I'm a newbie, to this site and to gardening. Having just bought my first home, I'm getting pretty excited about decorating my most favourite room. Before I can get started though I've got a pretty big job to tackle and I wondered if any of you more experienced gardeners would be able to share their expertise, or even simply provide some suggestions...
A south east facing, oblong shaped postage stamp, a little too big to be a courtyard, but too small to bother with a lawn
Within this is growing (roughly 2-3 meters from the property) an approx 120-30yr old Beech tree - thankfully without a TPO.
The soil is very sandy and because of the large crown of the tree, nothing grows underneath - apart from some bluebells and violets.
The garden has never been tended to and so the leaves have been left to rot into the ground.
The garden is bordered by 6ft high lattice fencing on the south side - so placing a proportion of the garden in dappled shade, and on the other is 4ft high black painted lap fencing.
The tree is going. Simple. I want a cottage garden that attracts wildlife. I also want a small patio area to be able to sit out in.
I would be very grateful for any answers/advice on the following:
How would I best prepare the sandy soil for new plants after years of feeding this tree?
What product would you recommend that is most moss/algae resistant for my path and patio as some of it will be in permanent shade from my neighbours fence?
Can any of you south east facing gardeners recommend any cottage garden flowers that cope with less sun? The garden centre just pointed me in the direction of a japonica ;-(
Finally, what lighter paint would you recommend to cover over previously stained black lap fencing?
Thanks so much in advance!