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Rose lady


Ive just been admiring your beautiful garden..before and after, and just wanted to say 'WOW' !!!! how dream garden. we moved to our new estate 3 months ago, and looking at your beautiful pictures has really inspired me. Privacy is also a huge issue for us.

How proud you must be

Can you tell me what the name of your climbing roses are? and also the perenials you used in your garden. Our garden is a south facing one, and tends to get baking hot in the afternoon.

Well done you

Kel xx


flowering rose

you have a lovely garden,you can see the care that you give that dark ,love all your plants.


I love your garden; it looks as if it is in the south of France, not Suffolk. I bought my cottage 12 years ago, but only moved here full time 7 years ago; I had a sloping long thin paddock. I got rid of most of the awful lawn; got a man with a machine to level the ground; built a studio; made a raised veg garden; made a drive to turn the car around, so I didn't have to reverse onto a dangerous double corner; made areas for log stores; compost bins; greenhouse; little terrace for sitting and yet my garden is truely tiny; it is all down to a good builder who could organise the space and deal with different levels and drainage.

Thank you LL for sharing your lovely garden. Especially when i'm struggling to find time and stuff to do in mine.

i too have a new estate garden, been here 3 years but only bought it last aug, so didnt do any thing with it. It is a clay pit with 3 storey buildings all around. the slot of sun moves around the garden like a large sun dial. only half the garden gets sun.

never had a garden before and starting with a few seeds, plastic greenhouse and some T&M plugs last march/april i now have a variety of plants and veg.

have finally persuaded OH that we dont need a patch of grass in the middle. sick of muddy dog and his paws - plus fits better with my vague idea - much like yours!

thanks again


Hi LL,

Great to see what other folk have achieved in their gardens, when starting from a blank canvas!  I also moved into a blank canvas just over four years ago and after decorating the house, I have now begun designing the garden.

It's still at the early stages but I'm really enjoying building all the hard landscaping, it's hopefully going to be a sort of "contemporary Japanese" style, which in my head, means modern looking landscaping filled with acers, bamboos, wisteria and any plants that look remotely oriental (suggestions more than welcome)!

Here's a few photos of the garden beginning 14/02/2008 until now.  I ripped out the old greenhouse, shed, concrete post and some horrid trees! to create a blank canvas.  Since then I have built a summer house (named the Wendy House!), had new fencing put in and conservatory and now built a decking area and started on some raised planting areas!  It's deffinately still at the "before" stage

By the way, I love your cat too, my garden wouldn't be a home without my two cats exploring it!

Happy gardening to all,






 Decking area built diagonally to match up with angle of wendyhouse

 Building the first of my new planting areas, which I will hopefully render smooth and paint white.

Finished first planting area this month, Oct 2012

 A view of the Wendyhouse in Jan 2012 with my girls coming up for a photo shoot!  I built them a lovely home and run, down beside the Wendyhouse, which they have plenty of room to live and play.  My two cats are a bit concerned, so they tend to just keep out of their way

Keep up the good work TD.  I am waiting for the electricity board to come next monday (Nov 05!!) to dig up my newly planted garden to put the electric cables underground - NOT BEST PLEASED!!  I hope they are sympathetic to my hard work or there WILL be fireworks!!!


LL you have a gorgeous garden, When I first read your blog I thought that you only started working on it in March but looking at your photos and how lush your garden looks, I guessed that you've been working on it for years. Did you get help with the design and planning of your garden or was it all your own ideas, with the hard landscaping and choice of plants, flowers, shrubs etc... I have an acre size garden and would love to divide it up somehow to eliminate some of the lawn and any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  We do have a trampoline set into the ground, a kids play area, chicken coop and run, veg plot, small green house, garage and driveway. All help and advice welcome LL, I would love to have some all year round colour if you have any ideas. Thanks Ann. 

Lavender Lady

Thanks Red Robin for your kind comments.  Yes we have been working on the garden for 12 years now and it has just progressed along the way.  All the planning, planting etc has been our own work.   When we were planning the garden drew lots of plans on paper, made lists of what we wanted in the garden and then worked around fitting it all in.  This will be much easier for you with having such a large garden.  My advice would be to work directly from the house and do it bit by bit,  then you can see the progress you are making from the house and do not have to walk to then very end of the garden to see what you have achieved.  Also by doing it bit by bit makes it easier to split the garden into different 'rooms'.  Have a look in your local library for garden design books and gardening books.  That is how I got most of my ideas.  Good luck  xx 


Hi LL, just looking at your pics again as they are inspiring!  Out of interest does your wisteria flower? and how long did it take? I planted one in a large pot early this year and don't really know how to treat it. Love looking at the pics 'cos some of them remind me of what I'm aiming for

 I would like to grow auriculas on this shelf but...


now that it's winter there isn't enough sun here...even the solar lights only light for a couple of hours now.

 and if anyone could please name this iris I'd love to plant some more



Lavender Lady

Hi budlia63, my wisteria took three years to flower so hopefully you will get some flowers in a couple of years.  They do like a good hot sunny spot - they like their stems to bake in the sun.  Also keep well watered.  Love your pics. 

I don't know the name of the iris but I am sure someone on here will help you.

Thanks for the advice LL, I will get some books for some ideas. Also, I have some Red Robins that I need to prune back a bit and I'd like to try to propagate the cuttings. I was told to use Loam based cuttings compost and my husband came back from the garden centre with 'Brown Gold' is this the same thing do you know? I don't want to take cuttings until I have the right compost to plant them into, as I don't want to risk losing them to the wrong soil; and the chance to grow many more for a hedge.

