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Borders against the house.

I remember everyone used to have flowerbeds under their windows against the house walls,  now it seems advice is to the contrary.
Thoughts? 
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  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,979
    I have a border under my front window. I have planted Helianthus Lemon Queen all the way along the border.  Look out of the window late August/ Sept and it is a sea of lemon daisies. I lift and split every autumn after flowering and replant about a third. The rest I pass on to a local gardener as I hate throwing anything away. It doesn't grow as tall as a result so doesn't fall over because it's too tall. It does grow in a sheltered spot.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 553
    Sounds gorgeous!!

    I read some stuff about the potential damp problem, but I've never heard of anyone having to move a bed!
  • SYinUSASYinUSA Georgia, USAPosts: 71
    I left about 16" from the edge of the house (for air and foot circulation), but I have a ~10' x 16' flower bed under my front windows. It has been a comedy of errors but I'll eventually get it all sorted. I pass the windows countless times a day and can see the bees, lizards, hummingbirds, and wrens all enjoying the hodgepodge collection of plants.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,979
    Should say there is a narrow path directly under the window. The window is high up so on a sunny day with a blue sky it's lovely to see the lemon against the blue.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,170
    I had a lovely border by the house at a previous house but there was a path at the back, between the border and the house. New owners have since grassed it over  :/
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 553
    I had a lovely border by the house at a previous house but there was a path at the back, between the border and the house. New owners have since grassed it over  :/
    How ungrateful. I s'pose it's better than paving or concrete. I went to see the house I grew up in once or twice.. made me very sad to see what they'd done. 
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,952
    No path between the wall and my under-the-window front border, but I did make an enclosed raised bed with timber backing and left an air gap of about 10cm between the wall and the timber. In retrospect I should have made the gap bigger so I could get a brush in there to sweep out the debris.

    The house is built on rock which slopes slightly away from the wall so I set large plastic troughs on gravel within the raised bed to help with drainage. As there is no damp soil in contact with the wall and water drains away from it, there are no damp problems. 
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,065
    Oops - I didn't know that you are not supposed to have borders against house walls!  I have one along the front of the house from which, at one end, I have my rosa banksiae growing up the walls.  But my soil is very sandy and dry so perhaps it's all right.  House has been standing for 170 years.
  • SYinUSASYinUSA Georgia, USAPosts: 71
    I used gravel (chunky interlocking type, not pea gravel) along the house for the path behind the border. I live in a humid climate with no front gutters so termites and soil erosion were factors in that choice as well.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 553
    didyw said:
    Oops - I didn't know that you are not supposed to have borders against house walls!  I have one along the front of the house from which, at one end, I have my rosa banksiae growing up the walls.  But my soil is very sandy and dry so perhaps it's all right.  House has been standing for 170 years.
    Well that's what I'm thinking, there's loads of really old places which have soil up to the walls (and humongous trees near the houses).. the only thing I can think of is that, either most people don't know about soil types, drainage, airflow etc, and/or recent new builds are crap.
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