New gardener daunted by empty flower bed
Hello everyone! I've just moved into my new home and finally have a garden but after clearing all the rubbish and rotten shed (8 skips!) and doing the hard landscaping I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed about what to put in my raised flower bed. The garden is South East facing, and the flower bed is 1metre wide by 15 metres long (West facing) alongside a fence and overlooked by a 30 metre high London plane tree at the bottom of the garden so it's relatively shady - I've uploaded a photo.
I have a toddler and a baby so I'm looking for non-poisonous hardy low maintenance evergreen plants and shrubs that will grow fast to cover the rather orange coloured fence and will also survive being hit by frisbees, light sabres and footballs. I'm not sure what type of soil it is - does this matter?
Can anyone please suggest some shrubs and plants that might work?
Would you recommend going to a local garden centre (I'm in South London) or should I order online? I'm on a budget but would like to get planting in March.
Sorry if these questions are a bit stupid but I never had a garden before so I'm at the bottom of a very steep learning curve. Any advice gratefully received!