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Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:49 pm
by Norwich Max
This year I am looking to sort out the structure of my garden. It is just over 18m from the back of the house to the bottom and 19m at its widest point. The garden is on a hill that has basically been made into three terraces. It is south facing and is surrounded by trees at the bottom. This makes the bottom section fairly shady.

My aims with the plan are:

1) To make an interesting walk around the garden
2) To create a "view" from the studio/ summerhouse (when I get around to building it)
3) To create areas that you will discover as you walk around.

I will be completing the work myself so am looking at the basic structure at the moment so that I can work on one area at a time but have a bigger picture in my mind.

The area I am having different thoughts about is the right hand side of the plan where my neighbors house (which is set back further than our house and is slightly higher up) feels like it really overlooks us.

I have first included some shots from the summer to give you an impression of what is what.

View from upstairs
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View looking towards neighbors house
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View down garden from right hand side
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View across garden from right hand side
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Next is the grand plan- what are your thoughts?
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I have started marking it out and removing some of the concrete paths

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Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:10 pm
by doncasterpalmguy123
Looks great already my friend! Cant wait to see how it looks when completed!

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:22 pm
by Kristen
I think it looks great, and particularly like the stones marking out the proposed beds - much more "visible" than using a hose like I do!!

I have a few thoughts - bin them if not suitable!

The slope would provide height to any planting when looking up-the-hill, so provides an opportunity. I wonder if something could be planted along the top of the retaining wall (the lowest one) to provide dramatic height. Something that leant over the lower part for example. If something was also planted at the foot of the retaining wall the two could provide "jungle" and significant height, without the need for particularly tall plants.

I then wondered if the path that sweeps round to East, just above retaining wall, could then have a ramp down to the lower level (at the East end) so that your walk was "down hill", and then included the lowest level, culminating at the West side - so it would become an S shaped path / walk. To save you walking back up the way you had come (you could of course :) ) you could then have a narrow set of steps / steel path up the West side to get you back to the top, perhaps winding through dense planting. It needs to be narrow to not take up too much width, and would need immediate dense planting so as not to be able to see through to the main garden - although you might leave viewing portals to get glimpses through. Might make an interesting route for the kids to hide and escape etc. and for anyone taking a tour of the garden - assuming you do that when people come to look at your garden. Might also need less "puff" to come straight up a steep path / steps than winding back up the main sloping path - if you were carrying a tray of food / drink to/from the bottom part of the garden.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:30 pm
by Norwich Max
A really good idea about the planting on the retaining wall, I was wondering this myself the other day. In terms of two sets of ways up from the bottom, this was the case before but I didn't tend to use it much. I will have another think about it now. I really appreciate your ideas- keep them coming.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:57 pm
by fern Rob
Your garden looks great with the mature trees.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:20 am
by Norwich Max
I know what you are thinking- plenty of fern opportunities. Don't worry, I will be on the case.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:42 pm
by Kristen
Norwich Max wrote:I know what you are thinking- plenty of fern opportunities.
I thought how restrained Rob was being NOT saying that !!!

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:51 pm
by Blairs
"The area I am having different thoughts about is the right hand side of the plan where my neighbors house (which is set back further than our house and is slightly higher up) feels like it really overlooks us."

Can you put in 1 metre tall raised beds? I would plant loads of Bamboo, Birch and Eucalyptus to screen them out.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:42 pm
by Norwich Max
I am not sure about growing trees very near to her house. There are also drains near by. In terms of bamboo this is something I have been considering. It would again be a case of working out a neat way of doing it without having to worry about bamboo popping up next door. A raised bed would solve this but might need a lot of watering.

Again this is something that I will have another think about. Thanks for your thoughts.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:55 pm
by Kristen
Norwich Max wrote:In terms of bamboo this is something I have been considering. It would again be a case of working out a neat way of doing it without having to worry about bamboo popping up next door.
You can get root barrier sheeting for Bamboo. Not cheap though. Perhaps couple that with Clumping, rather than Running, varieties.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:16 am
by fern Rob
Kristen wrote:
Norwich Max wrote:I know what you are thinking- plenty of fern opportunities.
I thought how restrained Rob was being NOT saying that !!!
It didn't cross my mind funnily enough :lol:

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:16 am
by bordersboy
Pond with waterfall ? Gunnera and well shaped Acer or treefern planted at side too? With all those trees around youll need a net cover.Position it near the house so it can be seen.A common mistake is putting them at the bottom of a garden too far away resulting in neglect.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:21 am
by fern Rob
bordersboy wrote:Pond with waterfall ? Gunnera and well shaped Acer or treefern planted at side too? With all those trees around youll need a net cover.Position it near the house so it can be seen.A common mistake is putting them at the bottom of a garden too far away resulting in neglect.
I have never thought about that but you are right people do put ponds out of the way at the bottom of the garden and neglect them. I think a big pond would look great, a small tree fern island in the middle or a peninsula.

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:25 am
by bordersboy
Its odd innit ? Mine is by the house 30x15.Say hello to my icon_fish

Re: Garden Planning Ideas

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:28 am
by Tom2006
Looks good now. Impressive plans and huge scope to do almost anything. My advice would be to stick to your final plan and take your time. Get the key large plants in pond etc and then over the next few years you can add to it.