The Long Side Border is currently home to our blackberries, strawberries and rhubarb. We've also got a set of three composters in the border - complete with sedum roof. Having the composters here is handy because whenever we pick the rhubarb the leaves can go straight into the composter.

In 2008, our head gardener Don completed a pathway that cuts through the long side border to connect the Productive Gardens to the Ornamental Gardens (through the Calendar Border). On either side of the deep shallow steps Don created, we've planted up herb gardens that mirror each other.

This border also has our mycorrhizal fungi trial, started in spring 2008. The producers claim that the fungi helps plants (especially when planted bare root) to establish more quickly and grow much better than when planting without the fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi is present in the soil anyway, but by adding this product at the planting stage, the idea is that it is more readily available to the new roots as they start to grow. The fungi attaches itself to the roots, and helps the plant take up more water and nutrients than the plant can on its own. Therefore, the hopeful result is bigger, better, stronger plants. We'll see.

To try it out, we've taken 3 types of hedging (beech, privet and hornbeam) as bare root plants. We planted one set of the 3 types up the slope without any special treatment. Further down the slope, we planted another set of the 3 types, but these were dipped in the mycorrhizal fungi before planting. For more information, check out Factsheet 2, 2008.