Posted: 15/09/2014 at 08:15
Hi bighevs. Always a bit daunting if you have a blank canvas and aren't sure what to do!
If you want to keep the basic layout of the grass and borders, the best way forward is to use some climbers for the fence to cover them. Clematis or roses would be lovely (loads to choose from) but you need to prepare the ground well first and you'll need trellis, wires or similar for them to cling or be tied onto. If it's east facing then I'm assuming the tamarisk is on the sunniest side and the other side will get a fair bit of shade through the afternoon. You could use some shrubs to give structure and repeat those through the garden to give continuity. There are plenty which will do well in any area, and will be fairly low maintenance. You can then add a few different things in each border to suit the conditions and give some variety. If you like wildlife we can suggest things which will attract birds, bees etc.
Initially, I'd get lots of fresh compost and organic matter into the beds to give them a boost before putting any plants in, and when you start planting, begin with the area nearest the house as that's the bit you'll see most through winter and into spring and it keeps up the motivation. Decide on colours that you like and then we can all make particular suggestions for you.
Hope that gives you a couple of ideas to think about