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04/02/2013 at 20:26

I want to plant something down the side of our house, the width is about 4' 4" max.

It faces south, but as you can see has a house on each side.  It's something that we won't see as we enter the house from the right & the road is a cul-de-sac.  I have a photinia Red Robin in a tub just now, it's about 2'+ in diameter & can't think where else to put it.  I also have a golden sambucus growing at the back which needs to be moved which could go there & several other shrubs, eg weigelias, spireas, etc.

Something easy wihtout much maintenance.

Below where the flue is there is some edging, that will be also set across the grass, perpendicular to the house & fence, with chips or bits of slate between that edging & a bit of fence to be put in front of the shed.  That area is damp & the grass is dreadful, the area is about 6-8' in depth.  Had thought of putting down weed mat under the chips or slates & planting the shrub(s) through that.  Or plant the shrub(s) first??

The soil is probably fairly compacted as it hasn't been dug.

A closer view.

 Our front garden is very bare & I need some ideas for that, but thought it best to do a bit at a time.

If it's a suitable place to plant something, when would be best?

Other problem - the landscaper is family & you know how long it takes them to do a job!!

How come the 1st piccy uploaded immediately but the 2nd one (from the same folder) took about 30 attampts??!!





04/02/2013 at 20:43

I have avery old GW mag with an idea for a space such as this. I will search it out and attempt to copy it - no idea how.

It is more for an entry but space is about same

Give me  time to sort it out

04/02/2013 at 21:03

I would put Fatsia japonica at the back with Aucuba japonica and a Mahonia at the front laying bark underneath as a mulch. Almost no maintainance.

04/02/2013 at 21:05

Thanks Rosa, that's very kind.

Take your time - it's taken over 2 years so far.......!

04/02/2013 at 21:12

Hi Jean, that looks like a real tricky spot to plant up. Will it get more light as the year progresses?

I don't grow many shrubs so not able help with this. My first thought was woodland plants but I get the feeling that your looking for a shrub that can fill this space for you.


04/02/2013 at 22:06

Hi Hollie,  yes I thought shrub(s) would be best -keep it simple.  I've got plenty to do in the back & really just wanted something to look a bit less bare.

 After lots more attempts!!  A longer shot of the front showing most of the front garden.  We're planning to (eventually) get the edging all along the left boundary so that it stops at the base of the lamp-post. The boundary with next door is an escallonia hedge & we'll fill the gap between that & the edging with slate bits as have next-door round their heathers.  

Lots more to think about regarding the main part of the front garden to come later at some time!!


04/02/2013 at 22:17
Jean I have a really narrow back and long (shade) we have part retaining wall between us and next door, I planted some spreading stuff from mums garden ivy, periwinkle, bugle , campanula etc only short space . Next door though had a twig of honeysuckle so I nurtured it and have interwoven through fence now gone 6m hehe.
You'll be surprised what you can do help to you but the experts here will have the answer.
Rosa I have I scanning document thing on our pc, do you have a printer/scanner?
iPad ? Take pics ?
04/02/2013 at 22:55

I don't really know how much sun this area gets throughout the year as we don't go there - that's why I want it to be low-maintenance.  It probably gets 3-4 ?? hours a day (when it shines....)  Probably not much in Dec/Jan due to the low sun behind the houses opposite.

04/02/2013 at 22:59
Watch the sun in day , may get more than you think. Mines behind 6ft fence so blocked of sun. Narrower than yours but still things grow happy .
05/02/2013 at 06:34

You have a really exciting prospect ahead of you in creating a garden. Over the last ten years, I've done the same, making lots of mistakes but learning a lot. I have a long, narow area along the side of my bungalow. My husband used strong wood to put in a narrow raised bed along the boundary wall which I planted with perennials and the rest was covered with membrane and chippings to create a narrow path. At the end there is a gate which we don't use, but which creates a focal point and suggests flow into a further part of the garden. The area looks good as a frame for the bungalow and is now transformed from a depressing a bit of wasted space into a place we like to go and admire the flowers. It gets a surprising amount of sun (when it shines) and is low-maintenance because, after the initial preparation, we just allowed the plants to fill the space. I weed there once a year and occasionally enjoy myself moving things around or pinching bits for the rest of the garden because it makes a useful plant nursery.  

05/02/2013 at 13:57

You could make a windy gravel/brick path whicj would uggest that it leads somewhere and use both perrennials ans small shrubs, or you could plant up your wall - not clinging climbers. I like the ideas of Gardening Grandma - bed and path . PS still looking

05/02/2013 at 15:55

I found it but is more for a back yard entry and not really suitable for your space. Like the look of your house though 

05/02/2013 at 18:12

Thanks for the ideas folks, some food for thought there.

G. Gran - I do like raised beds, there's 1 of rounded wooden sleepers that runs the length of the back garden & 3 more out there which are stone, maybe another at the front might be overkill!  The path & gate sounds a good idea - implies there's more to come.

