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Himalayan birch in narrow border

Beginner gardener here! I have a fairly narrow border (picture of width attached) next to a new lawn that has been put in our garden. I was planning on planting around 3 himalayan birch with white bark throughout the border interspersed with columnar evergreens to highlight the white bark of the birch. However, I've heard a few things about birch and their shallow roots potentially ruining lawns which I want to avoid. Does anyone have any experience of this or can advise on whether this is a no go area to plant birch if we want to maintain our lawn in good condition?

Posts

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,172
    I had a silver birch Jaquemontii in the lawn in my previous garden. It made no difference to the lawn , but the lawn wasn't just grass, full of daisies, prunella, clover etc. I didn't mind so long as it was green.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,633
    Is the border about 60cm? Assuming those cobbles are 10x10cm. I think it's quite ambitious putting himalayan birch in such a small border to be honest, I would be tempted to give them more room to breathe and distance from the wall. (Planted 30cm from the wall, they will physically push on the wall as they grow and cause it to crack, never mind about the roots).
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,172



    I agree with @Loxley, not enough room by the wall. I think climbing roses, clematis or narrow shrubs would be a better bet.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • natalie_e89natalie_e89 Posts: 3
    Thanks @Loxley and @Busy-Lizzie for your advice. It's around 70cm wide. In that case, i'll look into alternative narrow shrubs and climbers. I would like to have a mixed interest border if possible to try and bring some colour into the garden in winter. Many thanks again!
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,982
    @natalie_e89 Structure can also be important in the winter, you don't want a border that is flat because everything is cut down. However best not to over do the evergreens too or it will look dull in summer. I agree I would be very concerned about protecting the wall.  Is your border south facing and how long is it?
  • natalie_e89natalie_e89 Posts: 3
    @GardenerSuze thank you. The garden faces south west so gets a lot of sun but the wall and border are north west facing. The length of the border is 15 metres. I have had the cornus kousa china girl planted in there for the last 3 years and it has done well. 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,982
    @natalie_e89 To give some height without deep roots one consideration would be Grasses. Perhaps some obelisks possibly with clematis, jasmine or roses would give you some instant height too.The obelisks would also give some shape to the border in winter. My soil is very different to yours and I wonder if yours might be acidic as your cornus is doing so well. You obviously want a mix of plants and repeating a plant along a border can work well. I am hopeful that their will be more ideas from other forum members. I think the main concern is not to damage the wall.



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