Forum home Garden design

Help with a border


In the centre of the picture there used to be 6 pine trees (they were removed because of a danger they would fall). Now there is an extensive root system and 6 stumps close to the ground. My grandmother doesn't know what to do with it and i suggested putting bee friendly shrubs/perennials border there, but have no idea how to get started because of the pine stumps/roots. 

Would it be a case of digging as much as possible out? And what would you suggest putting there. It has sun most of the day and the garden is southern Derbyshire. 

Thanks for any help!




  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,275

    Hello Tom - what a great potential project there! This link here may give you some helpful hints:

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,857

    There are 3 main ways forward I think and they depend on patience and budget.

    Th first is to get someone to dig out the stumps.  Tree surgeons often have root grinders which will do this easily enough.

    The second is to build raised beds using railway sleepers or bricks or recycled scaffolding boards or similar.   They'd need to be about a foot deep to be effective or you could make them to knee height and have built in seating.  You'd then need to fill them with a mix of garden compost, loam based compost and, if possible, some well rotted manure and then you can grow ornamental plants or maybe some shrubs or even edibles.

    The third is to wait a year or two.  The roots and trunks of pine rot fairly quickly and then you can dig it over and make a new bed enriched with garden compost.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I've dug out birch, ash and laurel roots last year, when I made my new fence, with only an axe and a spade. I only had to remove roots on 12 square meters of garden. It is doable, but it's hard labour and a lot of work. (I dug half a meter deep, but for shrubs you of course don't have to dig that deep.)

    Last edited: 14 May 2017 20:13:01

  • TomCranhamTomCranham Posts: 139

    Excellent, thanks for everyone's feedback. I think I'm staying towards the raised bed with sleepers idea :)

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,400

    We had a load of stumps removed by Stumpgrinders - its a franchise, but was not expensive and did the trick image

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,566

    Another option would be to create a flowering meadow for a few years. The soil is probably quite denuded but that's an asset for wildflowers. You could go crazy and mix in non native perennials! 

  • TomCranhamTomCranham Posts: 139

    That is another option WillDB! I'm going to have a word with my grandmother later today after she's finished work (can you believe she's 85 and still works part time as an accountant)

  • TomCranhamTomCranham Posts: 139

    So over the last few days my dad and i have built this raised sleeper bed and seat and planted it up. I ache and have cuts all over (though that's mainly from pruning my Grandmother's huge rose bed) but i think it's worth it image

    Before is at the top of the thread!



    I designed the raised bed/seat and plant bed!

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Very nice!!

  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619

    Nice.  Did you remove the stumps or just cover them over with these beds?

Sign In or Register to comment.