Rosa - I'd thought of something up the wall, but it's covered with harling/pebbledash & a surprising amount of stones seem to fall off naturally, so don't want to lose too many!  Thank you for your efforts with the book.  I've been told that round here a path needs to be set in concrete not sand/soil as in the winter when the ground freezes it will, over time raise the slabs/bricks, etc. We're wanting the edging for the lawn so that "mower man" has it easy when edging, as there's a lot of it, including the back, although I do like a wiggly path.

We liked the style of the house when we saw it, it's similar to a traditional croft house - front door in between 2 windows & upstairs 2 dormer windows with a skylight in the middle.  Somewhat larger though!!

We're also thinking about putting a seat in front of the bay window - if we get early spring sunshine it's lovely at the (south facing) front.  We had a seat on grass in the past, but even constantly moving it, it damaged the grass, so we thought of a slabbed area for the seat & feet, but will make the grassy bit a funny shape!???

So many thoughts; so many conundrums! - Just wait till I start asking about the rest of the front garden area and the back!! 

05/02/2013 at 18:15

You can start on mine for me then, another conundrum 

05/02/2013 at 21:33

How about an arch at the front of the area, level with the front of the bungalow with something pretty growing over it? This would prevent the problems associated with something growing up the house wall and, again, suggest a path to something more behind it. You could then put chippings down behind it, with maybe a plant or two to break it up and invite the eye further. A rose with a clematis growing through it looks quite good and has a good flowering season. Or you could use an evergreen honeysuckle or jasmine. Jasmiine grows slowly though, I find.You could create a good focal point with a statue or largeish plant in front of the shed.

06/02/2013 at 23:11

I think you & I are on the same planet G.Gran - you suggested a raised bed - we have several out the back & you suggested an arch - got one of those at the back too!!

I planted a clematis up the arch at the back (forgotten what type) & it flowered very nicely at the top, but bare all the way up!

Which clem would be suitable to grow up a rose - a lot seem to get quite big?

Blairs - I like the idea of low maintenance, but don't like Mahonia, are the Aucuba & Fatsia extremely hardy?

For any planting what would be the best time of year?

06/02/2013 at 23:50

I live in South Wales, where the weather is a lot milder than yours so any plant suggestions I made might be worthless to you. Some clematis are much more hardy than others, but I should think that if they are offered in your local garden centre then they must be hardy enough. Most hybrids grow to about 6 - 8 feet, though some are much bigger, but the label will tell you.There's a thread about clematis at the moment which suggests ways to get clematis to flower better, but I'll just say that if you let them grow straight up a support then they will flower mostly or only at the top. They need to be taken sideways by being spread around a support. The stems are fragile and I find it easier to wind all the stems in the same direction. You might consider planting more than one (of the same kind) and winding them in different directions.  This isn't really the correct way, it is just simpler because the stems break easily. Nearly all clematis are not self clinging and need help to go up. Sorry if you knew all this! There are 3main groups and these need different pruning.

07/02/2013 at 11:19

Thanks G.Gran, I'm afraid I've tended not to look too much at the height, just the colour  most were from the "casualty corner" at the g.c.

Also I'll try winding that one round the sides of the arch this year - might flower lower down; I'll show it who's boss.

07/02/2013 at 16:01

Just remember - the stems are incredibly fragile and sometimes die back when you think that no damage at all has been done. I suggest praying first!

My garden has also benefited a lot from the casualty corner of the garden centre. When I started off, I just wanted to fill the garden without actually taking out a second mortgage. Some things died, some things turned out to be invasive and virtually impossible to get rid of. Some thrived and turned out to be garden gems. I leanrt a lot and became a bit more heartless about getting rid of unwanted plants. Now that my garden is basically stocked, I find myself getting choosier, wanting plants that give months of colour and that have beautiful form. I'm thinking that, before long, I'll be able to pot up the things I take out and sell them at car boot sales and village shows. Gardening is such a creative process!

07/02/2013 at 17:20

Gardening Grandma wrote (see)

My garden has also benefited a lot from the casualty corner of the garden centre. When I started off, I just wanted to fill the garden without actually taking out a second mortgage. Some things died, some things turned out to be invasive and virtually impossible to get rid of. Some thrived and turned out to be garden gems. I leanrt a lot and became a bit more heartless about getting rid of unwanted plants. Now that my garden is basically stocked, I find myself getting choosier, wanting plants that give months of colour and that have beautiful form.

I am in the same position, but now have lots of unwanted things - often what will be quite big plants/shrubs etc.  A lot are currently potted up at the end of the garden whilst I hope that a neighbour really will finally have them (he keeps saying yes, but doesn't seem to have any plans).

Just hope the local Church have their plant sale this year, we're not really car-booter people! (we visit only)


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