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I must say this is my first post on here and I am by the response from people trying to help me. I am using a fine tooth comb (beginner to the gardening hobby) to work my way through your posts and making lists of plants/seed to buy as we speak, thank u so much!
You have to consider what is right for your area. What would appear if (only theoretically!) you dug it over and waited? That could teach you a lot. In my garden I would soon find: alchemilla, violets, valerian, ferns, ivy, holly, bronze fennel, buddleia, (as well as weeds of course, and ash seedlings)..But I'd probably welcome some of those. Valerian is tough enough to cope with rain shadow,and would give height. Or you could put up some trellis. Perennial sweetpeas are wonderful and keep me and many of my neighbours supplied with huge bunches for several months each year.. My first post too: what fun!
Welcome 19edna. Hope you enjoy your time on the forum. I find it interesting and informative.
Emilym, The most important considerations are the amount of sunlight and the kind of soil. If there isn't much sun and the soil is very dry and crumbly, then you will have a limited choice of plants. If the soil is like this, or is heavy clay, you can improve it with compost, manure and if necessary added topsoil, but you probably can't change the amount of light. In these circumstances, a raised bed makes sense if it will provide better soil, added by you, and lift the plants up so they get more sunlight. If you choose the wrong plants, they will not thrive. I hope you have a wonderful time planning and completing your border.