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By Fairies

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi,I am after all you experts to give me some advise, we have bought a bungalow to renovate with a sloping garden that is about 150ft by 35ft and goes down to a canal that they have just started clearing. It was so overgrown that we have had it completely cleared so have a blank canvas, the trouble is it is now very daunting where do you start??? help.

It is south facing!




this would be much easier if you joined properly, Guest - you can't answer any questions we might have, we can't track back to your original question if you post another one. That said, any chance of a photograph of the area, and if not, which way does it face (north, south) surrounded by trees? Lawn present?

28 Jul, 2010


You need to sort out what you want to have in the garden and work from there. Get a garden design book or two out of your local library and sit and think - on the doorstep, sitting in the middle looking in each direction, at the end of the garden looking back up to the house... It takes time and consideration to see what you can make into a feature, what you want to disguise, how to break up or zone the plot.

28 Jul, 2010


Another important point is what type of soil you have there - is it acid or alkaline? One way of finding out is to look at what your neighbours are growing - if they have rhododendrons, pieris and camellias, it's likely to be acid. If you can't tell, then you can buy a soil-testing kit very cheaply from a Garden Centre.

28 Jul, 2010


But above all else follow Bamboo's advice and join GoY - it is free, no one will send you junk e-mails (no one will know your e-mail!). Once you've joined we can hold proper discussions not just one sided info

Beattie I hate to tell you but we do all our landscaping on instinct... Bulba has recently created a new garden area in what used to be parking for our 2nd car (we only need one now). We stood and talked about how it 'might' appear, B started, we decided it wasn't quite right so he changed slightly. I gave suggestions and ideas. It is now sitting and 'settling' for a while before we will plant. Yes this is a whole garden Guest is talking about but it can be tackled a piece at a time. 20 years ago we had 2 small flower beds and a huge lawn. Now we have umpteen flower beds and no lawn meandering paths everywhere and more trees than we probably should have - lol

28 Jul, 2010


Moongrower I totally agree with you. I'm making a garden out of a series of gorse and bramble patches. I find you need to assess the area, sit around in it and think about it, but garden design books give you ideas about what you want, or don't want. You've had loads of experience of having your own garden and looking at others so you have a feel for it which is where the instinct comes from. Without that experience you have to start somewhere, and some books from the library come cheap! :-)

28 Jul, 2010


Yes you are right Beattie - I often forget that himself and I have been gardening one way and another for over a century between us! Things that we just 'do' as being obvious are not to new gardeners/growers... just slap my wrist if needed!

28 Jul, 2010


LOL No wrist slap needed! :-) just keep on letting us all have the benefit of your century.

28 Jul, 2010


We will Beattie, we will and, hopefully for many years to come :-)

28 Jul, 2010


Hallo Fairies - what a wonderful site to start making a garden! You just MUST keep the view you have - so focus on that as a start. I'd put a seating area at the top - a patio - with lots of planted containers, so you can sit out and enjoy your view. I always think that starting from the house and working down is a good plan, as you can sit and look at your progress...or see it out of the window!

Think about a lawn in the middle, with curving borders each side, and trellises on those fences to grow climbers. Keep the planting at the end of the garden low if you put any there.

Any paths should also be curved - not straight down the middle. please!!! - with a focal point to look at on the way - such as an interesting tree/shrub, or even something like a birdbath or a sundial, which can be very attractive features. I envy you the planning - that's half the fun. Make a list of all the plants/trees/shrubs you want in your garden, and then draw a plan out roughly to see if it works. Do please keep us in the picture of what you do decide to do.

Welcome to GOY - glad you decided to join us! :-))

2 Aug, 2010


Welcome Fairies. I sort of agree with spritzhenry, but my advice is simple to start with, and this is what I always ask clients when asked to do a redesign. What do you want to use your garden for? Here's the list: 1. Sunbathing? 2. Hanging out washing? 3. Eating/barbecueing? 4. Young children, if so, sandpit, play area, swing, etc? 5. Bin storage? 6. Compost area? 7. Water butt? 8.Lawn or various hard surfacing? 9. Lots of plants, or low maintenance?
Once you've decided what you want to use the area for by answering those questions, then its time to decide where and how to fit everything in. And then the fun starts - choosing the layout and plants. If you're not good at drawing, take loads of photographs and draw on them what you think you might like, otherwise make a to scale plan and sketch things in in various areas, also to scale - in pencil, so you can rub it out and change it.
Then, when you want to decide on plants, ask again. One tip I will give you though - if you want a terraced area for eating/barbecuing with a table and chairs big enough to eat at, don't make that area anything less than 10 feet squared, 12 feet square for preference - it'll look large when you do it, but it isn't when you start using it.

2 Aug, 2010

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