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Planning for spring


By samjp


Hey guys, since the weather has been so cold and miserable I’ve been in planning mode. Some planning for the garden here at my parents (still trying to decide what plants to go for lol) and lots of planning for my OHs front garden. The front garden is considerably tidier than the back, but still something of a mess and very boring:

(Picture taken from the upstairs window)

(Picture taken from the downstairs window)

Anyway I’ve been playing with some ideas for a new design and have come up with this (since I’ve built this using a computer game rather than design programme the dimensions are a bit wrong lol and the planting options were very very limited – hence the 6 million hydrangea bushes (ok a slight exaggeration there lol))

This is an overview of the whole garden. Unfortunately when you zoom out this far in the game all the planting seems to vanish lol, not sure why.

This shows the view from the garden gate. I had intended the path to be a little wider than it appears here, since we have three wheelie bins to take out. Also there is a slope to the garden which I gave up trying to show. The path at the moment has two steps dug into the slope to take you down to the street level. We’re hoping to level it out a little more so there are no steps (easier with the wheelie bins). The big tree (whose name currently escapes my tired brain) is in a bit of an awkward position and may stop us from doing that – so decisions keep tree and change plan or remove tree and keep plan. For a cheap fix for the path I have considered breaking up the existing slabs and laying a path in a crazy paving pattern. OH isn’t keen as he says its too much work though.

This shows the top end of the garden by the house. I’ve tried to incorporate a bit of a secluded area here with somewhere to sit. The idea being it gives us a little more privacy in the house and gives us a private area to sit and enjoy the sun (since its south facing and gets more sun than the back)

Finally this shot essentially shows the view from the house (albeit slightly further forward). I have thought about planting a tree in the centre of the bigger expanse of grass. In the game that looked quite nice, but I think when the plan gets put into action I may find theres no where near as much space as I thought when I built this lol.

I’ve been tried to come up with a design that creates a bit of privacy without obscuring the view of the fields opposite too much. My main issue with the design at the moment is a lack of privacy (as I’m purley relying on plant heights to provide privacy). Also the garden is quite exposed and I was hoping to build in some form of shelter to break up/slow down the wind thus increasing my plant options. The obvious thing is trelis, not sure where or how yet. Any suggestions greatly appreciated :)

Got a fair way to go yet, but I now feel like I have something to start with (and convince my OH to go along with lol). I’m thinking of starting digging things up beginning of February and start working on prepping for lawn seed, can’t wait lol.

In the meantime I’ve got lots of things to be planting this weekend. My Lilly bulbs arrived early (well earlier than expected) and are sprouting in their bags, hmm better get those planted quick :) I’ve also still got my sweet peas to plant :S been meaning to plant them them for ages, just haven’t had time. With any luck I can convince my dad to help me put my plant house up as well, so I can actually move the plants out of my bedroom lol. Fingers crossed for good weather (for once) so I can actually get it all done eh!

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thats a great idea, like the lawn shape

what game have you managed to design it on?

26 Jan, 2012


looks great - do love whatever programme you have done this with

27 Jan, 2012


Hi Sam... excellent ..
.. but 6 million hydrangeas ?

... might be just a few too many ;o) Lol.

Have you thought of adding an overview which shows North, South, East and West... ? ...would help indicate where the sun will be at different times of day..

You could make several overview pictures , with sunshine and shade added to the plans... to show where sun and shade might be on your grass and plants ...

27 Jan, 2012


It looks as if it may be one of "The Sims" game. Am I right?

27 Jan, 2012


Having said I would keep the tree by the gate on another of your photos I can now see you are keeping it, I am glad as I think it will attract birds to your garden and give height interest.
While I love the colour and the welcoming entrance I do have concerns that after a few weeks the colour will be gone till next year as I see no evidence of all year round interest planting and lack of height in planting makes everything viewable at once with no surprises or private areas! I think I would want to add an L shaped pergola or trellis with seating on one side of it.

27 Jan, 2012


Well I'm confused - the dimensions in the photographs look much different from the dimensions in your 'drawings'. What exactly is the width and length of the garden, and do the photographs show the front garden, the same as the plan?

27 Jan, 2012


Thanks guys, Alex good guess yes designed using Sims3 so not the easiest to get dimensions right. Also very very limited planting options lol.

Lol Terra yep a fair few too many. To be honest I'm not sure I would actually plant any hydrageas. When I say limited planting options in the game I really mean it, I think there are only about 6 different plants lol. Thanks for the idea I'll give it a go see if the game will let me do that.

