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Advice please

I moved to the IoW last November and planted a very small Wisteria into a raised bed, given to me by a friend in France. It had been in a small pot for a few months without any increase in size but after my move to the island it went mad and has reached the top of the wooden structure in the photo (taken in summer) above the pelargoniums. I am wondering whether it needs pruning? - being a very young plant and not having flowered yet.

Separately, I have pelargoniums, Lantana and fuschias in pots and raised bed in my small back garden. The pelargoniums are still flowering but tatty, the Lantana still has leaves and the fuschias are producing new leaves.  Should I cut all these back?
The garden is elevated but quite sheltered and gets extremely hot in the summer. I inherited the imitation grass and the raised beds.
Could you please advise what to plant in the raised beds? (I have added some lavender already) and I am intending to remove the three large Agapanthus as their roots are invading the beds.

Could you also advise how to make the garden bird friendly? - I am near a copse but only see crows, pigeons and seagulls flying over!  Bird food is left uneaten and mouldy. I can remove some paving slabs and replace the astro-turf with gravel but the garden is very small with one large purple (still flowering) hebe.  My previous garden was all gravelled (lots of spiders) but backed onto heathland, so I had birds in abundance.
Apologies for this lengthy post!



  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,412
    @Lyn Plant-Wells I am not posting to give advice I'm sorry as I don't have the experience as yet and have to ask for advice myself. I just wanted to say what a lovely little garden you have along with a shed and it looks as though you have complete privacy. King Charles looks at home on your unusual bench. My late sister lived on IOW and she loved it there. I am sure you will have many responses giving you ideas as to what to plant and how to make your garden bird friendly.  :) Good luck in your new home.
  • To attract small birds, you need to provide them with some cover to hide in, from which they will fly to and from the feeder.  The shorter the distance between cover foliage and feeder, the more birds will use it as they feel safer.  There are lots of shrubs and small trees which would be suitable (thorny ones like hawthorn are preferred) and you could also consider fixing some trellis a few inches away from fence panels and growing fairly dense climbers up it, such as ivy and clematis etc.  The birds love hiding in places like that where they can scan for predators like sparrowhawks before darting across to the feeder.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you so much for your kind comments Fran. Yes, my garden is quite secluded. I replaced the shed soon after moving here for a more sturdy one with windows. Alice, my Cavalier is good at posing for the camera! I will be making a few changes in the spring - taking up some of the slabs and adding some trellis/heat tolerant climbers and flowering shrubs.

    Thanks also Bob, for your advice re birds. My neighbour has replaced the brown wooden fencing with cream metal (!) as she wanted a maintenance-free version. I intend to put up sturdy trellis to more or less cover it (any knocks produce a rather irritating 'clang!')
    I will grow climbers and maybe add small shrubs, where there is space but I'm not fond of thorns, having removed a wound-inflicting Pyracantha at my previous property!

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Hello, Lyn. I live on the Island, too, AND I have a cavvy! You will find that many plants that you think of as tender will survive the winter here, especially if you have a bit of shelter. I cut back plants that begin to look tatty but lantana usually dies when the frost arrives. Pelargoniums and fuchsia may well survive but any favourites can be potted up and brought inside to be safe. Welcome to the Island. I hope you love it and are as happy here as I am.
  • Hello Posy. Lovely to get your message. Perhaps we could meet up at some stage and I could bend your ear re garden. I am in East Cowes.  Lyn
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,497
    edited January 2020
    Also welcome to the Island,I am in Newport!
    Born in Whippingham and lived in East Cowes for many years.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Sounds good! We must keep in touch. I am about 3 miles outside  Ventnor. 
  • Great. You can find me on FB and IoW Hobnobs. Perhaps we could all meet up for a coffee somewhere.
  • In the meantime - any advice on my young Wisteria which hasn't flowered yet but has reached the top of the pergola?  Prune or not to prune!
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,412
    @Lyn Plant-Wells You may have found an answer to your query above but if not I am bumping up your thread to see if anyone has the answer for you. Maybe you have met up with some other posters from the forum now who also live on the IOW.
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