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New bungalow garden - blank canvas raised beds

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Kennywesley, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Kennywesley

    Kennywesley Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi everyone, me and my partner are new to the forum.

    We have just moved into a new build bungalow with a lovely sized garden. We are having raised beds put in this weekend made out of railway sleepers and in November we are planning to plant a native hedgerow.

    We are trying to get a cottage feel planting theme and only want to use perennials.

    I have gardened for family members but never had my own garden with a blank canvas.

    In time we hope to get garden birds drawn in.

    Any advice/help/recommendations would be greatly appreciated and we will keep giving updates here.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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    • Fat Controller

      Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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      Welcome to Gardeners Corner @Kennywesley

      GC Welcome.png

      You will get loads of advice here, and I am sure that some of the experts will be along soon. In terms of perennials for a cottagey feel (I am aiming for a similar feel with my garden, eventually!), I would suggest looking at the likes of Hollyhocks, Foxgloves (careful with these if you have pets or children), Delphiniums, Lupins, Roses and maybe even some annuals known for self-seeding prolifically such as poppies, malva zebrina, calendula and nasturtium.

      It would almost certainly help if you could tell us where in the world you are, what type of soil you have, and even some pictures of your plot if you have any?
       
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      • Kennywesley

        Kennywesley Apprentice Gardener

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        We are having two raised beds made one 4 ft wide 16ft long. The other a L shape. All 4ft wide. Going to be filled with good quality top soil and then I wa going to mix in some kind of compost or organic material maybe someone could give me some advice on this. I will be posting pictures when they have been made. We in a south facing garden with very little shade after 1130ish. We are in the West Midlands. Near Birmingham
         
      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        The organic material will depend on what you are wanting to plant in there, and when you are going to plant it. I will tag a some of those who have better knowledge than I do, and I am sure they will be along shortly to help. :dbgrtmb:

        @ARMANDII @wiseowl @shiney @Marley Farley @JWK @longk @pete @Verdun

        There are lots more than the above, but they will get the conversation going for you :)
         
      • Kennywesley

        Kennywesley Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks for your reply again. We won’t be putting much in at the moment will be just bulbs and a few perennials we have been buying reduced. Will be mainly in the spring now I’m guessing

        Look forward to hearing from other users of the forum

        Thanks again :)
         
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        • Perki

          Perki Super Gardener

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          Hi Kenny :sign0016:
          Is they a reason for the raised bed ? its a big expense for something you may not need, seems like a fashionable thing now to have raised beds :noidea: . A picture when you get round to it say a thousand words :blue thumb:

          I know you said all perennials but I would advise adding some structural plants for all year round interest. It could be some small shrubs are ornamental grass or a small tree with interesting bark. I do have a all herbaceous perennial border and its rather bland for 4 months of the year, I am just looking a some shoddy fence / trellis. I am slow adding more structural plants but its hard to remove others I like.

          Don't forget about bulbs especially Alliums ( one of my favourite ) snowdrops for late winter/spring - daffs - tulips - lilys - fritilaria etc. all these bulbs are available now and need planting this year. Bulbs are normally the last plants to go in but can be grown in pots until final planting place.

          Some of my favourite cottage garden plants are Alliums ;) - astrantia are very easy and flower for ages - delphiniums the queen of herbaceous border - Phlox easy reliable - rose are a most in a cottage garden - verbena B nice and airy - veronicastrum easy tall - nepeta easy plant - geraniums loads of good varietys and easy to grow - penstemons easy - sedums - geums and many more plants.

          Have a look through the - Whats looking good in september - and the previous months for a bit of impression there is lots of very nice members gardens on there.
           
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          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Gardener

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            Welcome to the forum.

            You mention that you have some gardening experience, having gardened for family members. Thats good. As at present we are unaware of the size, shape or any other natural feature of your garden. My first imaginary thoughts of a bungalow and garden is rather like a a home surrounded by a garden. The terrain might be flat or perhaps on a slope. The latter could offer terracing in part. No. I am not going to suggest what plants your should or might consider planting.

            Gardening IMO is an ongoing involvement with plants and the natural world. That is what makes gardening so interesting. Now, there are many perennial plants and ornamental trees and shrubs that you could buy now and save for later planting. However might I suggest you take things slowly.

            Perhaps you and your wife/partner might like to stand outside and take a really good look at your property. You could spend a fortune and work yourself into the ground, only to be a bit sad at the end of the day. Much of what will come to mind is memories of what you have seen around about. Tick these off. So perhaps the area at the front of the dwelling needs to be bright, clean an pleasant to the eye. Perhaps even somewhat easygoing as, this area will probably call for the most of your attention and upkeep. Ideas can be aided by what you have seen of other gardens.

