I am lucky to have a garden directly on the edge of Yateley Common in North East Hampshire. It is fine sandy(dusty) Acid soil, Bagshot sands, Two Oak trees overhang the garden, on SSSI country park so cannot cut down not that I want to( I have had Great Crested Newts, newts, frogs toads and grass snakes in the garden. Birds on the common include the Dartford Warbler and the Studded Blue butterfly is a common sight) . Direct sun is at best is only available from about 8am to 2:30pm.
I cannot keep most plants alive, what plants I manage to get to grow do not develop outside of the root ball and perennials do not survive a year. Plug plants are a disaster. Any plants that survive are stunted.
I make my own compost which I have used for potting, this hasn't been as successful as I would like. I have, this year, tried lime, top soil and potting compost to no avail. I have two roses that manage to survive. Even Lavender struggles. The usual acid loving plants struggle. I have two Hydrangeas in pots that have not developed beyond one foot. This year I tried Chrysanthemums and Dahlias, always the optimist, and not one has flowered yet despite having buds.
I need to change the soil structure but the common always seems to win......
To cap it all most of my neighbours have given up and laid artificial grass.
Has anyone any advice as it appears to be very thin on the ground.