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Dry ground under fir trees.

We have huge fir trees and an area of very dry ground along the entire left of our garden.  The area is south facing so in the sun pretty much all day.  Our previous neighbours cut back all the trees so the area gets no shade at all in the day.  Any idea what will grow in the ground? I’ve planted some bamboo in large pots to try and cover the bare trunks along half the boundary, but we’re in the process of creating a seating area, so I want to grow something else as well. 

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,433
    Almost impossible really, unless you get adequate rainfall to keep the area moist. 
    Even sun loving plants would need a lot of attention, until well established, and even then it would be hit and miss.
    I think the best option, if you want a seating area there, is to build some very big containers into the plan. You can then have some perennial planting and/or climbers, as well as scented plants etc.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,628
    If you can post a picture - keep it smaller than 2mb or it won't load - we can maybe offer some design help but, frankly, conifers are well known for sucking all the nutrients and moisture out of soil so that nothing can grow at their feet.

    You may need to think laterally and create a path along the tree line and then massively improve the soil on the garden side of that path in order to get some plants to grow or else build a pergola and/or arbour with trellis at the back along the path line so the trees are hidden.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • t.wilsdent.wilsden Posts: 4
    Up side down but hopefully you get what I mean about the area … lots of large pots maybe??? Anything that might grow in such an area in the ground? I’m new to gardening so don’t really know - thanks for advice so far. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,491
    edited 25 March


    Welcome to the forum  
    I’ve turned your trees over for you 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,433
    Where are you intending having the seating area @t.wilsden ?
    Decide on that, and then think about addressing planting areas, but frankly, unless you have the seating area a long way in front of those, you'll struggle to get anything to thrive, and you'll be constantly having to maintain it.

    The only sensible solution is purpose built, huge containers, and the sort of suggestions @Obelixx and myself have made. Screens, pergolas etc with climbers, will hide a fair bit.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • t.wilsdent.wilsden Posts: 4
    edited 25 March
    Thank you @Dovefromabove for turning my picture round! Yes @Fairygirl and @Obelixx - large purpose built  planters it is then! We are going to also erect screening, so hopefully can incorporate the large beds in with this. Thank you for your advice x
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,628
    Large purpose built platers will, presumably, be wood so remember they need good depth for decent root systems, you need to line them to protect the wood from damp soil, you need to make adequate drainage holes so the plants don't rot in wet soil and you'll need to provide all their water.   

    They'll also require a huge amount of compost and soil to fill them and feeding every year.  They won't get much rainfall in the shadow of those trees so you need to think about an automatic watering system with a timer or else devote lots of time to going along with a hosepipe or watering can.

    I really do advise you to consider screening with trellis - builders rusty wire mesh (for reinforcing concrete) is cheap, will last a lifetime and can be bent round curves if needed.    It's discreet in itself and is a great support for climbers if you get the soil improved well.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • t.wilsdent.wilsden Posts: 4
    Thank you  - great advice! Luckily my husband is a builder and owns a digger, so none of this will be an issue for him - We’re starting on the design now! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,433
    Let us know how you get on.  :)

    Basically - the further you are away from the trees, the easier it is for any plants, and the need for raised beds becomes less important  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,491
    We had raised beds for vegetables near an ash tree ... within three years the beds were full of ash tree roots which had grown upwards in search of the moisture in the veg beds!

    As @fairygirl says, as far away from the trees as possible is best.    :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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