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Orchid Lady


If this works, here is a picture of my garden, or at least 'my' part of it (ie excluding lawn).



With all those plants you're going to grow you might have to take over some of the lawn Tracey

Nice, I like the wood, stone gravel combo!



Looks lovely Tracey. If it were mine I would be lookin at the shady area by the hedge, and planning a new bed there.

Then again if it were mine I would probably have the whole lawn up!

Orchid Lady

Well funny enough, OH is considering putting a border all the way round, but just using 1 sleeper high and not as wide.  It will all be shaded though most of the time as the garden is south facing.


Brumbull, that's the greenhouse that's coming down (you can't see the broken panes etc from this pic) and the new one is slightly smaller.  The area at the back of the shed on the other side of the picket fence (which is my veg patch) is where I was thinking about putting the potatoes (re my other thread the other day about shady spaces).


Orchid Lady

This is one of the full garden, so you can see what I mean about another border around where the hedge is, it will mean a lot of outlay on plants as it is quite big and a lot of work, but I don't mind that.

Stacey Docherty

Tracey that looks lovely..... How about a kidney shaped one near the seating area?

Orchid Lady

That's the bit that gets very waterlogged Stacey, my OH is talking about doing them round the outside of the garden, don't think he will let me have any more of his lawn and also need to think about the hounds


What a lovely lawn Tracey your OH obviously looks after it well, wish mine was like that but I'm afraid the lovely local mole had other ideas.

An island bed around the two trees would look lovely too, and I guess it cuts the mowing and tending for the OH so you could spend more time with enjoying it

Orchid Lady
My OH loves his lawn and although I say so myself, he does a great job, especially with 2 dogs

One of the 2 trees at the front actually died, when we had that really late frost a couple of years ago, it just killed it. We left it until last year and it just crumbled

My apple tree is hidden behind the tree on the left hand side, at the bottom of the garden. I'm thinking of moving the plum (in the middle of the border) to the back nearer to my greenhouse but not too near??

Lots of scope there Tracey....exciting?  

I too love my lawns.  

For me, I would add quality rather than quantity.  Less is more, as they say   Get plants you truly want rather than lots of fillers 


Tracie, thats a lovely garden and a great size.

Rather than straight narrow boarders I would add some curved sweeping borders that include the tree, possibly replacing the dead one, and perhaps with the lawn going in-between them as a path. A border on the left up against the hedge would be nice, but with a paved path in-between running along the hedge for cutting it and sweeping up the cuttings. Narrow borders around the perimeter of a lawn can look like the planting was an after thought, but obviously its your choice.

I could happily spend days and days doodling with pen & paper drawing designs for a garden like yours, there is so much potential. Id definitely keep a good size lawn, but also increase the borders to get more plants in. 

Orchid Lady
Thanks everyone. Now discussing a sweeping curved border at the far side and a raised border at the back, partly because at the back the grass slopes up anyway, so in a way it is already raised, if that's makes sense!!

Verdun, my problem is because I don't know that much about plants I'm not sure what I like enough to fill it, hence my questions re begonias etc. I am planning lots of annual bedding plants this year, for the garden and pots but at least if we do it April/May time I will have something to fill it with this year that won't cost too much. Son #1 suggested a wildflower border on the far side (where I am planning the sweeping bit now), I think that would look lovely and would give the garden different sections.

Loads of ideas

Tracie, I may be wrong but I'm guessing your garden is south facing? The area at the far end is in shade from the hedge, if its a south facing garden then it may be in shade all the time which will impact on which plants can be grown well in that area. However if your garden is east/west facing then this area of shade will move through the day letting in light.


Orchid Lady
You are right lead farmer, it is south facing and does get shade all day! also the hedge I am presuming will take moisture although the grass doesn't brown. I will definitely need to give consideration to shade loving plants.

Thought so. It looked like the photo was taken later in the day judging by the shadows, indicating the sun setting in the west.

Don't be put off by the shade, there are lots of plants that thrive in shade, such as hosts etc. But they may be competing with moisture with the privet hedge. Dig the border well, add lots of compost/soil improver etc as this will help preserve moisture. 

Next, do you know what soil you have? Is it acidic or alkaline, sandy or clay?

Orchid Lady
Not a clue lead farmer, never checked it and also never fed my plants, except the greenhouse grown ones, which the lady in the GC today said I would be tiding, apparently I should feed them all even the primroses.....oops!! On the other hand, the lawn gets a fortune spent on food!!!

I guess that is my next task, test my soil. Is it possible to have different soil I the veg patch to the border/grads area or should it all be the same?

It should be the same, unless you've added soil/compost that you've bought in from elsewhere to the borders.

You can buy soil testing kits in garden centres for just a few quid. Or look at what plants grow well in your neighbours gardens, if they have healthy Rhododendrons etc then it suggests its acidic soil. Hydrangea plants can indicate the soil type, they can develop blue flowers if the soil is acidic, otherwise they may be pink.

Orchid Lady
My neighbour over the road has blue hydrangeas, mine in a pot is pink. That is another plant I love and will definitely have some in my borders when we expand them. Rhodedendrums too, but I haven't seen any at all round here, maybe alkaline soil then? I think I will test it, it may help me grow better flowers, plants and veg