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Muddy transformation!

hi all,

ive been on here quite a bit with my current (first garden!) project, thanks all for the help.

my next q...

the area at the back of the garden is current just a mud pit. It sits under eh canopy of an oak, often has standing water in winter and is generally a bit horrid.

im going to be planting some laurels and maybe a maple a little further in, but I’d like the rest of the area to have an ‘overgrown’ but controlled look. So pretty much all covered bar some stepping stones.

what would you suggest? Some height at the back would be good for screening then coming lower toward the in progress pergola and where the l shaped raised bed is.


  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    edited August 2020
    Sorry not clear on what you mean. Are you talking about the area where the swing and shed are?
    Are you keeping the shed?
    Laurels spread a lot so wouldn't recommend too many and they are dense so would they make that area look very gloomy?
    You might encounter tree roots from next doors birch and the oak tree so planting could be tricky so I would dig a few holes first before you buy anythng
  • Do you really want laurels? IMHO they can get thick and woody rather quickly, so you could be having to regularly cut them so that you can open your gate (I think that is what is in the righthand corner) without getting scratched.
    If you're looking for some tall cover, how about twisted willows, or clumping bamboo (fargesia) instead?  They would love the damp conditions.
    I like the idea of including some Acers, and tall grasses would do fine towards the righthand side (where you get some sun?)
    If you place a screen/divider (plants or structure) further forward in the garden that will give more feeling of privacy than planting along the rear boundary.
  • SydRoySydRoy Posts: 167
    What are the ground conditions?...drainage etc.
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,885
    Actaeas, Rodgersias, Ligularias etc would like the shady damp patch (assuming the Oak doesn't turn the soil bone dry in summer)
  • TackTack Central South UKPosts: 1,055
    Has the Oak got a TPO (tree preservation order) or are you in a conservation area? The reason I ask is you cannot cut  the overhanging branches at all, even the ones overhanging your property on a TPO tree. And oaks just keep getting bigger, which is not great for your ability to keep plants alive at the bottom of your garden. I am in this position with an overhanging oak , it is killing my fruit trees one by one.
  • Thanks for all the feedback! Some responses:

    @K67 see crude pic attached, this is sort of the outcome I want.

    @purpletreacle twisted willow looks amazing! And would give me screening height I think. I get some good sun there in the morning, then coming in from the back later afternoin

    @SydRoy drainage was ok but last year bad, some standing water etc, hence wanting to kind of cover this area with greenery. I’m planning to improve the soil a lot to help

    @tack no TPO, and I have checked I can trim these ones. They were actually due to be removed but I requested they stay for screening from the flats behind until I establish some growth myself 
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