Posted: 11/06/2013 at 07:51
WOW! thank you all so very much for your advice and suggestions and I'm absolutely bowled over with your offers of help and support. I'm going to print all this off and hi-light suggestions of what to do first and keep it handy for reference.
We are totally aware this will be a long term project and the garden will evolve over time and that it's going to be flipping hard work! We're also aware that being a new build we WILL find lots and lots of rubbish and rubble that will hinder our progress and that we're going to have to enlist the help of family and friends to achieve the most wonderful garden possible for Sarah.
All that said I think it would help further if I give you an insight into what what we need from the garden. So here goes....
Sarah's disability is such that she is unable to do anything in the garden nor is she able to give much input into it's design and what plants are in there so what she can see and smell is of the greatest importance as is the ease of maintainence. (we really don't mind maintaining the garden but when we visit we want to be spending quality time with her and not always gardening). Also we can't rely on her carers to be watering pots and deadheading plants. At the moment the paving is just around the parimeter of the house and the lawn isn't accessable for her wheelchair so it would be an idea to replace some of the lawn with paving to enable her to get nearer the plants.
As I said I've already made a start on collecting plants. So far I've got 3 lovely fatsias, about an dozen lavender plants (and taken more cuttings at the weekend), geum, delphenium, more lillies than I know what to do with and dianthus. Gosh that doesn't sound a lot considering what we have to fill . I'm sure I've got more plants I just can't think of them at the moment! All suggestions for other fragrant plants will be grately appreciated!
I do like the idea of a tree (depending on the size perhaps a couple of trees???) but I do remember when Sarah moved in the landlord said that as the site was built on a former landfill site there is a membrain covering this so we can't plant anything that is likely to send roots that could potentially penetrate the membrain. Saying that the landlord has planted trees in the front gardens of the properties so the membrain can't be that shallow????
Oh dear I'm rambling on a bit now so I'll leave it there and spend some time getting some of your ideas down on paper and I'll keep you all posted on my progress. In the meantime thank you all again and keep the suggestions coming