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large beds


I would appreciate some advice, I am designing my garden in cottage garden style - it is large and i want large beds e.g. 10ft + deep/ 20ft wide. However, I am unsure as to how such a bed would be weeded, maintained, without tramping on all the plants! I am used to 4 ft raised beds for veg - not really grown flowers before.

Any advice appreciated!



  • It's a big help to make sure it's +/- weed free before you do any planting.

  • I have similarly sized beds, herbaceous/cottage garden style, a few strategically placed stepping stones helps a little, but you will inevitably squish a few bits or at least I do, (but then I am a bit of a clumsy sod!), but the beauty of perennials they are soon grown back!  I also try to do a good spring cut back/ clear up with a thick mulch to try to help with the need to get in throughout the summer to weed, also done wonders with my clay soil! 

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,050

    Hi Neil, my garden is cottage style and the borders are big, you just have to practice ballet steps in a tai chi fashion to step between. Here a pic of one of mine about the size you want. This was late summer.

    In Spring and early summer its very delicate with pinks, blues lilac and whites, with foxgloves, delphiniums, lupins, geraniums and aconitum.

    Let us know how you get on, post some piccys if you can and ask any questions you like, there are some very knowledgable people on here.



    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thanks all - Lyn - thats the idea....i guess i am used to sowing/replacing plants in a veg patch, whereas in the flower garden they plants are in all season.  I like the idea of some stepping stones though

  • Lyn, that bed looks absolutely beautiful image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • if it looks 1/2 that good,i will be very pleasedimage

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,050

    RB ours is a 6footer, the duvet cover is the worst.

    Thanks Dove

    Back to Neil, as Joe said, weed well first off, I dont need to do much once it all comes up, most weeds here are buttercups and that tiny thing that expodes seeds when you touch it, so they are low, plant enough and they dont show.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    I was once asked by a rather proper lady why I had such a large bed when I lived alone. I looked at her and said 'Are you quite sure you want the answer to that?'

    Agree with Dove re your bed Lyn. And when I did have a large garden, stepping stones were definitely the answer, especially when the ground was wet


  • LynLyn Posts: 23,050

    Neil. There is nothing special or difficult to grow in there, all grown from seeds and bare root plants, then divided, I should have a spectacular show of geraniums next year thanks to Bekkie and others, and lots of seeds to in for a change.

    That border was only planted up in Spring 2012, yours will grow on very quickly once you make a start, keep us posted with before and after pics.

    Heres that bed in Spring/early summer, the main thing is to keep it full, set some seeds in March/april time for the following year, dig it well, plenty of compost or well rotted farmyard manure, put some daffs in for winter colour, unless you have lots of money spare, a border like that will take time because you cant just put one of anything in, it has to be a group of at least three.

    Thats why mine is all seeds, cuttings and bare roots. Ask around, neighbours may have some bits for you, check on the internet so you know how tall they will grow.

    Parkers do some good bargains like 30 plants for 10 pounds. Or similar.

    Dont ever get dis heartened, dont make a chore of it, enjoy it and marvel in what you grow and it will reward you.

    Later I will show the border we only just dug up this Spring. Dont want to hog your thread!! Just so enthusiastic.



    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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