What would you do with this front garden?!
lisbeth55
April 12, 2014
I want it to be cozy and inviting. Unhelpfully under the stones there is only a few inches of dirt before hitting stone - has anyone had a similar issue? I would love something colourful and winding, and as we are in London English garden style (so low maintenance!)
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apple_pie_order
How big is the space? Can you use window boxes?
    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 7:30AM
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lisbeth55
It's not very big, you mean put window boxes on the ground?
    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 7:58AM
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
Recommend a shelter or at least box for the trash/recycle bins, then potted plants. Hydrangea, rhodos, azalea, timed for colour throughout the season.
    Bookmark   Thanked by lisbeth55    April 12, 2014 at 8:07AM
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apple_pie_order
Some areas will permit window boxes to be mounted on railings. You can also use containers on the ground, as Garden Oaks suggested above. I am puzzled, though, there are healthy shrubs growing just fine in what must be deeper soil. Perhaps along the boundaries there is deeper dirt to plant in. Try probing with a shovel in various areas, like an archeologist would.
    Bookmark   Thanked by lisbeth55    April 12, 2014 at 8:23AM
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rosecottagehome
Couldn't resist attaching this formal tight little garden plan. Center piece could be flower urn like pictured or bird bath or small fountain feature. The triangular sections holds the flowers. You would have to remove stones and before digging what little earth you have, call to find cables, then if OK, add soil and mulch. This is for the enthusiast of the formal garden. Hover over to expand picture.

2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by lisbeth55    April 12, 2014 at 8:40AM
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lisbeth55
That's so pretty! I don't think we could maintain anything that fancy but the center piece is a great idea - maybe a bird bath/feeder. Cheers!
    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 4:44AM
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lisbeth55
apple-pie-order Yeah I agree about it being odd about the corner shrub - all I can figure is some serious digging was done because the rest of it is definitely solid rock. I think covering the bins, and a window box may be the best option...
    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 4:47AM
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lisbeth55
One last thing to add, saw this wisteria around the corner and love it! Has anyone planted wisteria - is it difficult to look after?
1 Like    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 4:52AM
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
We've grown a beautiful wisteria (from seed). Pruning is about all it takes, and you can be quite severe in doing so to train the vine. Early blooming clematis on part of a trellis leading to the later blooming wisteria at the other end makes for a great seasonal show.
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by lisbeth55    April 13, 2014 at 7:13AM
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lisbeth55
Oh fantastic, that sounds really pretty. We'd love to see pictures if you have any. How long did it take to grow enough to bloom? Pruning aside, is it hard-wearing?
    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 7:19AM
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
Some photos attached, but I'm afraid this is in a part of the garden not featured in last year's Victoria Hospice Society tour--so the professional photographer did not capture this feature (therefore, not great photos). One shows the trellis seen in the distance under an umbrella ... another shows some clematis blooms, but not the wisteria in bloom :-( The trash can drawer, btw, slides under a stairway to keep bins out of sight--except in this photo! A third image shows the trellis with the clematis and wisteria at opposite ends. Hope there is some inspiration.

My partner planted 6 seeds, three "took" and the first blooms were in year three. Along the way, severe pruning (leaving only one or two branches) forces the plant to lengthen in the direction you choose. Now, some ten years later, it is laden with blooms in a canopy at the top of 10' trellis along a garden pathway separating two properties.
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by lisbeth55    April 13, 2014 at 8:03AM
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apple_pie_order
Whoa. Impressive garden!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:09AM
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rosecottagehome
Garden Oaks stunning gardens! Thanks for sharing your photos of them.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:20AM
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
Hey, thanks (very proud to have helped to raise 11,000 in a one day charity garden tour last year). These photos don't really do the grounds justice.

In the photo with the umbrella, you can see how the wisteria was pruned hard to force the growth of the canopy above...
1 Like    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:27AM
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apple_pie_order
Do you have a link to the professional photos of the garden?
    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:28AM
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
Apple-pie-order...I have not uploaded them as yet - perhaps I should create an album on my Houzz profile (which needs a little development in any case)
3 Likes    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:01AM
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apple_pie_order
@Garden Oaks: make sure you have the copyright for the professional photos, or ask the photographer for permission to upload, after reading the Houzz terms of service. Or just add a link to your profile.
    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:50AM
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lisbeth55
Garden oaks - really love your garden! It's so charming and very close to what we would like to go for! Thanks so much for sharing
    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:54AM
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John James O'Brien - Design for Inspired Living
No worries, Apple-pie- permission was part of the deal ;-) Thanks lisbeth - spent the afternoon enjoying tulips and more--generally wallowing in an unproductive but thoroughly enjoyable day!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 5:09PM
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