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Sloping/shaded border

Hi, long time lurker but hoping to post more regularly. I am considering planting up a border that we have at the side of our house. When we moved in last year it was very overgrown and infested with weeds. Last summer to gain control of the situation, I killed the weeds, put down weed fabric, bark and planted a few plants/shrubs while I worked on the rest of the garden (before & after photos below - panoramic so looks a bit odd). Depth of the border is about 2.5m.  

 It currently looks very bare but is tidy and I think has potential if I can find the right combination of shade friendly plants. My concern is the slope, the associated water run off and overall poor appearance of the underlying soil (this light grey gloopy mess).

Any suggestions? Tempted now to lift the fabric and try to improve the soil and try to plant up some shade friendly options (Hosta, Skimmia, grasses/ferns).

 Any thoughts/suggestions??


Last edited: 05 March 2017 12:19:23


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    I would lift the fabric and not put it back. It destroys soil structure but also, on a slope, whatever you cover it with will run downhill when it rains and when the birds throw it around, 

    Geranium macrorrhizum and G. phaeum are good for shade and good at maintaining their form on a slope

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    I agree with nut.  You could consider raising the edging (which looks like decking boards?) to about 50cm which would effectively give you a raised border.  If you do that, drive 50x50mm vertical posts into the ground every metre to support the weight of the soil behind.  A retaining wall would be better but considerably more expensive and a lot more work.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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