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Ideas please

(16 Posts)
Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 10:16:18

Hello.. I am redesigning our garden and I want to build a raised brick flower bed that we can sit on. We have a lovely eucalyptus tree that's staying but how would make that work with the raised beds. I think the bed would end at the tree but I'm not fixed on this so any ideas welcome!

Twinklefuck Mon 14-Mar-16 11:21:11

We've been planning similar to make things a little more streamlined and easy to maintain from beasts.

I can't see the surrounding space but you could box it in to fit more with the raised border like the second picture if that's the feel you're going for. There's some great inspiration on Pinterest. I'd probably leave as is but I love trees (and have none!)

echt Mon 14-Mar-16 11:21:23

Your raised beds would need to be lower than the fence.

Your eucalyptus has the capacity to kill off underplanting because that's what they do to survive, so you need to clear leaf debris regularly, but with a raised bed you'll be able to overcome this.

I'd need to know what area of the UK you live in before I could recommend specific underplanting.

shovetheholly Mon 14-Mar-16 11:43:29

I would think carefully about whether you keep the eucalyptus. (I can't see from the picture which variety it is, but many of those sold in this country are E. gunnii). It looks relatively small right now, but it will romp away - it's very fast growing. If you're not careful about keeping it in check, you'll end up with a massive bill from a tree surgeon to remove it later on.

They are also amazingly adapted to access water (very, very quick and deep rooted), so will tend to rob other plants of necessary liquid. The roots can cause structural damage to houses (and subsidence on clay soil) and any other structures nearby - drainage, sewerage systems too. If you look on gardening and tree forums, you'll also find plenty of anecdotal evidence that they are sadly prone to falling over as well. This also makes them the kind of tree that neighbours are likely to worry about.

Sorry to be so negative. They are lovely trees in parkland and I can completely understand why people adore them. But unfortunately, they are not great anywhere near houses. sad

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 12:13:49

Oh ok.. The eucalyptus is quite big and we chop it off every year so it doesn't grow above the conifers in our neighbours garden. Tree has been in their for over 12 years, before we moved in. May explain why our grass is so shit!! It's very pretty though so be a shame to get rid

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 12:14:02

We're in the midlands

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 12:18:16

Apologies if a silly question but can't the beds be built slightly away from the fence so nothing resting against the fence? Then the beds can be higher.. Just want high enough to perch on
We'll be getting rid of the grass also to have a patio area instead

shovetheholly Mon 14-Mar-16 13:07:12

Yes, beds will need to be built away from the fence with a 'back' on them. It might be worth leaving a small gap, in fact, firstly for air circulation/fence maintenance and painting and secondly to let you fix wires in so that you can plant a couple of climbers to the side of the bed, covering the fence and giving you an attractive green backdrop.

You might find pressure-treated wood cheaper and easier than brick, and you can paint it to match the fence so it blends in. Bear in mind that if you want a seating area, you will need either to cover the whole bed at some point (effectively making it a bench with a planter) or a really wide lip!

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 13:09:09

Right that's good thank you.
I tend to think about what I'd like and then get stuck with how to create it!
I'd better get on pinterest and see if I can find a way to go round my tree

shovetheholly Mon 14-Mar-16 13:12:22

I'm intrigued by the grate in your fence (I think it's really pretty!) to the left of the tree - is that actually some kind of building? If so, you might really want to leave a fair bit of space - shade under a tree, plus lack of air circulation + increasingly wet winters = rot and damp.

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 14:18:23

It's a plate rack! upside down that I nailed to the fence as a bird feeder grin shall take a picture to show you properly

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 14:20:23

Here you go

shovetheholly Mon 14-Mar-16 14:32:25

That is ingenious!! It looks really good too.

And I can see why you like your eucalyptus so much! It's not the gunnii variety - it looks like one of the more cold-tolerant snow gum ones? I am not a tree expert at all, but I think that might make a big difference to whether it's a problem or not as the snow gums are smaller trees and can be kept in check.

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 14:41:28

Haha.. Didn't want to throw it out. Am all for cheap and cheerful!!
It's a really pretty tree so we definitely want to keep it.. Just need a plan for making raised beds along the right side of it. Maybe sleepers would blend in better but I do love bricks

shovetheholly Mon 14-Mar-16 16:04:01

I know what you mean about bricks - weathered ones look smashing in a garden. I'm thinking of your tree roots a bit because bricks tend to need at least some kind of foundation, whereas wood can just be dumped on the surface. However, I'm sure that your tree is strong enough now that it can withstand a bit of scraping around the more superficial roots.

Philoshite Mon 14-Mar-16 16:09:36

Yes we've dug about there quite a bit and even cut some roots out as they were coming through the grass. The tree is fine!!
I love the way it sways and makes a lovely sound in the breeze, I think the garden would look so bare without it
Shall do some research tonight

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