New to gardening

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Scotsco, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Scotsco

    Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello all,

    My name is Tom and me and my partner Sophie, have just brought our first home together. We have a respectable size garden of 37.4 feet long by 18 feet wide. Not monstrous but enough. Our situation is it's a brand new build.... so it is currently just a quite flat (slopes 1 foot front to back) square of dirt.

    My mom has a beautiful mature garden. And I have asked her for advice, but she inherited the garden of the previous owners and just maintains it really.... she doesnt have much knowledge (self admitted). Anyway I love her garden and I will have to take photos for you all.... it's my favourite thing about going to moms sitting in the garden. I have created a plan attached of what is want the layout to be as a rough idea.

    What I'd like help with is choosing suitable plants as I am really a little clueless.... as well as may when be the best time to plant them. I'm looking for a garden that flowers may till late September preferably. Which is low to moderate maintenance. On the sketch attached I'd like to start with the patio, lawn, shed and flower bed 1. This year/ next year. And then created the other beds as I can (funds arent unlimited, as it's our first house) Any help you are willing to give will go a long way.

    Thank you

    Tom
     

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  2. CanadianLori

    CanadianLori Total Gardener

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    Welcome to the forum! There are lots nere who are practically neighbours to you and will be super helpful in helping select plants and placement that work for your location :)
     
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    • Scotsco

      Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for the reply. Is there a way I can search for local members? I hopefully can look through some of their posts to see what they are doing... guessing soil conditions will be similar? Not sure how much that type of stuff changes and within what type of distances? :)
       
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      • lolimac

        lolimac Total Gardener

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        Ellooo @Scotsco and welcome to Gc...:thumbsup:

        Just a few bit's and bobs to start with....
        How much sun and shade do you get and how's your soil?being a new build I assume you'll need lots of goodness digging into the soil (manure)..What plants do you like?
        Looking forward to seeing how your new garden comes together and you'll not be short of help and Ideas on Gardeners Corner:thumbsup:
         
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        • Scotsco

          Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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          It is full sun on the evening after work not a single shadow pretty much. Tbh I know nothing about soil. Its definitely not clay.... its crumbly and dried quickly. Quite a fair few stones/ small pebbles.
           
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          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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            Do you have any lawn already laid or is the green future turf? If not, that might be a good place to start so that you've got a place to sit and ponder what you want to do.

            Lots of the folks here have beautiful borders and I believe most of us started with instant colour (annuals) and then gradually adding perennials that blossom at different times of the warm seasons.

            You also have lots of plants that are considered perennials there but only annuals in my cold climate so there's lots of great choices for you :)
             
          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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            Forgot to ask @Scotsco , which software did you use to create your pdf? Looks good :)
             
          • Scotsco

            Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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            We have no turf down yet.... just a rectangular weed patch. Only had the keys 3 weeks.

            And the pdf... I'm a professional draughtsman. I mainly design parts for automotive uses. But that was a 3 minute sketch on my morning break. I use solid edge. The 2d version is free if you'd like a go... 3d package is stupid money though £9000 and then £2500 a year there after. But for sketches like that the free version is all you need :)
             
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            • noisette47

              noisette47 Total Gardener

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              Hello Tom, :sign0016:, Just a thought, but in the interests of good design, and making mowing easier, what about rounding off the corners of the future lawn? That will also give you a bit of depth to play with when you come to plant the borders. It could end up looking a bit 'regimented' otherwise? Basic principle for planning a good-looking garden is 1/3 deciduous plants and shrubs to 2/3 evergreens. And in a small space, plant for foliage effect first, with the flowers as a bonus. If you want to be flash, you can also play with height, shape and colour co-ordination :biggrin:
              It would be worth doing a simple soil test to see whether you've got acid, alkaline or neutral soil. That will decide which plants will grow well. Then the other factors are sun/shade, microclimate and moisture. Once we know what the soil is like, the recommendations for shrubs, perennials and bulbs will come flooding in :)
               
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              • Scotsco

                Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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                How do you test soil? Can you just take it to a garden centre? Or do you test yourself?
                 
              • noisette47

                noisette47 Total Gardener

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                Garden centres and probably DIY sheds sell soil test kits. They're pretty basic, but will give some idea. The classic advice is look at the neighbours' gardens to see what's growing well there, but if they're all new-builds too, that's not much help! Also, take into account buried building rubble. Hopefully your constructors left the ground clean and healthy, so all you'll need to do is add some organic matter. Mulching is also a good way to add that slowly, as well as retaining moisture.
                 
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                • Scotsco

                  Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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                  There is not a load of building debris in all honesty I've tried forking some of the ground up and all I've found is the odd chipped off brick... no more than a 1/8th of the size of an intact brick. So they have left it fairly clean.

                  Do all the bits of brick and stone ideally require removing? I'm guessing for the lawned area just the top 4 inches would be fine? As I'm guessing grass does not root too deeply.
                   
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                  • andrews

                    andrews Super Gardener

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                    Just to echo lolimacs comment. Get loads of manure dug into the areas where you plan to have the borders and lawn.
                    Dig as many of the larger stones out as you can in this area before you start planting - it will make future planting so much easier.
                    A thought on your patio. With this being fairly north facing, will you get sun when you want to sit outside ? Would your patio get more sun at the end of the garden ?
                     
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                    • Scotsco

                      Scotsco Apprentice Gardener

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                      Not sure if I've been a total twonk and labelled the compass wrong.... but the sun definitely shines where ive drawn the patio well into the evening.
                       
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                      • noisette47

                        noisette47 Total Gardener

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                        Looks right to me...the patio is south-facing. So shade-loving plants and climbers near the shed.
                         
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