For 15 years I have been very unhappy with my garden and I'm at a loss
what to try next.
We have a very small garden which is paved. A raised shaped walled
border provides our main planting space, but at its widest point is
only 5' and at its narrowest is about 2'. To help with visualising it,
imagine a rectangle with 2 overlapping circles in it (that's our paved
area) the bit between the circles and the rectangle is the border. The
border backs onto garages, which must be about 8' high. The only time
the border gets sun is in the summer when the sun is directly overhead,
but because of the side fences the period of time is very short. The
second problem seems to be that due to its size it seems to have its
own microclimate! We're inundated with slugs and snails and aphids.
Although we encourage wildlife, we just don't get much other than the
odd toad and sparrows.
Previous planting has involved plants not thriving, being eaten or
ultimately being too big. Plants we've used include hostas (eaten)
choisya (doesn't thrive), firethorn (doesn't flower), solomans seal
(eaten) bamboo (died) periwinkle (overgrew everything). We've also got
a varigated holly, which is okay, fuschia, which grows okay but too big.
We've a lovely climbing rose, but the stems look very ugly because the
rose (although tolerant of shade apparently) just grows upwards to
reach the light, leaving nothing at eye level (remember these plants
are already 2' up in the air because the border is raised). The only
things that thrive are the ivies climbing up the garage wall, which is
We have come to the conclusion that we need to scale everything down
and start again. This time we're thinking maybe an ornamental type
garden, with hostas and ferns, but how would we cope with the slugs.
Would it help to put bark or slate down?
Any suggestions would be welcome.