The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

The Cottage Border Diaries


Today – the day I commit to the front garden. It’ll be a tense love-pentagon, with jealousy from my other loves: lolling with daughter, belly-dancing, wood carving, and experimental cooking disasters.

First I need to make a design – how do you do that? Will the internet come to the rescue again?

This site seems so friendly and helpful I can see myself spending too much time on here chatting, but I do want to get the basics right. We’ve been in the house three years, but I was ill for the first year, then we had huge building work done on the house, meaning the front was covered by skips and rubbish for whole year. Next, I got the back garden partly sorted – just put some raised beds in so we could have some fresh veggies – now it’s time to tackle the front… Never had to do real gardening with FLOWERS before – help!

I’ll post some photos soon, I hope.

More blog posts by fairweathergrower

Next post: thanks, guys!



Welcome to GoY.
The members are friendly and you can usually find answers to any types of problem you might have with your garden or plants. Sorry to read you were ill for so long. Good that you feel ready to tackle your new design with enthusiasm ! LOL.

It is much easier for members to help you when you add photos of your garden But please don't feel pressured. Just include some pictures when you are ready. :o)

How did Christmas go. ? Cooking disasters or triumphs ???

27 Dec, 2008


Hi fairweathergrower - a welcome from me too. Well, the first thing we need to know to help you is: where in the UK are you? Secondly, which direction does the garden face and thirdly, what kind of soil have you got now - you mentioned builders' rubble and , but have you got acid or alkaline soil? You may already know the answer if you have been working in the back. If not, take a look at neighbours' gardens and see if they grow rhododendrons, camellias and pieris for example That usually indicates acid soil - it's a clue!

My next thought for you is to say - make a list of what kind of shrubs and plants you'd like. Ask for suggestions on GOY if you need to, we are always happy to come up with ideas! Also do some browsing in GOY gardens - that will help you to decide what you'd like in yours. Then draw your plan on a large piece of paper. It doesn't need to be fancy or anything, just to give you an idea of what your chosen plants would look like and how many you'd need.

If your soil needs attention after the builders left, you'll have to deal with that before you can plant anything, or your plants will be doomed. I reckon we need a bit more information here - then all systems GO!

Good luck with phase 1 - don't forget that you'll get lots of help from members, but you'll have to ask!

27 Dec, 2008


Hi, Welcome to GOY.
If you're like the rest of us you'll be spending a lot of time here. Mind you don't put anything on to cook while you're looking because you may not realise the time has gone until it's burnt - like me and several others.!

I'd love to see some photos of your garden before and after the work. Good luck .

27 Dec, 2008


Hywel you ae so right, time does fly when you are on here, but i love every min of it, anywaywelcome to GOY. hope you enjoy being with us all.

27 Dec, 2008


Hywel wrote about his dinner getting burnt when he was on GoY. LOL

The other day, in the kitchen, I had half-loaded the washing machine. Then I was side-tracked by GoY on the laptop in my studio. I left the washing machine door open, and was gone from kitchen for about 20 minutes.

I returned to find Conker my Sheltie had started UNloading the washing machine. Had taken some of my clothes OUT. He decided the washing had been in the machine so long it must be clean by now. :o)

Fairweathergrower ~ Were you expecting such a variety of comments ? LOL

27 Dec, 2008


Have a look at Treesandthings - he's done a good job on his front garden. Also Muddywellies would be worth a chat.

27 Dec, 2008


Yes, and DrBob1 is very knowledgeable.
You'll get lots of help. :o)

27 Dec, 2008


hi, welcome from me too to GOY .
my front garden is my project for next yr, it has been badly neglected for the last few yrs, i cleared it all out during the summer and autumn. i know what i want out there just not sure how it will turn out lol. going for cottage garden look.

27 Dec, 2008


Hello Fairweathergrower. Welcome to GOY. There are a lot of very knowledgable gardeners on here (myself NOT included) and everyone is very friendly.
I have soil like yours......lots of clay. Slimey mud in the spring, like concrete in the summer. LOL.
My dinner has been delayed and yes, even rather overdone, by my addiction to GOY, so watch out.!! Words of wisdom......when you smell the smoke, go and check on dinner...!!! LOL :o)

28 Dec, 2008


Hello there, yes as everyone has said i am sure we can all give you plenty of ideas and insparation, and no doubt a few laughs along the way. and much needed info. the advice Spritz has given is spot on, but to be honest, i have never been very good at planning things, i kind of start by doing bit by bit, obviously sorting out your soil, and working out what plants you can grow before you start planting is essential to sucess, but i am very much a see, like, do gardener. and if i make a mistake i go back and change it, i never draw out plans, but then i gues that would depend on the size of the garden that you are planning, mine is not that big, My back garden was an overground waste land with building rubble and all sorts when i moved in 2 years ago, and it is still a work in progress, but i find that i like so many plants and i am always finding new ones that i simply must have lol that i often change my mind about what plants i want and in which combinations, which means it's always changing. my gardening style is not at all proffessional lol, but i find that the garden files on GOY have been extremely useful with organising and keeping tack of everything going on out there, as well as the advice and insparation, and some great friends So lets just say you are in the right place lol.

28 Dec, 2008


FWG - if you look at the bottom of the page on GOY, you will find a link to planting guides.There are already a few plants listed for clay soils but if you'd like to send me a message and tell me whether your front garden is sunny or shady, I can send you a list of some more.

29 Dec, 2008

Add a comment

Recent posts by fairweathergrower

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    31 Jan, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008