After constructing 2 raised metal beds and sitting them on my concrete drive, I wanted to add some small fruit trees and fruiting shrubs to form a small “fruiting hedge” along the back fence . This would comprise a mixture of gooseberries, white, red and black currants and elderberry , with a dwarf rooted apple and plum tree growing through the “fruiting hedge”
The aim was to provide pollen and nectar rich flowers for pollinating bees in the spring and early summer, provide fruit over a long period for both myself and visiting birds, hedgehogs and foxes as well as introducing safe perching sites and cover to encourage visits from birds. Unfortunately, as soon as I struck a spade in the ground I hit impenetrable rubble and quickly realised that the soil in that area was very poor and only 15 cm in depth. As this was far too shallow for planting small fruiting trees and soft fruiting shrubs, I realised that the only way I was going to do this was to get another raised bed off the internet (in kit form) and site it along the back of the fence , which you can see assembled, below.
After unboxing and then assembling the metal raised bed, I filled it with a good quality soil and compost (50/50) mix .
Now that the 40cm deep raised bed provided a lot more growing room for my “fruiting hedge” , my next step was to get it planted up.
However, as I wanted the dwarf rooted apple tree to get its roots properly established first before planting any further fruiting shrubs or trees around it, I underplanted it with some nasturtiums. This fast growing annual helped to suppress any “weed growth” on the exposed soil, provided nectar and pollen for visiting bees as well as a food plant for the caterpillars of cabbage white butterflies.