Small and medium suburban gardens in North Yorkshire, UK

Kathy and Laurie are amateur gardeners.  Although Kathy has been the main gardener for many years and has the most plant knowledge, it is only since the beginning of 2007 that we have both been involved in its extended creation.

Our rear garden (much larger than the front one) is more heavily planted, and will be a feature at a later time on this web site.  The main problem area is the front garden.  Sadly we don't have an enormous front garden - approx. 15 feet by 13 feet.  It is Southeast facing and gets the sun for pretty much all of the day until mid afternoon when the house blocks the sun.

This creates the effect of baking the soil, especially during the summer months, making it very dry and powdery and difficult for a lot of plants to thrive.

The soil is a fairly neutral sandy/loam.

At present we only have some dense hedging shrubs of Holly and Pyracantha at the front closest to the road (which we planted when we moved in), and a lawn which is very poor quality.  A golden privet hedge divides our garden from our neighbour.  This was already here when we moved in - it was not our choice of hedging.  There is also an unsightly manhole cover in one corner which needs to be disguised.  We're thinking about using a planter for this purpose, which we can fill with annual plants, and maybe some grasses around the edges of it.  As well as being functional, it will add an extra level of interest to the garden.  The hedges are alive with birds all the time and we wouldn't dream of taking them out now, so we don't really want any more large shrubs filling the space we have left.  Our intention now is to dig up the lawn for more planting.

So as you can see, we have some challenges to get this garden sorted out.

We requested suggestions for drought-tolerant plants from other members of the Ideas Genie Community Forum and we received advice and photographs from Greenfinger and JohnB.  Their advice has greatly influenced our choices of suitable plants.

On the following pages we will be showing the garden as it is now, before we do any preparation work on it.  Then we will show how it develops as the planting takes place, allowing you to be able to share the experience with us.

Hopefully, this will act as an inspiration for other gardeners who have a similar problem that we are faced with and how it can be overcome.

This web site is not finished yet - it is an on-going project that will develop as our garden/s develop.

Enjoy our journey!

Kathy & Laurie.

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