Are there any NO maintenance plants/flowers that I won't be able to kill?

(46 Posts)
Kaloobear Fri 03-Aug-12 09:08:34

I am a hopeless, hopeless gardener. I have managed to kill spider plants. I don't water enough, or I water too much, or I don't give them enough sunshine, or I give them too much-I kill everything.

blush

We've recently moved house and have actual outdoor space for the first time. I need to tackle the garden but I thought I could start by getting some pots and something very resilient for the front of the house. (Which gets sun in the morning if that makes a difference.)

Is there anything out there I can plant and then basically forget about and it will survive and flower and be pretty? Or something that's so easy to look after that even I can't mess it up?

<desperate emoticon>

BedHog Fri 03-Aug-12 09:14:34

Some kind of bush would be easiest I guess. They pretty much look after themselves. Or a beach style garden with ornamental grasses. Or you could always buy plastic plants!!

EauRouge Fri 03-Aug-12 09:26:07

Buddleia? All you have to do is cut it down once a year. Same with lavender. I have loads of alyssum that I don't do anything with. Also have day lilies and red hot poker that seem to be OK being ignored.

Andifnotnow Fri 03-Aug-12 09:29:48

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jul/06/gardens-buddleja

Bouddleia is definitely my choice. Seen it growing on roofs and railway bridges. Whatever you do to it cannot be worse!!!!!

Kaloobear Fri 03-Aug-12 10:39:14

Right, buddleia is my choice! Thank you. I'm off to buy a pot and some soil and seeds. I'm actually excited!

icecold Fri 03-Aug-12 13:25:21

Lavender, rosemary, rhoddedendron.....

These are the ones that have survived my special gardening gift, which we have in common [from]

icecold Fri 03-Aug-12 13:25:55

grin not from!

Abzs Fri 03-Aug-12 13:43:12

I have killed both lavender and rosemary. Sage and thyme are hardier and have quite pretty flowers (and are tasty).

Buddleia, dogwood and fuschia bushes have all survived my attacks with secateurs.

The indestructable plants in my garden are wild strawberries, violets, ox-eye daisies, aquilegia, campion, crocosmia and geranium. They spread and self seed and sometimes have to be ripped out by the armful, but I don't think you can kill them by accident.

Rhododendron. I have actively tried to kill mine, several times, and the ugly bastard just won't die. I have no trouble killing everything else.

Lavender is quite delicate I think, certainly hard to from from seed.

Kaloobear Fri 03-Aug-12 13:54:04

This is great, keep em coming! Maybe I can kit my entire garden out with indestructible plants and just watch the jungle grow over the years...

There's something out there that I'm sure is a blackberry/raspberry/some kind of berry bush. It's got white flowers at the mo and a few little berries that are currently green but look like they'll change colour. It's quite exciting waiting to see what it's going to be! Also, the tree at the bottom of the garden has apples on it. Apples! I feel like I've discovered gold. Looks like the previous owners were better gardeners than me!

EauRouge Fri 03-Aug-12 14:00:18

I tried to kill two lavender plants by hacking them down to the ground and they came back healthier than ever, and they seed all over the place. Maybe it depends on the variety.

There are lots of things that will self-seed like nigella, opium poppies, valerian etc but they take over if you're not careful. If you don't want to do loads of gardening then you might prefer some perennials that won't get too thuggish.

Abzs Fri 03-Aug-12 15:18:30

I believe the lavender and rosemary froze to death. It does get quite cold up here usually (not this year obviously, it's been a fairly steady 10-15 since last october).

Forget me nots. Self seed copiously and if you pull them up after flowering (when they get scraggy), all you are doing is thinning them for next year's crop's benefit.

Cotoneaster. Fennel (bronze is nice). Bleeding heart bush (dicentra) - I killed a nice white one, but there was a traditional pink one in my garden when I moved in that I have never coddled, and it comes back every year better than ever.

Also stick in a load of bulbs (daffs, tulips, crocuses etc). If you plant them at the right depth, in the right soil, and remember where they are, they'll survive for years and years with no help (just don't cut off the green leaves after flowering as they need the leaves to feed the bulb for the following year).

