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Island beds - pros and cons, your thoughts please!



  • LunarSeaLunarSea Posts: 1,328
    That's been very helpful folks, thank you.  I got a flash of inspiration when leaving the house this afternoon to go walking and have decided to widen the border on the right to the same width as the border beside the patio with which it will join.  

    And then next year you'll widen them both a bit more, until .....  :D

    Clay soil - Cheshire/Derbyshire border - where old gardeners often wet their plants.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,973
    Possibly @LunarSea, it's happened most years!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 3,589
    @Plantminded Sounds like a plan look forward to photos later in the year

    A garden is an oasis for creation, available to anyone with a little space and the compunction to get their hands dirty.

    Dan Pearson
  • bédé said:
    punkdoc said:
    bédé, 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?
    Well all of it really.  You tell me which parts you think are.  

    Was the last sentence a threat?  I'm not sure if I want to be part of any forum sharing your negativity.  (Well I am sure, actually.).

    What are you going to do about it?
    punkdoc said:
    So calling other people’s avatars isn’t rude then?
    No, obviously I am not threatening you, I have no idea who you are, but I do know you are rude consistently.
    I think the pair of you need to grow up.

  • When I moved to my current home the "garden" was an irregular, elongated triangle of field with the house roughly making the base of the triangle. I made the decision to have no lawn to dispense with lawn maintainance and created very irregular island beds separated by paths, for ease of access.
    I have used slate chippings for the paths and have never missed mowing.
    In your plot, I would be inclined to make an irregular bed in the centre of the existing lawn, following the curves of the surrounding beds, and only keep a 2 metre wide path around the edge of it. That would give plenty of room and opportunity to experiment with herbaceous, perrenials. Just think of all the exciting plants you could grow! I like to see tall plants growing close to the front of beds to give a variety of heights.
    Designing a garden is so personal and we all have slightly, or radically different ideas of what makes a pleasing, to us, arrangement. Of course, you could always start with a diddy little bed and gradually extend it over time. Allow for soil settling, it takes abut 4 years for a new heap of soil to drop to the surrounding level so always put far more sol in the new bed, than you think you need.
    Have fun.

  • bédébédé Posts: 1,790
    edited 23 January
    LunarSea said:
    views from ground level in June/July. 
     That spot at the back of the island bed (sheltered by the hedge) is where we put our chairs for morning coffee 

    I assume that morning coffee taking is a summer pastime.  What is the view from indoors like this morning?

    My garden has ca 50% evergreens, more with the lawn,  so looks as good in January as it does in June.  Of course a little less colour.

    PS.  posted before I had seen your latest pics.

      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."
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,973
    Thank you for your thoughts @Joyce Goldenlily.  I've left the lawn as it is in case I decide to get a dog but that thought is fading a bit now!  I like your idea about following the contours of the existing beds, it would certainly work.  I'm going to start my minor bed extension as soon as the ground defrosts, then another think as time progresses!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,303
    Only recently looked at this thread. You have a lovely space @Plantminded.
    I'd leave it. Too many small, random beds just detract from what's already there, and even one would be too many. It only works in large spaces with large beds. In a domestic garden it just causes restlessness as you can't focus on any plant or group of plants, when they're doing their thing. It becomes jarring rather than pleasing. 
    I think, as an artist, @Dovefromabove might agree that when something is pretty much achieved in a painting, more damage can be done by not knowing when to stop. A garden is the same... ;)
    The only thing I'd consider doing, if it was my garden, is taking out the little bit of 'entrance' grass at the edge, although I assume that's mostly for access. Fiddly little bits of grass detract from a space too.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,973
    Thank you @Fairygirl, I was hoping you'd see this!  I agree with you, it's best left as it is at the moment, no more fiddling!  I hadn't thought about removing that "entrance" grass, you're right it's there to keep muddy feet (the birds' as well as mine!) off the patio.  It's a pain to mow though.  What would you replace it with, similar planting to the planting on either side?  (Just the low ones!).
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • At least you can change your mind frequently and there is no world-shattering consequence. Only some hard work for yourself.
    I have a dog and he is quite happy sniffing around paths and beds, as well as tramping across the beds. He has never dug as he was an adult when I took him on and he had never lived with a garden, he is a Shi Tzu so size-wise, does no damage to plants though I do not encourage him to walk on the beds. I may just be lucky with him as he does not like getting his feet wet or muddy, but he likes to put his nose into soil to bury any treasure he has found, my handkerchiefs, pants, socks, etc, or to cover his business. I thought only cats did that but obviously not.
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