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Midlothian, United Kingdom Gb

My Guide unit are about to take on a plot at our hall. It's currently covered in long grass and rubble, in a shady corner. It's not very large - maybe 1 metre square at most - and we'll only be around once a week during term time to tend it - rarely/never over the school holidays.

Any suggestions on plants that will show quick results, and thrive on neglect/look after themselves? As we are based in Scotland, hardiness would also be required.



I'm assuming you mean flowering plants rather than vegetables as they wouldn't be around to tend and harvest vegetables.
First, I'd create a raised bed over the area rather than try to dig, weed and maintain. Put down a permeable membrane over the area (landscape fabric which passes water through but which suppresses weeds.) Put a wooden frame over it about a foot deep, two six inch planks would do the job.
Then if you can get some good quality topsoil somewhere you can fill the frame with this, adding some compost and some slow release fertiliser granules.
Then for plants, treat it like a bedding scheme, using half hardy annuals or hardy annuals in the summer and autumn, and then things like primulas and bulbs in the spring. Dahlias planted in summer would give autumn colour. Get your inspiration from the bedding schemes done in some of the towns and villages which do best in 'Britain in Bloom'. Most flowers will do ok in shade, but if you choose ones which tolerate shade then you will do even better.

13 Aug, 2010

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