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Planting a semicircular raised bed from scratch

Hello everyone. The photo shows a former pond, which I’ve used for a few years (not very successfully) as a vegetable patch. This year I’m planning to turn it into a cottage garden style raised bed.

I’d welcome your thoughts on what to include in this patch. It is west facing, 3.2m wide, 1.6m radius. The neighbour’s fence is 1.2m high. I’m keen to attract pollinators and to have something interesting each season.

This is really a jumble of thoughts, but I was thinking of planting some tall summer plants like delphiniums at the back. Perhaps some aquilegias, phlox and sweet william in the centre, and some pinks, hardy geraniums or campanula at the front. Next winter I could fill any gaps with spring bulbs.

Not sure if I should consider having one or two small shrubs as focal points.

I was thinking of growing winter jasmine up the fence for some winter colour, though don’t know if its stem/roots would end up taking too much space in the bed.

Any thoughts or recommendations very welcome!



Posts

  • owd potterowd potter teapot townPosts: 836
    Just 1 quick thought.
    You say this was former pond.
    How do you / will you drain it?
    Just another day at the plant...
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,137
    One thing I would not do is plant something in middle it splits the bed in half and can look unnatural.
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • Alan titch would say go for the triangle, larger middle plant, perhaps evergreen and smaller side plants but it might be too tight
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    What you plant also depends on your climate.  :)
    It's not huge so it's trickier to add shrubs, but some of the smaller Hebes would be fine there, assuming they overwinter well enough - some aren't reliable, although raised beds help with drainage. They also help with giving support to flimsier perennials, which saves on the staking  ;)

    As @owd potter says though, how well drained is it re the old pond, and why was the veg not successful? If it was to do with drainage, you may need to choose your plants more carefully. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Just 1 quick thought.
    You say this was former pond.
    How do you / will you drain it?
    It was a while ago now, but I think we did it manually with buckets. We wanted to make sure there wasn't any unexpected wildlife (and in fact we found some frogs which we rehomed). Once drained, I removed the pond lining and drilled some drainage holes around the bottom. 
  • Fairygirl said:
    What you plant also depends on your climate.  :)
    It's not huge so it's trickier to add shrubs, but some of the smaller Hebes would be fine there, assuming they overwinter well enough - some aren't reliable, although raised beds help with drainage. They also help with giving support to flimsier perennials, which saves on the staking  ;)

    As @owd potter says though, how well drained is it re the old pond, and why was the veg not successful? If it was to do with drainage, you may need to choose your plants more carefully. 
    It's well drained - never had any waterlogging issues. I had occasional successes with sweetcorn, potatoes and beans, but not spectacular enough to make it worth the effort! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    That's fine @martinjpollardx2hllQmm - it's always worth asking the question. You'd be surprised what some people do with former ponds, because they don't understand that plants need drainage  ;)
    If your soil mix is decent, you should be able to grow all the things you like. I'd say you're right about the jasmine though. It'll take up too much space. Better with one of the small, early  clematis. They also prefer drier conditions, so up against the fence, and other planting for competition, will be ideal, and would work well with the cottage theme.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • edited February 2022
    Thanks @Fairygirl (and all) 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,137
    I think you will be adding and taking away plants throughout the year in such a small space. Choose plants with a long season of interest. Geraniums are a good way of covering bulb leaves and some will also soften the brick edge.
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,760
    Whatever you decide, I'd recommend that you include something evergreen to add life to your display over winter.  Also, consider including a couple of small grasses like Stipa tenuissima to add movement and texture throughout the year - they are shallow rooted, will complement your flowering plants and won't try to outcompete them!
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