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in Garden design
George F wrote (see)
New Plot, where do we start?
Sorry, very new to all of this.
Hopefully will get the hang of it shortly!
Now that is my sort of garden, how nice to start off with a perfect blank canvas. Presumably that is your home in the distance with a summer house at the top of the garden.
Without imposing what I'd do, what do you want - high/low maintenance garden. Do you like gardening, would you like a pond, lawn, flower beds, wild life area,tree's, grow your own veg, a play area for children, an orchard.. there are lots of different designs, reading books on design would give you idea's.
A little more information would be helpful as to what you want and where you want to start?. Doesn't need to be long winded
Hi George- That's a great big empty plot, it looks like it's a fantastic place and you have loads of land to play with
My first question would be what do want to do with the land? It's a difficult one to advise as I might want different things to you.
It's probably not the right time to start on any major works/hard landscaping- maybe spend the Autumn/Winter having a think about any future design and planting. How much time do you have to spend out there doing the work and what's your budget?
My garden which is a fraction of the size of yours was radically redesigned this year, it looks great but it's still not finished. That's the thing, a garden is a long term project. I would suggest doing a bit at a time. Maybe start with lots of Spring bulbs, crocus, snowdrops, british bluebells & some daffs? That way those bulbs you plant now give you a show next Spring.
I would try and look for inspiration and see what you like... you certainly have a lot of space, the possiblities are endless
Start by looking at lots of pictures, and think about what floats your boat as a gardener/householder. Collect lots of ideas and then start making lots of lists. Be realistic about how much time you want to spend working in the garden - high maintenance is my idea of heaven, but I realise that is not shared by everyone.
Very envious of such a pristine dreaming space to work on!!
Also, look at other gardens around yours - what kind of plants seem to be growing well? That will give you an inkling of soil type, as will doing some soil tests, and this will help you consider what plants to include/discount from your daydreams.
Thank you all for your ideas, a great help.
My husband and I love to garden, we are on our own but have a few years before retirement so it will be a slow process.
We dont mind high maintenance, deep flower beds, greenhouse, wildlife.
I think the general consensus is to leave it now until the spring and spend winter thinking of what we can do.
I'd wait longer- get used to your garden- where the light falls in each season- if there are places that get particularly damp or stay dry - what type of acidity do you have- soil? That looks like a big playground- many happy years of gardening to you both!
You could get a decent vinyard in there - Bacchus, Siegerebbe, Seyval Blanc. Start now!
Or you could be sensible and wait at least for Spring to see what bulbs etc. might be there.
How exciting - a blank canvas! Mine had to be cleared of leylandii, elderly shrubs, and undergrowth first before I could assess the space. Then I used a large notebook/ringbinder to record thoughts, ideas, and photos.
First, I discussed with my husband what we wanted the garden for. He said he wanted somewhere nice to sit and vistas to view (! our garden is very small!). I wanted to be able to pick my own fruit and vegetables, and have colourful climbers on the walls and fences, amongst lots of other things. What do you want to DO in the garden when you're not actually gardening?
I think that Autumns and Winters are actually the best time to prepare the 'bones' of the garden, with shrubs and trees and any hard landscaping. And besides the bulbs for Springtime, perhaps you could put in some instant colour with pansies and primulas, for example. Find ways of stocking the garden without spending a fortune. Don't forget to keep a record with regular photos. I agree with Hollie-Hock; It's a long-term project, can't realistically be done in one year, if ever, and I have learnt to be much more patient! Just enjoy all the processes, including just looking at it.
A book I found very helpful was 'Creating Your First Garden' by Paul Thompson. He also calls it 'Virgin Gardener'.
When we were moving to our new garden (not as big as yours - you are lucky ) I picked up Alan Titchmarsh's little Garden Design paperback - he's not my favourite gardener by a long chalk, but I did find this inexpensive little book very useful for focusing my mind on some basic design principles.
Another thing to think about is building a greenhouse/potting shed/work area, if you are going to be active gardeners. What is the best place for a compost bin? How will you store your tools? You will get more pleasure if it is ergodynamic as well as attractive. Keep your access routes as simple as possible, as it will stop you getting out the spade if it's always behind the wheelbarrow, for example. For veg, laying a seep hose would be easier at the start of the process, too.
No time to read all the above, George. Where in the country is your new abode? I'm on the South-East Coast, so soil and drainage are where I'd start. I'd get stuck in designing a rough layout. It's amazing how that can change as you get going. I started gardening from scratch only 3 summers ago with a garden which had no flowers and hardly any beds. All shrubs and trees. Also shade all along one side like your's. I've got so interested that I opened it up the public for charity last year. Huge success. It has massive variety of plants from full sun to full shade, plus loads of hardy exotics. I started with a subscription with Gardener's World, which I STUDIED each month. I also bought 'The Gardener's Year' by Alan Titchmarsh (published by Readers' Digest)...brilliant!,and through Amazon I bought the RHS A-Z Encyclopaedia of Gardening Plants (greatly reduced). Because I learnt by doing and reading I'm now an official plant triallist for the UK's largest on line supplier.....so, if I can do it so can you!....from scratch! EVERYTHING depends on your answers to my above two questions. Also, I built a brand new garden extension which was a builder's side yard....5 tightly packed skips full! Now I have a 19' X 5' wildlife pond. I also have a 10000 ltr pond in my main garden. A bid pond in the middle, with possibly a bog pond beside would be a great start as you can work from that.......I also bought a (must have) greenhouse, which is in a part shade area, and tow slectric propagators; I have saved huge amounts of money this way. I also have well established trees....for your garden a must, BUT be very careful to ensure you buy from a very reputable garden centre where I bought beautiful, inexpensive, unusual and exotic trees which do not create much shade (you have to think ahead....a tree blocking light in the wrong place will cause you future problems). I could go on and on!!! Good luck! PPC.