My New Garden, Suggestions For Planting

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Wac84, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Wac84

    Wac84 Apprentice Gardener

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    Welcome to my garden, we moved into our new home around 3 weeks ago, and the previous owner did 90% of what you see. Our last property only had a lawn, so planting flowers is all new to me. I want plant a range of perennial plants, which i can leave out during the winter, and will full up the empty spaces... any suggestions

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  2. clueless1

    clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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  3. Wac84

    Wac84 Apprentice Gardener

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  4. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Welcome to GC Wac84. With so much space to work with it's difficult to suggest, what to fill it with. Climbers or baskets would break up the bare fences. Shrubs and plants of different shape, height and colour would help. Have a look round a local nursery and see what catches your eye. If you speak to the staff there, they will help you regarding plants for your soil type, taking into account, sun, shade etc.

    You may also want to add a little more shape to the borders as well, a few curves will soften the lines as you look down the garden. Good luck :)
     
  5. Wac84

    Wac84 Apprentice Gardener

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    Cheers Sheal, a few curves will be added in the next few weeks, and i have more room in the garden at both ends, the previous owner topped all the boarders with top soil... so should be good to grow in.
     
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    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      The border is too narrow (and probably too straight) :old:

      What sort of things (Design style and Plant types) do you like? Would you want a specific style (like Exotic or a Rose Garden)? Any gardens [open to public] that you have seen that you have really envied? (If you've not visited any/many gardens have a look at the National Garden Scheme - people locally to you opening their gardens for charity - chances are that will give you some ideas)

      Any things / styles you hate / don't want?

      What do you need from the garden? Place to sit / entertain? Football pitch for the kids? Low maintenance or big wow factor (usually high maintenance)?

      Any eyesores or annoying / nosey neighbours to be masked ?

      Budget? Sort of money you would spend doing up a room to a high standard? or "as little as possible"?
       
    • Wac84

      Wac84 Apprentice Gardener

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      Cheers Kristen, budget around £150, and don't mind maintenance, would like to wow the neighbours, rather then mask them away...

      All I would like to do, is plant this year, and for them to come year after year... each year ill add more to the collection.

      Think a little trip to the garden centre today will help :-)
       
    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      I would suggest (if not too late!) that you made a list of what you like, and prices, and ask on here before you buy. Many of the big garden centre chains are horrifically expensive for some things.

      That may not go very far I'm afraid. Cheapest way to garden is to beg / borrow / steal cuttings, and grow them on yourself. This is also the slowest way as Year=1 is for rooting, Year=2 is usually for "getting to a reasonable size in the pot" and then Year=3 is for planting out ... so its a long term project. A lot of my garden is done this way - the garden is big, and although my budget is quite large the garden is even larger!

      Next up is to look for "offers" and "sales". Quite a lot of places have sales in the Autumn, particularly of plants that need some help to over-winter (Nursery doesn't want to pay the cost of heating and/or effort of looking after them with next to zero winter-time sales). Many of the mail order companies have regular "offers", and provided you aren't too fussy [on types of plants] they are good value. However ... almost always the really cheap offers are for very small plants, so you need to be prepared to pot them on (into, say, 9cm pots or module-trays with cells a bit smaller than 9cm) and grow them on for a month or two before planting out. Its not hard, but its not "instant" either. You might also get bargains at Village Fete and Carboot sales too.

      Lastly, for "instant" you can buy decent sized plants at the garden centre (or online / etc.)

      And lastly-lastly :) and well outside your budget (and mine :( ) you can buy mature plants at huge cost. Several £1,000 for a medium sized tree is not uncommon. Keep buying the Lottery tickets for that one :)

      Stick your own figures in the following example, after you've been to the garden centre, as mine are just educated-guesses off the top of my head:

      Shrubs - £10 each on average, and plant about 1.5M apart on average - so about £3 - £4 per sq.M. they will take 5 - 7 years to make a mature bed. Shrubs can be mixed so that some are evergreen and/or flower in the Winter, and thus you can have colour and interest all year round. They will give you some height too - there are small ones of course, but plenty that are in the 4' - 6' tall sort of bracket, and some that are taller still.

