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Raised beds

Hi, I would like to ask for a little advise if anyone is willing. I've had 4 raised beds constructed either side of my garden. The one side I'm planning on creating a herb/kitchen garden. The other 2 raised beds I'm at a loss with how to fill. All I can think is that I want it to be fairly low maintenance and pretty. they are set against fences so I'd like tallish planting to the back. Could anyone suggest a simple planting design at all? 

I've also got a very boggy corner of lawn, I'm thinking more planting could potentially absorb some of the excess water but again I have no idea what to plant. I've had land drains put in but the drainage is just poor.

Any suggestions or help is very appreciated!


  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,033

    When do the raised beds get sunshine?  Just morning, just afternoon, all day, never.  Does the sun get there all year round?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,070

    Can you give size of beds and aspect? Plus any other elements that  affect choices like buildings, trees etc. That will help with any advice  image

    The boggy corner is probably better made into a bog garden with appropriate planting. That's easy enough to do, but it's lawasy better top link the area in some way with your other planting - ie colours and heights. If that's not viable, another raised bed there, so that you can control the wet ground, or take that area of lawn away altogther, and make a solid surface (gravel or similar) and use pots and containers. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • sancsanc Posts: 3

    Thanks for your responses, the beds are 1m by 2.5 so not massive. They get good sun in the morning and some all year round. There are no trees nearby only a 6ft fence panel behind. 

  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260

    I assume 1 metre deep by 2.5 metres long? I have a similar issue with a bed that's 1 metre deep by 13 metres long, again with morning/midday sun.

    The bed's 18 months' old but so far I've really enjoyed:

    - Foxgloves for height, colour and "wow" although they'll only last for one or two summers.

    - Climbing honeysuckle on a trellis against the fence. Nice for green height without taking up too much room in the bed. Lots of other climbers to consider, and you could use an obelisk if you don't want a trellis. They offer scent as well as colour.

    - Bulbs of all descriptions. I love the simplicity and ease of bulbs - pop them in, forget about them, see early signs of Spring next year. We have snowdrops, daffodils (normal and miniature), tulips, crocuses and bluebells. I want some irises and cyclamen coum.

    - I'm thinking of getting a hardy geranium, e.g. geranium Rozanne because it flowers for so long which feels good value!

    - Sunflowers. They won't be massive without full sun, but ones that were supposed to be 5-6' grew to 4-5' with decent flowers. This year I've bought giant sunflower seeds with the expectation that they'll top out around 5-6'.

    You may have guessed already that we're lacking in know-how but we make up for it with enthusiasm image I'm afraid there's no real structure to our bed - just a collection of plants that we like.

  • sancsanc Posts: 3

    Garden noob,  thanks for your response. That's really helpful. I'm the same have lots of enthusiasm for garden but absolutely no knowhow! Love to have a go though.

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,645
    sanc says:

    I'm the same have lots of enthusiasm for garden but absolutely no knowhow! Love to have a go though.

    See original post

    Which is the best way to acquire knowhow image

    Plan for a whole year, so perhaps ornamental grasses such as stipas for winter structure, convolvulus cneorum which is hardy, with silvery leaves and evergreen, or sarcococca if your garden isn't windy, for winter scent. Bulbs for early spring colour - crocuses, narcissus, hyacinths, tulips and alliums - oriental poppies for an early summer splash of 'blowsy' colour, geums, hardy geraniums and irises for mid summer, penstemons, asters, rudbeckia and heleniums for late summer into autumn.

    I'm not suggesting all that at once - get some gardening books, visit local gardens, browse the local garden centres for ideas and plants you like - expect it to take all year to get the plants chosen, bought and planted. Read all the labels, try to get things in the best spot (sunniest, or sheltered, or wet soil) and see how they do and if you like them. Then, if you're like me, a few will die, a couple will grow like topsy and take over, a few you won't like where they are, so take photos through the year. Then in autumn or next spring, move things around, buy a few more plants to fill the gaps and carry on. Before you know it, 5 years will have gone by, your beds will look great and you'll still be thinking you don't know anything.

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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