            Now. The comedian Jimminy Cricket comes to mind. Psst! Come this way. There's more. Remember, try and visualize your garden lasting for the next 100yrs. The last thing you want is a TV garden. Now this is the front gard. Then. This is the left side garden etc. Set out to develop a garden that is continuous. Apart fromplants, perhaps a rustic archway, a water feature a folly even. Always something for you and your visitors to follow. Wowee! I wonder what's the other side of?
            My friend, a ver warm welcome not only to the forum but also to the wonderful world of gardening. All the very best.
             
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            • Kennywesley

              Kennywesley Apprentice Gardener

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              Hi both thank you for getting back to us. We do have a reason for having the raised beds well there’s two. Firstly it’s a new build and the soil quality it’s the best in the world. Secondly my partner has knee problems so raising the beds up of the ground will help her getting involved with the garden more.

              We
              Have already put some
              Structural plants in either side of the garden with a wisteria and a honey suckle both doing well and a lace cap hydrangea all in there forever spots. Once the beds have been put in this weekend we will put some pictures up so everyone can visualise:) we are both looking forward to getting stuck in and making a lovely garden that we will take our time doing.
               
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              • silu

                silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                Welcome. I am in agreement with @Perki re raised beds but understand why you are going for them.Not too sure what the sleepers will have been treated with but it will be something megga strong that's for sure and unlikely any plants will like being too close but I'm not an expert on this subject. Hopefully the ones you get will have had most of the preservative leeched out of them Maybe plant some not too treasured/cheap plants/bulbs in close proximity and see how they get on before risking anything else. If the sleepers seem fine then I would certainly try and plant the likes of Aubretia and other trialing plants to soften the look if you want a cottage type theme.
                Instead of spending a fortune on buying in compost I would visit any local stables you have and see if they will supply you with horse manure which, unlike sleepers, I am regrettably:) an expert on having shovelled tonnes of it over the years and still am!. Usually stable owners would be delighted for you to take it. If you have the choice take the oldest they have. Even if it is not that rotted down it will be by the time you have dug it in to the topsoil and left it until the spring. If the manure is on wood shavings this is not quite so good, try and get manure which is from horses being bedded on either straw(best) or newspaper. If you can only get manure on shavings it would be better to store it off the beds to let the shavings rot down quite considerably before adding to the topsoil. The other alternative to horse manure would be spent mushroom compost if you have a grower close by.
                Perennials are a great choice for a new garden as they will give a good impact very quickly.
                Below are beds I created a couple of years ago from excess plants I had elsewhere in my garden. The after photos are only the 2nd! season of being planted up. It just shows how quickly beds of herbaceous plants can look quite mature. Maybe look out for plant sales through open garden schemes close to you. You'll normally get good chunks of perennials for little money. Pity you don't live close to me as there is a fantastic charity plant sale near where I live (Scotland) at the end of this month. It is a massive sale over 2 days and you get huge amounts of sometimes quite unusual stuff for very little cash!
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                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  Hiya kennywesley :)
                  I have reservations too about raised beds.....they can create their own problems, i.e. In a hot summer they are likely to dry out quickly :noidea:.

                  However, check out persicarias, sanguisorbas, phormiums, (these help create an evergreen structure) evergreen grasses like elymus magellanicus and helictotrichon (glaucous blue foliage), acteas/cimicifugas (glorious purple foliage) aster frikartii monch (prob the best medium height herbaceous plant) veronicas, salvias, echinaceas, rudbeckias, dwarf kniphofias (the new popsickle hybrids flower for months ....mouth watering names like Mango, Orange Vanilla, Hot Papya)
                  Consider small compact colourful evergreen shrubs like abelia Confettii......superb cream varegated foliage and white flowers in autumn on compact plant......pittosporum Tom Thumb....purple black foliage....hebes like subalpina and Quicksilver, euonymous Emerald n Gold and more to add colour during the winter. Daphne Odora Aureomarginata also presents superb scent in early spring, Sarcoccoca too with powerful scent in late winter.
                  Over the front edge of the raised beds also consider helianthemums, osteospermums, arabis, yellow alyssum :)
                   
                • Kennywesley

                  Kennywesley Apprentice Gardener

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                  Hi all thanks for all the replies. We can now share our before and after photos. I'm going to start putting bulbs in this week and hopefully some evergreen shrubs.IMG-20180922-WA0002.jpgIMG-20180922-WA0001.jpgIMG-20180928-WA0002.jpgIMG-20180928-WA0003.jpg

                  We are hoping to get some colour all year round any advice in that sense would be appreciated our next project is putting a edible native hedge at the bottom of the garden.
                   

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