Posted: 09/07/2012 at 16:03
Friends of mine here in Belgium have created a garden from one sloping hectare of wild conifers, birches, brambles and bracken. They saved one or two of the healthier trees and planted many new ones and then created a water feature with ponds on the different levels .
They did not create 'rooms' as they have a horror of hedge trimming so created island beds with spring, summer and winter themes plus a grasses bed, a roses bed, a rockery and then a pastel border and a hot border. There's a potager with a greenhouse where many plants are raised from cuttings or seed. Above the house where the slope is steepest they created terraces to have flat beds of plants that like good drainage.
There is colour all year from blooms, bark and foliage, quite a lot of perfume and the place is humming with insects and birds.
They are in the Open Gardens scheme here and also appear on Belgium's version of Gardeners' World so you shoud get some ideas.
Here are photos of their garden this April - http://s211.photobucket.com/albums/bb262/Obelixx_be/1204%20Bousval/
and again in June - http://s211.photobucket.com/albums/bb262/Obelixx_be/1206%20Bousval/