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Narrow borders

hi everyone am having new lawn laid with borders either side approx 30ft length by 9 ins deep. Want to plant evergreens if possible, what would you suggest, and how many.


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,993
    That's so narrow that calling it a border may fall foul of the trade descriptions act! If you can't widen them, you could plant climbers or wall shrubs though
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,770
    Hello and welcome. You might need to think first about what sort of soil you have, which way the borders face, so how much sun and shade they get. Think about what height you want, too. Then you could visit some garden centres to see what you like the look of: shape, colour, etc. I'm afraid you will have to widen the border where you are planting. Nine inches isn't enough.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,799
    I'm sorry, there are very few plants you could grow in a border that narrow and it would look totally out of proportion to the length - did you really mean 9 inches?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,238
    30' x 9" will give you something really disproportionate and unbalanced and, as stated above, is far too narrow to grow anything well, especially if the border is backed by a fence or wall.  The poor plants will have nowhere to go but out onto the lawn.

    Think instead about what kind of look you want - very uniform with the same foliage, height and shape all along the bed or more varied with seasonal interest and colour and form.  Then check the eventual size of the kinds of plants you like.  Look at what the neighbours are growing to see what suits your soil and local climate.

    The other thing to think about is the width and length of your garden and its aspect.  Do your really want teeny, straight borders or something more curved or angled to give the garden some movement?  The amount of sunshine and shade the borders get as well as the type of soil will also affect what you can grow.

    Tell us more.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 1,973
    My neighbour has similar borders (maybe 12" but not more) but they are on top of a retention wall (her front garden is higher than our drive and the pavement), not backed by a fence. She has dotted small plants there - miniature roses, some annuals, heathers and alpines. It's not my style but it looks neat. But if your borders are backed by a fence, it would be too narrow.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,456
    @nannycha42- it is possible to grow something in them, but it may not be very pleasing. In the sunny areas heathers or dianthus, or things like saxifrages, sedums, thrift etc, but they're more suited to a raised bed, or an alpine trough or rockery.
    The ongoing care will also be determined by what care you can give plants. As already siad, they're very likely to encroach on the grass.

    Each border will have different requirements because some will be in shade for some or most of the day. Cotoneater will grow almost anywhere and can sit against a wall or fence, but we'd really need more info about the your space and growing conditions  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • No I’m afraid the measurements are correct, we are in ex council house, none of the gardens are a regular shape and the whole garden is 45ft long and the width of the house, There is a nice sized patio 12ft and the garden is wider at the house end, so that’s why 30ft x 9ins either side....I was thinking of dwarf varieties.....the garden is in sun all day, and the earth is good old London clay!
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 1,973
    I think the question here is why are you doing it.
    - Because it's how it's done - lawn + borders - if this is the reason, I think you won't enjoy it.
    - Because you like to grow plants/want to grow plants - you will hate it and end up widening them in future anyway.
    - Because you want the garden to look good - it won't work. It would be much better to do diagonal (zig-zag, triangles etc.) beds or use planting to divide the garden in "rooms".
    Are these borders going to have some kind of fixed edge? If not, you can widen them as much as you want and you can also dig more beds elsewhere (for example close to the patio to grow fragrant plants).
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,246
    @nannycha42, is it possible for you to post a couple of photos? If the 9 inch width isn't "set in stone",  it might be possible for some of the posters on here to give you some ideas.
    I think it will end up looking a bit "mean" and out of proportion and you may well end up digging out wider borders eventually , even if it's only to a foot to 18 inches  :)
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,461
    Are you stuck with the borders so small? Could you dig out some beds, small gardens can look lovely, nice little shaped lawn and beds around the edge. I know you probably haven’t any trees but disregard those and have a look at this and see if you could plant up a bit like that. 
    It doesn’t need to cost money, all my garden was done very cheaply, beg steal and borrow, (not really steal!) but lots can be grown easily from seeds.
     Someone on this site gave me all of my geraniums, they edge my borders. I’ve since swapped and been given loads of plants. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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