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Help Please!

Hi, I have a small narrow back garden. I have a area I want to plant up along the front of a 6 ft high fence that is 6 meters long by 1 meter wide. I can enjoy looking at it from the house once it’s done! The problem is that this area is south facing and gets very very hot from 1 June to August 31. The rest of the time its completely shaded by the house. In the winter it’s very very cold. I have tried shady plants but they die in the heat when the sun gets onto them and I have tried sun loving plants but they die in the cold winter. The soil gets waterlogged in the colder months and very dry June to September. I have Pyracantha growing up the fence and it has nearly completely covered it now. That’s been a success! The bed in front is the problem.  Has any one got any ideas to help with planting this bed up? I would like SMALL evergreen flowering shrubs and perennials if possible. Nothing taller than 1/2 meter as the garden is so small. The soil is NOT acidic. 
Help! Please. 
Thank you 


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,565
    edited August 2022
    If you bank the soil up to make a mound, it will help with your drainage a bit. But you'll probably want to stick with plants that tolerate a wide range of conditions from cold and damp to sunny and dry. Re plants, I think you can go a bit higher than half a metre; you have a 1m wide bed so maxing out at around 1m would look fine IMO. 

    Persicaria amplexicaulis would be ideal; there are loads of varieties, have a look at your local garden centre or nursery; Persicaria 'White Eastfield' is a nice white one and P. 'Blackfield' is a nice dark red - these are amongst the more compact varieties (c.90cm). Persicaria 'Pink Elephant' is even smaller, max. 50cm - but I think the dancing flower spikes of Persicaria work better on a taller plant.

    A lot of hardy geraniums would be fine too, G. 'Rozanne' is the obvious choice, it flowers for a long time and is tough. You can cut it back if it starts to sprawl too far, it will grow back and start flowering again.

    I think some of the Sanguisorbas might work OK too. I thought they needed damp soil, but mine are doing well despite my garden being hot and dry in summer. S. 'Tanna' is a very small one, at 30cm, but I would go for something like 'Pink Tanna' which is taller at 90cm.

    You will have to water a bit, but these plants should otherwise cope with your conditions. Adding rich organic compost to the soil will help both the drainage and the dryness.

  • Thank you very much! Lots of ideas there. I will start looking for them ready for Autumn planting. Thanks so much for the detailed advice 😊
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