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By Annieq

Wiltshire, United Kingdom Gb

My problem corner !!

As previously mentioned, I have uploaded pictures of my problem area. We have been in the house just over a year, when we moved in both front and back gardens were completely covered with shingle,stones and huge rocks. I have cleared most of the shingle and stone to make way for a very small patch of grass in both gardens. Eventually as I put in more plants in the borders I will remove more stones, I think that will be easier than trying to move tonnes of stones at a time. The patch of grass in the pictures is at the top of the garden next to the sun house. Apparently there used to be another shed next to the sun house and under the grass (about 12-14" of soil) there is the remains of a concrete base. The area is North East facing ..ish so it is always a bit damp even is summer. Next doors hedge is about 12' but they have said we can cut it back as much as we like and the height doesnt restrict light much.

So what do I do with it ?

My rhubard is doing OK. The honey suckle is surviving so far !.

The side is our dumping ground for wood and compost, but that can easily be moved.

No obvious bugs other than spiders and wood lice...lots of wood lice.

I have put up the little picket fence, because I thought If I seperated the area and made a little bit of a hidden space, with a table or fire pit, it may make the whole garden look bigger.

I love the idea of putting big structural plants in there to make it look big and bold like they say on the gardening programmes, but I like everyone else cant afford spending a fortune on expensive plants that will die cos its too dark and damp

Plus I want to cover up that hideous fence..


Garden_001 Garden_002 Garden_003



I have a corner very similar to this - shaded and constantly damp.(In my case because of a small spring). I have put in two different ligularias, some ferns, astible, alchemilla mollis, primula bulleyana, iris and hydrangea petiolaris as a background. They all do surprisingly well there and the ligularias are big and bold enough to almost fill the corner. None of these plants was very expensive and they all grow vigorously to fill the problem space.
Good luck!

30 Oct, 2011


The sun room should face south, NE is too cold in the UK. The idea is that you sit in the sun room out of the wind but in the sun.

Anyway, Honeysuckle is a woodland plant, so will do really well growing over the fence (with support)

I would cut down the hedge - it looks in your side of the boundary given the brown fence on the otherside of it. That will add a lot of sunlight and I think that you could treat it as a semi-shade area.

30 Oct, 2011


Your little summer house is so dinky! :-) The white picket fence is lovely too - but it really draws the eye to your problem corner - maybe not what you wanted?

I'd deffo cut back the hedge provided it's a species that will take it, and reduce the height. The bit we can see isn't 12' but is it Leylandii? They don't regrow very well if you cut into "brown" areas I understand. I'd get it down to a height you can trim without using a ladder even if it is Leylandii.

That small area is going to look very crowded if you go mad with your "Bold structural plants" - and if they're deep rooting they won't be happy with just 12" of soil.

Otherwise, it's down to what you like and what you want. It's all a matter of taste and your opinion is the one that matters.

30 Oct, 2011


Agree with previous comments re hedge,(about 3ft wide) we had leylandii and took them out completly and what a difference so much more light. Another idea Im using in damp areas caused by "run off" is to put in a land drain. or even dig a trench and fill with gravel this could possibly act like a sump to collect water away from soil.
Ive gone for marginal plants in damp areas, such as Gunnera Manicata can grow very big, very structural and Chamaeleon plant, astible.
very best to you.

30 Oct, 2011


This is an amazing post would be nice as a continuing blog.

31 Oct, 2011


Fatsia japonica and Crinodendron hookeranium will both do well in that situation. Both get large though, and not sure whether the roots will eventually find a way to escape the concrete base beneath, but if there's any cracks in it, they will cope quite well. Note that Crinodendron prefers non alkaline soil. Another one to consider which is large and architectural is Mahonia x media varieties, such as 'Charity'. If you want a Fatsia, wait till spring to get one, best planted then, not now.

31 Oct, 2011


I saw this and thought holiday chalet! So I think if this were mine I would turn it in to a beach hut and shingle area 'look'! with a hammock. I would bring the hedge down and pebble the area and add a couple of boulders, with 2 blue posts and a white hammock hung between. Lots of brightly coloured red and blue pots and some hanging baskets on the deck with a couple of striped deck chairs one in here and one on the deck. It would make a great summer haven. If you use a 14-20mm gravel you will have no cat problems.

31 Oct, 2011


I almost suggested pebble/ shingle for that small area beyond the white fence, and then realised that that is what Annie has just carefully (and probably with much effort) removed, so didn't! ;-). But it would make a good "foil" for, say, Fatsia or a bamboo in a pot.

31 Oct, 2011

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