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Help! sorting out a friends garden

Ayrshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have been given the delightful task of going to Honfleur( In northern France nr L'havre) to help sort out a friends garden . She has been unable to look after it since late last year, as she had a horrendous car accident.She is now back on her feet.
She wants a low maintenance garden. It is north /east facing and drops twice by approx 20ft. I would appreciate suggestions of any kind; but mostly what plants would suit and thrive in anarea such as this !
The first photographshows the roof of her house at the top left hand. The garden is approached by crossing a cobbled street opposite the house and through an old wooden door in a high wall. You are then cofronted by about 20 old stone steps down to the first level.

Copy_of_new_year_2011_honfleur_081 Copy_of_new_year_2011_honfleur_082 Copy_of_new_year_2011_honfleur_084



I'm afraid I haven't enough knowledge/experience to advise you, but I had to comment on such a striking garden. What a beautiful place! I'm sure you'll have a lovely time in Honfleur!

31 Jul, 2012


Oh my, wish I had enough knowledge to be able to help too - sorry :(
What a fabulous place it looks though! My only suggestion and please bear in mind it's only a suggestion but you simply must have some pots going on down those steps but then would pots be considered low maintenence?
I really do hope that someone has some suggestions for you.

31 Jul, 2012


It looks rather beautiful as it is. For colour, I think the old favourite - Parthenocissus quinquefolia (various varities to choose from, and it is hardy.) - Good old Virginia creeper. If it can be trained to the wall on the left (in first pic).

The water needs a few stalks from Iris pseudoacorus and perhaps Iris siberica; And maybe a colourful lilly..?

At the base of the stairs in a big pot perhaps a column of that evergreen... And I forget its name. The one beloved of Italian Gardens?

Above all keep it simple; Enhance what is there, and add colour at key points.

Lucky to have the mission. :)

1 Aug, 2012


Sorry, can't help, but what a beautiful place!

1 Aug, 2012


a lovely garden! i personally would have the ivy that turns red (cant remember the proper name!) trailing down the railings of the stairs, but like with the others im not experienced enough to help properly but the ivy is something i would personally do! maybe add some garden mirrors on the wall behind the pond, arch shaped ones and pot plants would be best. hope it helps! oo and maybe some pots of lavender and bear in mind the colours of plants you do end up choosing.

1 Aug, 2012


Pots of geraniums and lavenders a must.Kitchen herbs.

Wow this is amazing and a great priviledge to be able to transform.

And a seat to sit and admire .

A Mirror is a must and if possible a picture on the wall would look fantastic.

1 Aug, 2012


Thanks all for your comments and advise. Very helpful, I've been taking notes and pouring through my gardening books. I will be going to Honfleur at the beginning of Sept, so plenty of time for more ideas.
Although the first photo doesn't show them, there are 2 flights of stone steps; one coming down from the top wall and the one shown. Sadly i have no photo of the top area but it does have some apple trees and quite a variety of plants; but totaly overgrown. I'll have to try and rescue some of them.

1 Aug, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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