Garden design (for new tree or new flower beds??)

Scarlett001July 28, 2014

Recently my kitty passed on and to show my love for him, I want to either (i) plant a new tree; or (ii) upgrade his favourite corner of the garden where we used to sit under the apple tree together on his supervised garden visits. The flowers under the apple tree were in the spot where he used to sleep under the apple tree - I put them there after he passed on.

I live in Calgary Canada where we have short summers so tbh even though I love perennial beds and cottage gardens, it is difficult to achieve much so I've done way more work on the interior of my home than my garden. The garden is small as in the photo, with thin strips of garden on either side of the deck but most of the garden is shown in the photo. The back fence is south facing. My garden is super boring really, and it might be nice for it to look less like a suburban patch of grass and more cottagey-casual if at all possible on a limited budget.

My questions:

1) If I were to plant a tree, I am just not sure where I would put it so that it looks suitable from a design perspective. Sadly I might remove that lilac tree in the right corner as its shooters are aggressive and have taken over the flower bed. If I do that, I am unsure design-wise where I might plant that tree so that it would look suitable. In the photo you can see the deck and there is a thin strip of garden on either side of the deck but that is it. A small garden. Where would you suggest planting a possible tree?? I was thinking of a flower crabapple, so it would be a bit bigger at mature height than my small-ish apple tree on the left will be.

(ii) If I add in some new flowerbed(s) in the right corner (maybe with gravel paths), what kinds of ideas does anyone have for that??

Thank you for suggestions/ideas. :)

This post was edited by Scarlett001 on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 18:07

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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

I would be inclined to agree about removing the lilac, and replacing it with a tree and a flower bed. Not being a lawn person, I dig up grass all the time to extend my perennial beds.

I'd plant the tree about 6' - 8' from the fence on both sides, so that it doesn't look so pushed back. Then I'd fill the whole corner with perennials and annuals to my heart's content.

Of course, if you want as much lawn as possible, but just some added color and interest, keep everything close to the fence.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Lilacs forms small groves of "trees." People should accept that this is what is is and create the space for such a form, if Lilac is desired. In this case, the bed is too pinched to accommodate it. Since I love it, I would enlarge the bed around it and keep it.

Usually one wants a tree because one wants one of the tree's attributes. What effect of a tree are you wanting and for what purpose? (...Shade, sculptural effect, screening, etc....?)

The picture is not a good one to help you get help. You should be showing the overall yard with the house in the background. Or two pictures from opposite ends of the back yard. If you were to go to the most distant corner and shine the camera back toward the deck, you would provide more information for people to use.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:34PM
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I did not plant that lilac tree - it was here when I moved in. I don't like the excessive shoots everywhere and would really prefer flowers to the tangled mess. I never would have planted a lilac tree with shoots in a confined flower bed. So I am afraid that the lilac may have to go. :(

Why do I want a tree? Well, I want a tree to honour the memory of a loved one (as already mentioned), and I like trees because they just look pretty and add interest. Pretty simple reasons. I do think that they are prettier than a suburban patch of grass with no trees. I also like the idea of the shade that a tree offers.

I can take another photo and post later. The house is right up against the deck, and other than two narrow patches of grass on either side of the deck (which are too small for a tree and have electric lines etc. under the ground in those locations), the photo shows the entire space that I have to work with.

I am thinking of a snow spring crabapple that is about 25 feet high and 15 feet spread at maturity. The question is where to place it?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:04PM
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