When we moved in here a year ago, the garden was a landing strip of grass, a blank canvas. Although I have to say the grass was more weed in content, so not really worth keeping! After a year of contemplation, I have been gradually dividing the garden up in my mind into the kind of space I could really enjoy. As I have a family I have to take them into consideration of course, so areas have been thought out for the children too.
My main aim at the moment is just to break up the space and work in a little privacy as we are a bit exposed. I’m also keen to grow a variety of plants, from traditional cottage garden to natural species you would find by the coast (as we are a stones throw from the beach) On the left side of the garden is a light loam, well drained while the other to the right is heavy clay so I have to take this into account.
I’m keen to have an area that mimics the beach foreshore, with brick paths and gravel/shingle beds holding grasses and succulents. You can see my Pinterest board for a clearer idea of the planting. I think this would feel quite mediterranean when we finally get the weather to match! I have to say I’m quite confused how to plant at the moment as a few years ago all the advise was to switch to drought resistant plants, but after this year who knows!
I have already done some of the ‘hard planting’ for this area, including a fig tree, and a magnolia stellata. Beyond this coastal chillout zone, I think I will plant a yew hedge, which will have a wavey silhouette. Behind this would be some ornamental trees (prunus chocolate ice, my silver birch and my new catalpa aurea bignonioides (indian bean tree) which would be underplanted with grasses, prairie meadow plants and shrubs. This middle zone would lead you through to the patch of lawn for the children, and vegetable patch at the bottom.
So there is my initial plan which I have been formulating for the past year. I’m not sure how long it will take to implement as there is quite a bit of hard landscaping to be done. I have already planted many of the trees, shrubs and climbers as I wanted them to get established quickly, I just need to fill in the patches!
I’m still trying to decide which will be my next step towards this garden, I think at the moment it may be the yew hedge…