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Planting for our garden wall

Good Evening all,

I'm very new to gardening and bewildered by the choice and different growing methods which vary from plant to plant! I have recently built a garden wall and was hoping for alittle advice on what type of plants would work best in this sunny / shady environment i created.


As you can see from the pictues, the wall cavity is fairly narrow and about knee height. I have painted the inside with waterproof black paint and added stainless steel pipes at the very bottom of the block work for drainage ( which I have no idea whether it will work or not!? ). I have ordered 1 ton of shingle to put at the bottom of the wall cavity to allow for drainge and purchased 2 ton of good quality top soil / compost mix to put on top of the shingle. 

I was originally thinking of spacing out some lovey looking bay trees across the wall with some low level planting inbetween (Not sure what though, so much choice and unsure what would work and be easy enough to keep?).  

Firstly, does the above sound like ive done the right thing using a shingle base for drainage and top soil/compost mix? Does bay trees sound like a good idea? I'm concerned because 9 good quality bay trees are £500+ so don't want to mess this up! 

What's everyones thoughts on the above? If bay trees are hard to keep in the environment i mentioned above maybe something else?

Your thoughts would be greatly appeciated 



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