Not enough sun!!

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by AliT, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. AliT

    AliT Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi everyone, I would welcome some design ideas and ideas for little sunlight please.
    I have just moved into my new home and have a tiny little garden with a shed!
    I would like to be able to look out of my back door and see some sanctuary rather than weeds, a dead lawn and a sorry looking shed and fences.
    My garden gets little sunlight and from what I can see in my neighbours garden, everyone has trouble growing a healthy lawn. It never seems to dry out.
    The previous owner did very little and had a little patch of astro turf at the bottom of the garden but the rest of the area is filled with weeds. There are a lot of cats around so I need to do something that won’t encourage the locals to use my garden as a litter box.
    There is a mesh just under the surface of the soil that I assume I can dig through?
    (The property is only 5 years old). But then what?? Stones? Pavers? Pot plants? Level it and cover the whole area with astro turf? I really am struggling for ideas but want it to look lovely!!!
    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to your comments.
     

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    • AliT

      AliT Apprentice Gardener

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      I should add that I have two jobs so am time limited with maintenance!! But would like to have my friends over in the summer for a veggie BBQ! Thank you once again.
       
    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      Your garden facing north east is never going to get a lot of sunshine unfortunately. Is it possible to bring the shed down and onto the side of the patio to take it out of your direct eye line? If you can do that then at least you can make use of the sunshine at the far end of your garden.

      It could be that you have clay soil which saturates with water in wet weather or during the winter months. I don't understand why there is mesh under the surface? Clay soil, if that's what you have, needs help with drainage by digging in sand or gravel or both. But you won't be able to do that unless the mesh is removed.

      There is turf or grass seed available for shade which would be better for your garden but the saturation problem needs to be sorted out first.

      As an alternative you could create a gravel garden that you can plant directly into or have troughs and pots. This would also stop the local cats from using it as their personal convenience and be less time consuming for you to look after. I've attached a link below to give you ideas. :)

      gravel garden images uk - Bing images
       
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      • Sian in Belgium

        Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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        I agree with @Sheal

        Surely, in Ross, you should have red clay soil? Looking at the area that you have weeded, you have a dark loam on the surface, so maybe the mesh is to separate the imported topsoil from the “indigenous” soil underneath....

        If the house is just 5 years old, I would be tempted to contact the builders, to find out how they set up the gardens. Did they put a mesh down? Imported topsoil?

        The grass will prove very reluctant to grow - again, I think I would be heading towards a gravel garden, with features to draw the eye. Maybe a pond (I do like a pond, I does!!), some herbs at the far end of the garden where there is enough sun, along with a seating area. A trellis/pergola to give a little height? Climbers up the fence, to break up the boundary?
        Whilst we all have an idea of a lush green lawn, colourful bedding plants, and roses, many of us simply can’t grow them in our gardens. Rather than battle, and be disheartened by our failures, it is sometimes better to accept that we are going to develop a different garden, more in keeping orientation, and do it well.

        @Sheal’s idea of moving the shed is a good one, as it seems to dominate the area. Do you need a big shed? If not, pop it on the local freecycle, and get a smaller storage unit that could be placed in the darkest corner, where it is less imposing. A soft green or blue woodstain would also help to lessen its impact. In fact, I would be using wood stains to soften the fencing, then putting basic grid-fencing up against the wood, to act as a subtle trellis, to get some greenery going up on it...
         
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        • HarryS

          HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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          As above, I would go for a gravel garden. There are lots of different gravels and some lovely colours, link below for examples. You would need to prepare the area, just google how to. If you need to know how much gravel you need, just put the area of your garden on here and one of us will work it out for you. The gravel supplier would deliver it to your house, as you would need quite a lot.

          Decorative Aggregates – WM Kirby & Sons
           
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          • Victoria

            Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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            The above are good ideas. Gravel and some large pots/planters where you could keep things contained and tidy with minimal maintenance. A few climbers would soften the fence.
             
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