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The perimeter of the house where I did the new fence contains a 25m length from the back of the garage to the corner of the garden. That’s why it took me a while to do the fence a couple of years ago. Anyway, of that 25m length, 5m is behind the back of the garage and 8m or so is behind the planting beds round the lawn. The other is a straight run of fence that is pretty much all you can see from that part of the patio. We decided that we should break it up a bit by adding another planting bed. Indeed, we decided to make this the biggest of the planting beds, running a length of about 2.5m.

It’s a very simple rectangular bed that runs along the fence line.

For the base I had the advantage of being able to use the existing row of big concrete blocks they lay along the perimeter. There was nothing wrong with these and they formed a nice straight and solid edge. I only had to dig a trench for a three-sided concrete base then, which I took down to a similar depth to the concrete blocks.

As with the other beds, I didn’t put a concrete bed across the whole base, as that would mean having to find somewhere to send excess water, so what I’m actually doing is to dig some of the clay out and use the bottoms of beds and refilling with gravel, so they act as a bit of a sump for rainwater. We’ve never really had an issue with rainwater escaping from the soil, patio or beds before, so I made the decision that so long as we had some gravel soakaways to take water off the patio and didn’t put the slabs right up to the edge of the house then it would be fine. It would be better than it used to be, anyway.

Back at the plot, this larger bed might become either the “desert” bed or the ericaceous one. Whatever goes into it, there will be a lot of it.