Hello. Can I please have some suggestions on what type of plants to grow in my front garden beds. I live in Northam WA which is one and a half hours east of Perth. We get extremely cold nights with frost and extremely warm summers of high 30's and sometimes 40+ degrees. We have very huge gumtrees on our verge and they don't shade the garden beds so much as they are so tall. The front garden also faces to the west so gets full afternoon sun. I am really struggling to get plants to grow in these garden beds. I have spent thousands over the years on plants having no success. We are about to renovate the outside of our house in a Hampton's style. I want to know what plants will survive under these trees as the roots of the trees take up the soil and water. I would also like low maintenance garden. Maybe some pretty flowering natives that would suit Hampton's style home.
Thanks for any input.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @tde299. Many thanks for your questions, I'd be pleased to assist.
If the main issues are due to the competing roots of the gums with the plants in the beds then it would be worth considering isolating the beds. This would involve digging down at least 45cm, lining the dugout area with weed matting and then refilling it with a quality garden soil like Osmocote 25l Garden Soil Planting Mix. The weed matting will not stop the roots of the gum but it should halt them long enough for your new plants to establish their own root systems. Do you know what type of soil you have there currently and if there is a distinct clay layer?
Rather than dig down 450mm to create the garden bed, and risk the possibility of running into existing gum tree roots, I'd prefer to raise the garden bed up so it's sitting well above the roots. Dig down about 180 - 200mm, line the bed with weed mat and then build the bed up from there to a depth of 450 - 600mm as Mitchell's suggested with the Osmocote Garden Soil.
Thanks for your response Mitchell.
The top part of the soil is masses of stringy roots. We have dug the soil out previously and refilled with new soil. Further down it is very clay soil and lots of bigger tree roots!! I am happy to remove and replace soil again but just don't want to plant out plants and the heat and tree roots suck the life out of them