Novice, help, what can I put in my borders now for rest of year?!

(16 Posts)
flatmum Tue 23-Apr-13 09:00:20

We've been in the house 2 springs am the borders round the edge of the house look lovely for a month or too now with miniature daffodils. Rest of the time they look awful. Nothing else in there as far as I can tell. I meant to plant tulip bulbs but have missed the boat I guess. So what and when can I put in there for the rest of the year?! Without disturbing the miniature daffodil bulbs for next year which look lovely, briefly.

Also what do I do with the miniature daffodils now they are dying off?

INeedALieIn Tue 23-Apr-13 09:06:09

I am no expert, so keen to read your replies.

Each year we plant lots of geraniums in our sunny garden. They seem to require minimum effort and last the whole season until cold sets in. (Early nov last year). They brighten it up really well. Fuscia also provide lots of colour. Both need replacing each summer in my experience.

cantspel Tue 23-Apr-13 13:11:26

Do you want bedding plants or annuals?

leave the dafs to die down and wait for the follage to turn yellow then cut it off. It should be about 6 weeks after the last flowers. Dont tie them either as will damage the foliage and deprive the bulbs from the necessary nutrients they need to flower next year.

flatmum Tue 23-Apr-13 13:34:50

bedding plants or annuals? no idea? clueless! smile

i basically want something I can plant now, will look nice most of the summer and stop the beds from being empty once the daffs are gone and most importantly be relatively low maintenance as I work and have too many dc ....

geraniums sound nice? are you saying i could plant them straight in as plants in a few weeks once daffs gone? Would I have to add soil? Where is the best place to get them from?

cantspel Tue 23-Apr-13 15:41:07

Some nice bedding plants sounds what you are after. Preferably some which will self seed for need year.
Antirrhinum
Cosmos
Dahlia
Gazania
Nicotiana
Osteospermum

Are all lovely and are just plant and leave.

If you have a shady area you could add some
Aquilegia

and if you want some tall plants for the back of boarders then

Digitalis (Foxglove)
Lupins
Penstemon

Any garden centre will sell them or even B&Q will have a decent stock of bedding plants this time of year.

gardeningmum Sat 27-Apr-13 20:12:58

Hi have a look at my ideas for family friendly plants - some of them have been mentioned already. Be a bit careful of foxgloves if you have little ones as they are poisonous.

kidsinthegarden.co.uk/family-friendly-plants/

PeggyGuggenheim Sun 28-Apr-13 12:50:08

Gardeningmum that's a lovely blog. I liked your wild flower meadow. What will happen in the winter? Will you pull them all up and have an empty bed until the self-sown seedlings come ? What could one do to avoid the empty phase ?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 29-Apr-13 00:05:49

OP get out and find some Sweet Pea plants. You can get them in packs of about 6...you will need about 4 of those packs to make a nice show...plant three canes in a wigwam effect..tie them at the top...then on the bottom of each cane plant two Sweet Pea plants right up close to the canes.

Two lots like this will fill a corner beautifully or put them near where you sit on the side borders...when the little plants are a bit taller...after a week or two, gently tie the baby stalks that are begining to trail up the canes...tie them down.

IN Summer you will have a lovely display. Pick the flowers regularly to keep them coming.

Alos look out for HOllyhocks, Snapdragons and Lupins...plant them along the borders. They're tall and gorgeous and come back again every year.

Intersperse these with Forget me nots if you see any in the shops.

Sunflowers fill space well and are easy too.

DewDr0p Mon 29-Apr-13 11:17:05

How big are the beds? And how much sun do they get? Most bedding plants like a fair bit of sun although there are some you can choose for shadier areas.

If you've got room then it might be an idea to put a few shrubs in first. They are lower maintenance than bedding plants and perennials and provide a bit of structure.

gardeningmum Mon 29-Apr-13 13:23:53

Thx PeggyGuggenheim. The mix I used was an annual one, but there are perennial mixes available. It probably won't reseed, but i still have half a packet of seeds for sowing next year. Yes it will be a bit bare in the winter, but as the plot is not very visible from the house I reckoned that would be OK. I may try planting some green manure over winter

flatmum Wed 01-May-13 08:52:53

Thanks Guys - I am determined to sort this out this weekend. Willgo to local garden centre or possibly just B&Q as it is nearby? and look for some of these sugegstions. The beds are pretty small and run by the side of an L shape section of the house so pretty shady most of the time I'd have thought (shaded by the house?). There is only room for one row of daffodils for example.

One last question - the soil in there is old and full of detritus and has sunk down low into the beds - so I think I need to top it up with a few bags of something first - what would you recomend?

purplewithred Wed 01-May-13 09:07:49

Anything that says its a soil improver and isn't ridiculously expensive, and ideally is peat free. Be careful to get bulky stuff not a concentrated farmyard manure that you just sprinkle on. Just Read the bags. B&q Verve soil conditioner for example.

Bizzie lizzies ad begonias are happyish in shade, geraniums won't flower so well and its a bit early for ghem to go out. Pansies can be ok too. But you will need to rip all these out in winter and replace them every summer.

flatmum Wed 01-May-13 09:49:16

So am I correct in thinking that if I put some of cantspels suggestions in:

"Some nice bedding plants sounds what you are after. Preferably some which will self seed for need year.
Antirrhinum
Cosmos
Dahlia
Gazania
Nicotiana
Osteospermum

Are all lovely and are just plant and leave."

I could put them in above the daffodil bulbs for the summer and just leave them so that i'd have flowers in teh summer and daffodils in the spring with no pulling /replanting and minimal effort from me apart from the odd bit of weeding smile or am I asking too much here .....

DewDr0p Wed 01-May-13 11:37:55

Osteospermum is gorgeous but it likes to be in full sun - in shade it doesn't flower so well and the flowers close up sad

Cosmos and nicotania are lovely but annuals so will only last 1 summer. Nicotania will tolerate some shade though. Think cosmos prob better with sun. Not sure about the others.

Good perennials for shade (ie keep coming back every year) include hostas (variegated ones are nice), dicentra, some perennial geraniums, alchemilla mollis, astilbe, Japanese anenome, Solomon's Seal, ferns.

Have a good look at the beds over the next few days and see if they catch the sun at any point, you will have more options if they are less shady. HTH!

DewDr0p Wed 01-May-13 11:39:21

Oh hellebores are excellent in shade too. They flower from late winter/very early spring and the flowers last ages (mine still look good now) Then you cut the flowers off and get nice dark green foliage for summer - good as a contrast to other plants.

gardeningmum Wed 01-May-13 11:53:28

Would echo DewdOps comments - definately look out for some perennial geraniums. Forget me nots are in flower now and do well in my shady border and they self seed beautifully. You could also try a perennial wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ is the main one.

You could try a couple of packets of seeds, marigolds and californian poppies -not ideal for a shady site they are annuals, but if they are successful they will self seed..

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