Denise, I definately want to keep the tree. Its a fabulous silver birch (not so tired brain remembers the name now lol). The only issue is the location and whether we can alter the path around it. If we end up taking it out I think a new tree of some sort shape size or description will be brought in to replace it. Really hope we can keep the silver birch though. The planting shown in the images was simply to give an idea of how it could (in a magical world) look. If I could get it to look even half that I will be really please. Unfortunately the game doesn't provide the options to plan the planting out. When it comes to the actual planting I am planning on using mixed planting in the borders, aiming for year round interest. I like the pergola idea though, were you thinking about using it in a different area from the bench by the house?

Bamboo yes the dimensions are wrong in the plans, I guessed it. Because its designed in the Sims game theres no way (that I know of) of inputing actual dimensions into the drawing, so its pure guess work. To make matters worse I designed it away from my OHs lol. The overall shape of the garden shown in the plans is right, but sizes are a bit out. I'm not sure what the actual dimensions are of the garden. Yes the photos show the same area as in the plans (well in theory lol). I only have those pictures though at the moment. Since we enter and leave the house via the back garden I don't get out the front very often to take pictures.

27 Jan, 2012


It looks much narrower than in your drawings - which means your drawings won't be much use ... measure the area and translate it onto squared paper, allocating a metre or foot to each square.

27 Jan, 2012


Bamboo the drawings weren't meant to be anything more than a general idea; its the computer aided version of a very rough pencil sketch (but since I can't draw for toffee it works better on computer lol). I'll use the images to give my OH a basic idea of what I'm thinking and if he agrees, I'll see about drawing up a more formal to scale plan.

Drafting ideas out like that help me to formulate ideas. I'm not generally the most creative of people, and find I work better when I can physically see the idea (even when its as out of proportion as that was lol). I also find that when my OH and I try to discuss ideas like this we don't explain very well and tend to misunderstand each other. It will be much easier to explain to him if I can show him an image.

With those images I've got a general idea of what I'd like to translate into the actual garden (in terms of the general shape of the path and the general shapes of the borders. What I'm looking for at the moment are for some general ideas of ways to build in a little more privacy (I'm thinking trellis and obliques maybe, maybe an arch or two?) and methods for breaking up the strong winds which roll in off the fields. I'm hoping that if I can build in some additional shelter it will expand my planting options and given my plants (when they eventually go in the ground) a better chance of survival.

27 Jan, 2012


I understand why you've done it - but I made this mistake myself in my early days of attempting planning and redesign. I discovered fairly quickly that its critical to have any plans absolutely to scale - an extra foot of ground missing compared to the ideas and plans can change everything, and make lots of things impossible, particularly where space is limited. It is very pleasurable though, redesigning a space which isn't to scale - you can do anything you like on it, lol!

28 Jan, 2012


It must be exciting to do that on the computer. I hope it works out well :o)

28 Jan, 2012


Good point Denise, I already know I've got things in the wrong place (like the gate is a little too far over and the Silver Birch is too far forward, or was it backwards lol). Could be a bit of replanning in my future :) As you said, its good fun playing with designs, particularly when space is no issue :)))

Thanks Hywel, so do I :))

2 Feb, 2012


I'm just wondering who Denise is...

3 Feb, 2012


Me - Bamboo

3 Feb, 2012


Ah, well I know you're Denise, but what I failed to notice was your contribution higher up - couldn't understand why Denise would be mentioned without your posting on this thread! Braindead today...

3 Feb, 2012



3 Feb, 2012


Lol oops sorry sorry Bamboo, no idea why I put Denise I've obviously lost the plot :)

4 Feb, 2012


Ah hah! Do I take it, Samjp, you meant Bamboo and not Denise - that you'd got our predominantly pink avatars mixed up? It's only when you see the avatars together that its obvious they're quite different - must be something to do with pink - I've been mixed up with other people who've had pink avatars before...

4 Feb, 2012


*hangs head in shame* umm yes miss.

Lol what can I say I've lost the plot completely. Its not the first time I've got people mixed up. I regularly call my brother by my cousins name and vice versa lol. I think your right its the pink (in this case not with my brother and cousin lol).

4 Feb, 2012


Ah your reply makes more sense now Samip

4 Feb, 2012


LOL! I like the 'yes miss'... it's an easy mistake to make, Samjp, and you're certainly not the first to make it, and I doubt very much you'll be the last...

5 Feb, 2012


Lol glad I've cleared the murk a little Densie.

Glad you enjoyed my response Bamboo (see I can get it right occasionally lol).

5 Feb, 2012


I took a photo from the bedroom window of our garden then printed it out and covered it with a plastic folder, then drew diferent shapes over it with a dry wipe pen 'til I was happy with the overall shape of the borders and lawn. Not as much fun as doing a computerised drawing I suppose but it worked Ok for the basics.

27 May, 2012


Hi Homebird, thanks for the idea thats inspired. Will have to give it a go. I only issue I have is the garden is quite long and always appears very narrow towards the end in photos. Still definately worth a go.

3 Jun, 2012

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