Dealing with the impact of trees and shade
I'm a keen but fairly unexpereinced gardener - with a young family and a full time job so very little time!
Our garden at the back of house has a border of woodland to the eastern side, another large tree in our neighbours garden on the western side and is incredibly wet all year round. The people who owned the house before hand clearly chose to deal with the damp and shade by installing decking to about 70% of the garden which appears to be sitting on some raised beds/walls which are about 1m tall, and paving the rest. We have put a couple of beds in by taking up some paving, and have installed some raised beds onto of the decking. Despite trying to keep the decking maintained and painted it is now starting to rot and really needs replacing.
So we are going to bite the bullet and try to redesign the garden a bit so that it is more attractive, practical (we'd like to grow veggies) and user freindly (for our 3 year old and dog). It will also need to cope with the shade which affects about 50% of the area at some point in the day, general dampness and bogginess most of the time and turns into a swimming pool in places when it rains - which is a lot as we live in Bolton, and also about a tonne of leaves in the autumn.
Please can anyone offer some advice of what to plant in the shady areas, paving that can come with leaf slime and dampness, and/or recommend a decent landscaper in the Bolton area?
Thank you in advance!