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How to design a flower bed

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  • What a shame can't see your pics.

    I'd go ahead and paint them.  Weathering takes forever!  I've been told to paint with yoghurt as this gives a nice mossy effect but it didn't work for me maybe you will be lucky.  I've gone over a mossy green fence with a dark brown Creocote stain.  Smelled a bit but looks lovely.  Makes my gorgeous evergreens stand out.  With all this wet weather maybe better left until the Spring or Summer.  If you're anything like me I can never wait that long.  Will probably have to do it again then.  Does look nice though.

  • Thanks. Will try again with the photos. I've been warned against Creosote as it can kill plants and to use a woodstain as an alternative.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,289

    Creosote isn't available now Lyn - Creocote is the new 'version'without all the carcinogenic additions!

    The new wood paints and stains are water based so are harmless to anything round about. They need to be applied in good dry weather though, to let them 'go off' properly. They don't last as well, on the whole, as the old type of stains so need re applying.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Yes, the guy who built my decked area and installed the sleepers didn't recommend the wood 'tints' He said you are forever re-painting. Said they were rubbish, basically. He did mention the 'new' Croesote but said it wasn't as good as the original !

  • I've used those fence paints in the past and unfortunately it is rather thick and doesn't go very far, expensive and a pain to apply.  The colours are opaque making the wood look artificial.  Your man may be correct but asthetically stain is much more natural and goes further.  My gardener (back in the days when I could afford one) mixed some sort of thinner with the fence paint.  Can't remember which one I bought.  He said it was far too thick so would cost double if he put it on as was and he'd need twice as much.  It was quicker to apply also so didn't cost me so much.

    If you only need a little bit then go ahead with the traditional fence paint.  They have a dark grey which would probably be o.k.  Try and achieve a natural, woodland look.  I wouldn't recommend the blues as the sun bleaches blues.  Similarly I've never seen green or orange wood so best avoid the vivid colours.  These are o.k. if you have a very small garden and don't mind it looking at it for years but I believe going with a natural look will not detract from your flowers and plants.  The main principle players in your garden should be the plants not the supporting players. 

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     Half finished - before gravel. Will post pics of finished project (apart from planting and titivating!) tomorrow if weather permits. I will go for dark brown stain on the sleepers - maybe see how it looks before staining the decked area as well.  Gravel is light putty colour so, hopefully, dark wood should make a nice contrast.

  • I like it! Sounds a good plan.  In your decking have you considered putting some small uplighters.  You can get some snazzy colours.  Will need to be done by an electrician before you lay the patio.  To break up the harshness of the wall I would suggest standard roses a weeping standard shrub. Buddlea and lilac will grow anywhere and smells lovely.  As the garden is small increase the height by putting in some posts with trellis up and across to zone areas.  This could be done against your garage so you look through it from your kitchen. You can also hang pots on them and grow a gorgeous honeysuckle and/or jasmin with a rose scrambling through them.  A varigated ivy against the wall near the patio doors would look nice.  Try to keep the pots to a couple at the most as it gives the impression that you haven't yet decided on a plan.  One very large planter is better than half a dozen mixed sizes.  You will need to replace the compost every year though and the plants may outgrow the space they're in after a while.  As I say go for big plants so that you can divide them.  Much cheaper in the long run.  Let us know how you are getting on.  Dark wood is good.

  • I believe a trellis against the wall of your house framing the patio doors would be good.  Pick a climbing plant that will smell lovely from the house. I'd suggest putting the plant in the ground.  You can train it up and over given time.  A clematis montana would be good.  (Spring flowering) At the same time a honeysuckle.  They come in different varieties so search out for different ones around the garden.  Holly is also good with the red berries in the winter.  Pyracantha is very prickly but has red or orange and yellow berries in the winter.  Mahonia is quite an architectural plant and has yellow flowers in the winter but can outgrow its space so needs to be kept in check.

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