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Novice gardner

I have a rear garden mainly laid to patio that has sunshine to about 2pm then shade as the sun goes down behind towering pine trees that rain constantly I would love to see most of the area planted.....any thoughts on suitable plants, shrubs and flowers and how best to manage pine needles ?
Kind regards 


  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
    Can we see a photo?  :)
  • rp.bevisrp.bevis Posts: 5
    The garden room will be going to be replaced with an office half the size the rest of the garden is gravel and patio. 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,143
    Better the right way up

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • rp.bevisrp.bevis Posts: 5
    Thanks Lyn
    im also technically inadequate 😁
  • Are you wanting to take up all gravel and some of the patio? 
  • rp.bevisrp.bevis Posts: 5
    yes that’s what I’d like to do the garden room will be going too replaced with an office half the size. 
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    You have a lot of preparation work before you can think about plants.

    Soil under the gravel, flags and garden room will be poor, providing you have soil.

    Come back to this thread when you have cleared the area for advice on the next step of improving the soil which will involve a lot of soil improver such as well rotted manure, so look out for stables nearby.

    You might need to import top soil.

    Or you might find it easier to leave the hard landscaping and invest in some big planters instead. 

  • rp.bevisrp.bevis Posts: 5
    Yes that’s a very good point and I realise it’s a little premature I have cleared an area to the rear and dug down to investigate it has a top soil layer that sits on top of a slightly heavier clay soil. I wasn’t aware of the amount of soil preparation that went into a project like this however I’m sure I can get a micro digger in there to help with that. 
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