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Raising the flowerbed

I'm in the process of tidying up this flower/ plant bed. I'll be making it slightly wider and, ideally,  I'd like it to be higher than the grass - probably 3-4 inches higher than it is now.

As well as the plants you can see, there are a fair amount of bulbs in there - daffodil, snowdrop, bluebell and alium. Would it be an issue to just pile up 3-4 inches of top soil to raise it, or would you remove everything and replant?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,009
    I think if you want to make the bed higher, you'll need to remove the grass at the back and put a barrier of some kind in there. The soil/compost you add will just fall through the fence if you don't.
    Adding a few inches won't really affect the bulbs, but you'd need to be slightly careful around the other shrubs and perennials. You don't want to have extra soil above the original planting level and against the shrub stems. Likewise, if you bury the perennials under extra inches, it can cause rotting of the crown of those plants. 
    I think it could be tricky removing the plants, but if they haven't been in too long, and you wait till they're dormant, it would make it easier all round. If you get a big enough rootball when you lift them, and keep them from drying out while you raise the bed, they should be ok. Keep an eye on them over the winter, and make sure they're weed free, and well enough watered etc. Shouldn't be too difficult over winter though.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks. I need to put a barrier in for the grass regardless buys a pain having to keep that out.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    DOes your last comment mean that you want to raise the level of the flower bed because at the moment the grass from the lawn is encroaching on it?
    If so, the better option is to widen your borders to at least double the width they are now, add some new plants making sure they are well away from the edge, and then - keep the edges trimmed during the growing season. You will need to cut them at least once a month, once a fortnight would be better. You will need to make a nice sharp edge when you widen the border - an edging tool would be ideal so see if you can borrow one - they are quite cheap to buy. Once you have cut your edges nice and neatly, throw some of the soil next to the grass, into the bed so you have grass, a deep dip, then the soil rises up slowly to the flower bed. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Makes it a lot easier to trim the edges as well.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks, Hogweed. That  is part of the reason. Although, I have done something similar to what you suggest, though probably not clear in that photo. The grass at the back is not mine. The fence is the border so I am going to put one fence plank across the bottom to try and stop that grass encroaching.
    A neighbour has a huge bed and it's much higher than his grass. I thought it looked better than mine and so it got me thinking about doing something similar. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,151
    edited September 2018
    Just a thought ... are you considering putting a raised edge to the bed? If so you’ll need to consider how you’re going to trim the edge of the lawn where it abuts the edge of the raised bed ... most mowers won’t do it ... you’ll need a strimmer with a nylon cord or similar ... and it’ll need doing every time you mow the grass. It can be a real nuisance ...

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • if you add material slowly over time (like years) the level will build up, that probably what your neighbour has done, a decent mulch of organic matter in spring and autumn of an inch or two around the plants (not over them) and the soil level will build up over time, plus the mulch will help with weeds and invading grass.
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