Geraniums (hardy ones like Johnson's Blue, not pelargoniums)

MrsJohnDeere Fri 03-Aug-12 15:42:00

Better in the ground than in pots, but my 'survivors' are bamboo (non- invasive), cotoneaster, violets, aquilegias, wisteria, clematis, miscanthus, dicentra, buddliea.
You could stick in lots of daffodils and wallflowers now for a lovely display on the spring.

Lavender and rosemary are trick dry easy to kill ime.

Re pots - you'll have to remember to water them!

2-3 big ones is easier (and more effective) than 10 little ones - you can put more than one plant in each pot to get a nice effect.

I find the best thing is to put each pot on a saucer (make sure pot has holes in bottom). Water pot till the saucer fills. Don't ever re-water till saucer has emptied (stops you over-watering).

If pot has dried out but plant isn't dead, put pot in sink, fill sink with water, and leave pot to steep for a couple of hours (till it no longer floats and soil is nice and wet).

I agree that pots aren't a great idea, at least if you're a lazy plant loving but neglectful gardener like me!

I can recommend the following, planted out in the (sunnier) beds in my garden and surviving with precisely no input:

Valerian, knautia, carnations (I'm growing Mrs Sinkins for the first time and it's flowering prolifically and smells amazing), bergenia, verbena, bronze fennel, alchemilla mollis.

Sedum's fantastic - gives you loads of autumn colour and winter interest from the dead heads, and is also unbelievably easy to grow on from cuttings (even I have done it with huge success!).

Most of these have evergreen foliage, to stop the bed looking empty in the winter.

Climbers that seem to be doing well despite my non-green fingers are honeysuckle of all types, and a clematis armandii (but the other clematis did die, admittedly!).

Evergreen bushes: choisya ternata, choisya aztec pearl, cistus monspeliensis (rock rose, by less wordy name!).

Apologies for the lengthy list - I got a bit excited about my lovely garden writing them all down while looking out of the window grin

Kaloobear Fri 03-Aug-12 20:52:37

The reason I was thinking pots is that the previous owner told me the ground in the garden is very 'clay-y' and difficult to grow things in. Now, bearing in mind I have no idea what 'clay-y' really means (has a lot of clay in, I'm guessing, but how that affects plants I mean!) I thought I could just buy soil to put in pots...can you do that? Or can I do something to the soil in the garden to make it more amenable? Or does it matter anyway? Maybe some plants like clay?!

You're all being so helpful, especially given quite how thick I am with regards to this stuff. I feel like I'm starting to learn a new language from scratch!

MrsJohnDeere Fri 03-Aug-12 20:58:25

My garden is clay. Most things grow just fine. No good for carrots grin

Pots are much more effort, because you have to water them, and plants grow far better in soil. If in pots they soon exhaust all the nutrients in the compost.

Yup, all the plants I just listed are growing in clay grin Unless the soil's really compacted, you should be fine.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 03-Aug-12 21:50:54

Roses love clay. If you get a disease-resistant variety - browse the David Austin website - it should last for years with just a bit of judicious pruning from time to time.

Lucyellensmum99 Fri 03-Aug-12 21:54:19

plastic ones?

Jasmine. Ours is indestructible (and we've tried to kill it twice!)
It survives everything and looks lovely at the moment

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 03-Aug-12 22:11:15

Oh and join the gardening club thread, where we share our gardening triumphs and disasters (and drink virtual gin in the virtual potting shed).

dinkystinky Fri 03-Aug-12 22:15:42

In our case, lavendar (plant in the sun so it thrives), chives (nothing but nothing will kill it), parsley (again in sun and thrives like no-one's business) and mint (in a pot or spreads everywhere) and jasmine (in pots in shadetied up to lattice) work well despite my total gardening ineptitude

stleger Fri 03-Aug-12 22:54:24

I have most of the things mentioned confused, as everything else has mysteriously failed to thrive. Next summer, get a few packets of nasturtium seeds if you have gaps to fill. Slugs don't seem to eat them.

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