Posted: 01/09/2013 at 12:20
Assuming that was an early afternoon photograph taken from the SW corner, you've got tree (partial) shade throughout the day in the southern third, fence shade along the west side in the afternoon, widening in the evening, and house shade in the NE in the evenings, so if you want a sun trap it's going to have to be SE of the S end of the house. At least you've got a reflective white wall there. I'd put sun-lovers in the NE, where they'll get the warmest sunshine, with lawn between them and the house providing flop-space. Your sun-trap goes south of there where early afternoon sunlight bounces off the house onto it and the evening sun can light it up too. Between the two you have your washing line, so you're stuck with leaving that space open, but from the washing line south in an arc into the middle of the garden you can surround your sun-trap with low-growing prettiness, like shrub roses. Behind them you either raise a bed for more low stuff or plant medium-height stuff, so you've got an embankment of greenery and blossom around you while you're socialising. Siting a BBQ is a tricky call, because you don't want to stink up the neighbours' washing by putting it against the fence but you don't want a huge brick obelisk in the middle of your lawn either. The simple answer would be to put it against the house. Alternatively, if you go with raised beds, you could tuck it into them.
That'd leave the south end of the house free for sun-loving climbers. Put chunky eye-bolts in, string 2mm wire across them and grow a huge wisteria with horizontal tiers, or put wooden rails on, mount trellis on them and cover the whole thing in a chaotic mixture of akebia and honeysuckle. You could build a full-height strawberry planter and fill it with strawberry plants, but I think that's asking to get sick of climbing ladders. Either way, leave a gap at the top so stuff doesn't climb in under the eaves and invade the loft.
Bird boxes should be in sheltered north-facing spots, so put them on the other end of the house, but bats like to have a box on each side so they can choose the one that gets the right temperatures as the seasons change.
South of the house is where I've put your vegetable plot, with another raised bed between it and the sun-trap. This is partly because a raised bed of decorative plants looks better than a vegetable plot, and partly so that you can sit and relax in the garden without constantly checking for caterpillars and weeds.
Between raised areas, there's a wide path leading south to the acers. An evenly-spaced and straight line probably isn't what you want, but I was just sketching. The shed and compost heap are right in the corner, out of sight. It's a bit of a trek from there to the north end of the vegetable plot, but you'll have a wheelbarrow, won't you?
Under the acers, you can plant shade-lovers. Grow a bed of English bluebells, perhaps? You could also arrange them differently to have a sort-of-hidden corner in the SW, and put in a little love seat there.
I've left a 17m square of lawn there. That should be plenty.
If you'd wanted a garden for boys and tomboys, I'd have been designing wooden forts instead.