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Looking for suggestions of what might work in this space

Hi everyone

Very much the amateur gardener here. I've got a space behind my sheds that I'm trying to work out what to do with. Thanks to being permanently working at home now due to Covid I've been able to tackle bits of it during my lunch breaks when the weather has been nice over the past couple of years and have finally just about reclaimed it from the brambles and other weeds that were there.

The main thing I'm pondering is what might grow well in the space. There are a couple of large trees that you can see in the picture below that block a fair bit of light but on the other hand if I leave the space alone it'll be overrun with brambles and other weeds before long, so I don't know if I'm worrying too much about the amount of light the area receives.

grateful for any suggestions


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I'd personally think about putting a workshop there, bee hives, maybe cane fruit like raspberries and currents, depending on light levels.
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 605
    edited April 2022
    Is the fence to the right the back of your garden? Or is it the one straight ahead that’s the back?
  • WhereAreMySecateursWhereAreMySecateurs LutonPosts: 1,010
    If you search for "shade tolerant plants" on here or on google, you'll get tons of inspiration...

    What is the soil like?
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,973
    edited April 2022
    I'm thinking along same lines as Fire, it's kind of a 'working area'. If you didn't need space for cane fruit etc, I would think about moving the sheds so there was less trapped space, and use what's left for storage and potting on etc. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Yes, better aligned sheds might open up some new space to the left.
  • cerebroscerebros Posts: 3
    thanks for the responses.

    Just to give more context I've dug out a (not terribly to scale) diagram of the garden I had to make up for other purposes and put some notes about what I've got in the rest of it at the moment. The house end sits at roughly east-northeast if that helps give an idea of what sort of sun the garden should get in general

    To respond to the questions asked/points raised:
    • In the first photo I posted, the new fence to the right of the image is the rear fence
    • The soil is brown, and crumbly when dry (sorry, should probably have put the "amateur gardener" part in large bold font)
    • Moving the sheds isn't going to be an option in the near term - given the state of the larger one I'm not sure it would survive a move at the moment in any case and a new one is quite a way down the priority list. 
    • I'd be more inclined to use the area to try and grow something, if something acceptable will grow, as I keep trying to get the kids interested in growing things.  We had a bit of success in that regard last year with some runner beans the youngest brought home from school that we planted in the vegetable patch on the above diagram. (The pumpkin plant my eldest brought home was less successful, giving us only one usable pumpkin despite growing to cover most of the vegetable patch and a bit beyond. Least successful were our attempts at carrots which it appears the ground is too stoney to have any joy with)

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    People who grow lots of cane fruit will know about what light levels you would need for those.
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 221
    Rhubarb. Currants, red, white and black. Raspberries, but the later fruiting ones. Gooseberry (warning, thorns are vicious on small kids). If your kids realise the fruit can go straight into the mouth from the bush, they may be more interested.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,932
    Looks pretty dark to me.  I would make it a children’s play area.  Perfect place for a trampoline - out of sight for you, so not an eyesore.. and close enough to the fence for your kids to spy on the neighbors.  Depends on how well you get on with those two particular neighbor, or want to in the future.  Alternatively, a kid friendly hide-away with stumps and boards, and child friendly mud pie ingredients.  Or if the kids are a bit older, seating and strings of lights, etc.  Maybe a cement pad and a basketball hoop on the back of your shed?  
    Utah, USA.
  • cerebroscerebros Posts: 3
    Apologies for not popping back to update sooner but got caught up with another project...

    For now I've stuck a couple of runner beans back there close to the rear fence. While they're not doing quite as well as the ones in my small veggie patch in the main garden, the one that seems to have figured out how to climb up its cane isn't too far behind them. (The other one I keep finding has managed to slip down its cane no matter how many places I tie it to the cane...)
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