Lavender Lady

Sorry Red Robin I don't know about Brown Gold, have never heard of it.  I think you may need to put a post on the main forum and someone will defo have an anwer for you.  I must say I always just use a general mutli purpose compost for all my cuttings etc and so far have been lucky.  I have never taken cuttings from Red Robin though.  Not sure this is the right time to do it.  I have just taken seeds from my agapanthus and have planted into modules and put into unheated greenhouse, never tried to grow these from seed before always split them so finger crossed.  Carol Klein has a brilliant book called 'Grow your own Garden' which explains all propagation in simple terms which I have found really helpful. 

Good luck x

Thanks LL, I'll look into it in more detail before I go cutting.


Rose lady


Hello Lavender Lady.

Can you please tell me the names of your climbing roses are? and also the perenials you used in your garden. Also we also live in a modern house which overlooks neighbours. How can I create extra height onto my existing fence. It has no trellis at the moment.


Lavender Lady

Hi Rose Lady

My climbing roses are Madame  Alfred Carriere - which is a beatiful cream/white rose which is growing on my brick wall to the side of the garden. It has a wonderful scent gets quite tall.  I let it grow right above the trellis and it has strong stems which then grow to about another meter or so which gives excellent privacy.  I cut it back early Jan/Feb to the top of my wall so that it can grow to the same height again.  On my rose arch I have Paul Transon which is a pink rose (not very much scent) and  this is a continuous flower, goes on and on most of the summer, (I do deadhead regularly).  Rosa Noisette Carnee (blush Noisette) is on one side of the large pergola.  This is over the area where we have our table and chairs and it has a beautiful musk scent which is lovely in the evenings.  It is pretty small pink clusters of flowers and one of my favourites.  James Galway is another pink very scented rose which is at the top of the garden in another area where we sit, although it only flowers twice a year.  Veilchenblau is a purple rose on the small pergola and is a beautiful purple rose and has a lovely orange/vanilla scent.  Swan Lake is a large shrub rose which I grow as a climber and grow up the side of the garage.  I also have a rose from Peter Beales which I think is called Festival - it is also a large shrub rose which I grow up an obelisk and this is also a deep pink and has lovely scent.  You will find that a lot of the large shrub roses can be grown as small climbers and are ideal for a small garden. If you go onto Peter Beales, David Austin websites and request a copy of their catalogues you can get a good look at the roses (something to do over the winter, curled up on the sofa).  I am already looking to what I can buy for next year, don't know where to put them but I will find room.  Mustead Wood is one that I will definately be buying.  It is a lovely deep red/purple and has lovely scent.  I rarely buy a rose without scent.  We use our garden a lot in the evenings and it is full of scent.   I have lots of perennials Rose Lady as I am always growing and buying plants.  Lots of lavender, foxgloves, hardy geraniums, astrantia, veronicas (deep mauve and blues)echinops, euphorbia, hellebores, aster,  lily of the valley. I could go on and on Rose Lady.  They are all underplanted with bulbs, alliums are a real favourite of mine,  Lady's mantle is another favourite it does self seed but it looks good with roses and pinks. 

With regard to adding extra height to your fence we put trellis on the fence and then we added approx another 18 inches of trellis to the height of the fence.  I have then grown pyracantha, climbing hydrangea, ivy, euonymus, roses, ceanosis.  These provide the backbone of the climbers and most are everygreen. I have then grown more roses, honeysuckle, jasmine, clematis through these climbers and they give you the colour and scent in the summer.  You will find that the plants grow to the top of the trellis and then keep supporting themselves another foot or so, especially the ivy and pyracantha and ceanosis.

I hope this has given you a few ideas Rose,  It does take a good few years to get going, my garden is 12 years old now and I just keep adding more and more to it. 

I will take a few pics of the garden now it is dying back so you can see the fence etc.  It is raining here today but if a bit brighter tomorrow I will do it then. 

Good luck with your planning, that is the exciting part I think.  You could post a few pics so that I could have a look, I am always willing to give you any help, 

Lavender Lady - I think you should have your own tv show! I'd love to follow you over a year to see how your garden changes and to pick your brains on how to get a lovely garden....and also to ask questions of Mr Lavender Lady as my other half needs tips on DIY in the garden. Such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing x
Lavender Lady

That did make me laugh Tootles.  I would be no good on TV, I am quite shy and I hate to have my photo taken.  Maybe we could get a Mr Lavender Lady DIY show instead. 

Thanks for your kind comments about the garden.


Your garden is amazing. I love it. Whats tops it is - your cat in the acer pot - just gorgeous. It sayes to me - maybe one should bow and pray before it.

Rose lady

Thank you so much Lavender lady!! It sounds like we both have a love affair with Roses and lavender I have lots of David Austin climbers, and ramblers arriving soon, so i'm really excited about getting them in the ground, and watching them do their magic. Before and after pics also sound like a great idea. Im really pleased that you have chosen M. Alfred Carriere, Munstead wood, and Noisette, because my best friend has these  in her garden too, and they are part of my collection yet to arrive. They are stunning. Your pics give such a different perspective to what I would like to achieve.

Tootles is right you should write a book!!!

Looks like Mr Rose man is going to be busy at the weekend putting up my Trellis

Can anyone also suggest any roses which would be good in a north east facing front garden...quite shady really.  Ive chosen Zephrine Druhin, and Generous gardener...any ideas, i realise roses need at least 4-5 hrs of sunshine in summer, if not a rose, then a pretty shrub, or another climber that doesn't mind little sunshine.

Kel x