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Island beds - pros and cons, your thoughts please!



  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,973
    Yes, that's been my line of thinking @bede, maybe I should keep it as it is!  I know Ness Gardens very well, I've done many courses there over the years and used a lot of their planting as an inspiration for my garden's current design.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,173
    I would go for a kind of teardrop shape.

    The only problem I can see with an island bed is that it might make the lawn mowing fiddly - lots of edges.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 7,759
    To be really effective, I think an island bed needs to be large enough to have several 'layers' of planting so you can get height in the centre with lower planting towards the edges.  I'm not sure the space you have is large enough to create that, and there is a risk of ending up with narrow areas of grass which, as my dear old Mum would have said, are neither use nor ornament.
    If you want to break the space up, maybe a largish feature of some kind?  Personally, I like what I see currently and wouldn't change it.
  • bédébédé Posts: 1,790
    You risk turning whar could be a restful space into something more like a botanical collection.  But nowt wrong with that.  Why not abandon all lawn and leave grass as paths only.  With brilliant planning, you might be able fit in a suitable no-reversing, no-repeating mowing scheme.
      location: Surrey Hills, England, cretaceous acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • didywdidyw Posts: 2,741
    In my small front lawn I cut out a couple of circles, enriched with good stuff and lined with an everedge metal edge.  One of them contains a young apple tree, on dwarfing stock and the other a small grass, a couple of oriental poppies and three rusted metal poppy seed heads like these:

    I'm pleased with the result as it breaks up the boring lawn a bit.  The borders are narrow (defined by the brick edging that we discovered a couple of years ago that must have been put in years and years ago).  They don't cause any problems with mowing.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,973
    Thank you @JennyJ and @KT53, for your thoughts, that's very helpful.  I think I'll tinker with that border on the right first and then reconsider later on!  It's really useful having all your views, thank you!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,258
    @bede, which part of your post about avatars, do you consider not to be rude?
    It is just unnecessary, do you not want to be part of this forum, because you are going the right way not to be?
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,129
    I’m not sure about this, but maybe a raised circular bed constructed out of reclaimed bricks or vernacular stone with a specimen tree in the middle.

    Rutland, England
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,477
    I still say leave it

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • WAMSWAMS Posts: 1,258
    I would definitely add a bed, any shape... it's more intriguing 
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