      Herbaceous perennials (come back every year) plants are cheaper - say £2-£3 per plant on average - but they need to be planted closer - on average about 18" apart - so say about £4 - £5 per square metre. Those plants will give a reasonable showing in their first year, and be "mature" from year two onwards. However, they die down in the Winter, so there is no "show" during the winter. Again, size varies, and many are in the 0-3' tall bracket, and the rest are generally 3' - 5'. Not many are taller than 6'. Many will flower for long periods during the Summer. These don't mind the cold Winters, and will stay in the ground permanently. They tend to "spread" so will need splitting after 3 or 4 years (which will give you some plants to swap/sell, or to beg from friends and neighbours :) )

      Hedging plants (say 2' tall) are probably around £5 / metre and will be 5 - 10 years before they form a tight "mature" hedge. You can buy hedging plants that are 5' tall (i.e. the tip is 5' from the ground, they aren't fully-formed & shaped to 5' !! ) at about £15 / Metre - they will give a "nice" hedge in 2-3 years and something that looks like it has always been there in 4-5 years.

      Then there are "tender perennials". These are things like Dahlias which may not survive a cold winter outside (most people leave them out, but bring a few in just in case the lot get killed by a cold winter; but there are other things, like Cannas, which are less cold tolerant, and you pretty much have to bring them in for the Winter). These tend to start flowering a bit later in the Summer - end of July say - but then put on an impressive show until the first frost. But ... you have to have somewhere to store them. A frost free garage will usually be fine - they don't need light, and range from wanting to be bone-dry to just needing an occasional sprinkling of water - so apart from digging them up, and replanting, not a lot of "faffing". Same sort of price as "Herbaceous perennials"

      Good quality trees (rather than tiddlers) are £30+ each.

      And lastly Bulbs. Spring bulbs like Daffodils, and then Summer flowering such as Lillies. You could perhaps buy these in future years and plant them in & amongst your other plants to provide seasonal colour. They tend not to flower for very long (Daffodils a couple of weeks, although by mixing varieties you can extend that).

      Helping people with Design is not my strong suit. My thoughts are that you need to do something out-of-the-ordinary. A suburban garden, filled with the "usual suspects", will just look like everyone else's gardens (still colourful, and looking good no doubt, just without any unusual-ness)

      The easiest one for "Wow" I think is Exotic. Its also the most faff. Lots of plants that have to come in for the Winter (although in the main they will be happy in the garage, without light, so long as they don't freeze), and you can plant lots of things that "look" exotic, but will stay out for the Winter. Biggest "plus point" of Exotic is that most of the things grow like blue-blazes, so will be BIG by year 2 or 3.

      Alternative to that is to have a theme, and a collection of plants. I've seen (on the Telly) gardens [i.e. of the size that are behind a regular terraced house] open under the NGS [for charity] that have everything in pots - crammed in - looked amazing, and very unusual; another garden that was just Hostas, every hosta known to man, and many that probably aren't!, including growing them on walls, vertically, and every space possible; equally amazing and stunning.

      For that matter a good Rose garden looks good too. Just Roses and nothing else.

      Even a well tended and immaculate vegetable garden would look good ... or a bowling green finish lawn.

      Just to repeat my earlier recommendation: go visit some local gardens - not the parks and gardens, or stately homes, but something more intimate. NGS is a good source of opportunities, but some National Trust gardens are good (not many IMHO, too touristy and not "Wow"-y enough). If you put your "location" in your profile people here will be able to make suggestions of impressive gardens that are near you.

      Create a Wants List of things you see at the Garden Centre, or on your travels (take a photo and upload here if you don't know what it is [there is an Identification Area forum]) and let your thoughts percolate for a bit before making a start. Autumn is the best time for planting for most things ... you've got a few thinking months first :)[/quote]
       
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      • merleworld

        merleworld Total Gardener

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        If it were me I would firstly widen the border and then plant some evergreen shrubs to give some privacy as the fence can be seen through. Then in front of it plant a mix of smaller shrubs and perennials which will look lovely against the green backdrop :blue thumb:

        If you can wait until autumn (November time) then you will be able to get bare root plants which are cheaper.

        The type of plants you buy depends on what floats your boat and what effect you want to create.
         
      • Wac84

        Wac84 Apprentice Gardener

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        Sorry not posted for a few days, but been busy visiting places to generate ideas. After searching i've purchased 10 shrubs, and 5 perennials, and taken a few cuttings, and got some root gel, and decent compost, ive decided not to widen the border, and keep more lawn space for our two children, this is because altho the lawn is long, its also narrow... so got enough to keep me busy for now :-) and hopefully next year it will be looking more colourful, ill keep you all updated, and post any follow on pictures.
         
      • Kristen

        Kristen Under gardener

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        Sounds good!

        Good luck with the cuttings :blue thumb:
         
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