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Hi we have recently moved to a 1930's detached house with a decent size square garden with beds all around the edge filled with lots of large establishes bushes and trees. There are a couple of island beds in the lawn filled with low level bedding (geraniums, primroses and violets amongst them) and a large patio with raised square and rectangle beds. I just dont know how to put our stamp on it, marrying up our style, make it more contemporary and enhance what is already there. What plants could we add to the beds to bring it up to date and create structure? and what low level plants and flowers could we add in around the vast amount of bushes? The garden is south facing, many thanks!
There is no easy quick fix solution to what you are asking. To put your stamp on it is a personal decision, even if you hired a garden designer, they would work to a brief provided by you.
Start by working out what you want from your garden, agree a vision between you that encompasses your likes and avoids your dislikes.
Physically, remove anything that you hate in the garden as it stands and then work from there. You could work on the garden as a whole or in pieces, its up to you but if you at least know what you want and what you don't want, its a good place to start
Thanks for the advice, that sounds like a good idea, will get rid of things we really cant stand first and then I think tackle a section at a time, thanx
I've been doing this for 6 yrs now so in addition to Wintersongs good advice I'd add:
Have an overall plan in your head of how you're going to use the different areas of the garden (seating, veg, play areas, shed, greenhouse etc) and refine it as you see the impact of taking out stuff you don't like or which is getting past it's best. That way when you start working on a section you'll be thinking about how it will link into other sections you are leaving til later.
Don't rush it - as you work around the garden you'll start to know it's little foibles of soil, sun, water etc which will help you put the right plant in the right place first time
Mark out potential paths etc with string, bricks, hosepipe - anything temporary and start using them before you cut them. That way you can see if they feel awkward and adjust them before it's too late
Good luck and have fun
Having gone through a similar process, which is still work in progress, I would suggest checking if anyone you know wants the plants you don't rather than just dumping them. I couldn't believe how much some of the stuff we were treating as weeds costs at garden centres!
If you make friends with your new 'green fingered' neighbours they might return the favour by sharing plants of theirs that you do like. Might also be a good opportunity to see what they have done in their gardens to give you some ideas.