suggest a plan.  Whatever you do, don't try to do alot at once. Start with small areas near the house, which you can see more clearly.  Paths and dividing hedges and/or fences may be ananswer, again, not all at once, relax, the garden won't go away - and each bit reclaimed is a victory.  Do agree not to fight nature, a bog garden is a thing of beauty, and if you already have the water, it's pretty well a no brainer isn't it.  Whatever you do, you need lots of pictures and measurements for someone knowlegeable to see.  Do you have a  college  of further education near you?  Ours looks for unusual shaped gardens for the students to study and draw up plans about as part of their education - and you don't have to take their advice after all. 

23/08/2012 at 21:51

thats great thanks for the advice,  you can get very overwelmed.

24/08/2012 at 12:46

Hi Safla, 

Wow what a project. I am sure that it is all very overwhelming, but like Auntie Betty and Bookertoo say, its best to start small. I assume you dont want there to be a stream in the garden? 

Personally for me the 3 levels would make for a great feature. I would give each section a different theme, for example a rustic garden up top, modern in the middle and japenese at the end. I would make use of the stream and extend this to create your 3 gardens as islands giving you a nice serene water feature as well. Make bridges from railway sleepers to join the islands up. 

If you are really struggling with this you could always take some photos and post them up. I am sure there is someone out there who can help. 

25/08/2012 at 22:23

Wow were my first words too! i love it but the creeping buttercups almost saw me off! The stream only comes when there is major rain, like the recent monsoons. so i have actually dug a french drain that takes the majority away. we have a bog end to the pond that houses the last of the tadpoles, and baby frogs, currently feeding the local heron first thing in a morning. I tried to post pics but failed will keep trying, then you will see the enormity of the task. i have 2 children, a dog, ducks and chickens(when the fox leaves us be)

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