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New border width - 1m or 1.2m?

Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 299
I've dug out a new border in the garden, going down the length of the fence between us and next door. I've currently dug it at 1m wide, and dug in lots of organic matter, but before I start planting it up, I'm wondering whether I've done myself a disservice and would be better off widening it to 1.2m?

Which is a better width? Is 1.2m just a bit too wide, or is it actually more practical in terms of variety of planting etc?

The border will be a mixture of shrubs and perennials (and annuals in this first year whilst any new plants settle in/turn up their toes in disgust).

I'm erring on the side of 1.2m now, but having already dug it, is 1m actually perfectly suitable?


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,294
    Can we have a picture
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,658
    Generally speaking, wider is better when it comes to giving you more scope for planting, but it depends what's in scale with the rest of the garden.
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 299
    edited April 2021
    Have just taken these. Ignore the bricks, these were found as we dug over the border, but haven't moved them somewhere more tidy yet... Also, some photos are uploading sideways, don't know how to rotate these!

  • AthelasAthelas CambridgeshirePosts: 685
    edited April 2021
    I think you could do with 1.2m. What shrubs/perennials are you planning to use?
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,658
    edited April 2021
    I would make it wider. In fact I think I would make it 2m as it's quite long, and as it is, it looks rather skinny. It also depends on what you have in mind to plant. The first foot or 18" or so from the fence will be in rain shadow so your "back row" of shrubs, climbers or whatever would be best planted that far from the fence, and shrubs need room to grow to their mature size without too much hacking. If you want something else in front, you'll need more width.
    Edit: if you don't want to dig any more now, you can always widen it in a year or two or more, when your initial planting starts to mature and fill out.
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 299
    The only shrubs planned so far are Cornus Baton Rouge (a recommendation from someone else on here, thank you!), and a Fuchsia. Probably another one, but yet to be decided. I've also got a climbing rose that might suit that side of the garden, which would be about the height of the fence.

    Perennials will generally be the sort of cottage garden type perennials, basically anything good for wildlife - I don't have anything definite planned, as I tend to just plant in a bit of a hotchpotch style, depending on what I like.

  • 1.2m (or more) tis a no-brainer. 😉
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 299
    Excellent, thank you all! I was a bit cautious in digging this out to start with, but I think I agree with you all, I will definitely make this bigger!!

    I might not stretch to 2m, as there is one the other side of the garden which sort of mirrors it (it's an odd shaped triangular garden), but I will definitely get on with widening it.

    Really appreciate all your advice, thank you!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,658
    It probably looks enormous to you right now, but it will soon get full and you'll want more planting space!
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    edited April 2021
    As I detest mowing grass I would go with a 2m lawn path and the rest as a border!

    PS to get photos taken in portrait mode you have to edit them, just slightly cropping works fine, then they load the right way. One day it might get sorted as it's a fairly recent issue.
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