What would you do with this border?

(10 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Fri 12-Feb-16 17:02:53

It's a little bit shaded because of the tree but gets quite a bit of sun. I planted all the shrubs when we first moved in because it's quite a deep bed and was just all soil/weeds. The shrubs are good because there is greenery all year but I'd quite like some flowers/colour.

I planted some bedding plants last year (busy lizzies and petunias) but they just got a bit lost under all the big plants. Where there is a bit of a gap in the photo is a wigielia (sp?) and a low spreading plant that smells like thyme so the whole area gets filled.

Is it best to remove some of the shrubs? I prune them back each year but they've still all got quite big. If I take them out I'm going to end up with random gaps?

Any suggestions?

iwouldgoouttonight Sat 13-Feb-16 11:32:20

I wonder whether tall cosmos bedding plants would work?

Chippychop Sat 13-Feb-16 19:41:39

what about swapping some shrubs around and maybe plant some (hebes? ) with colour but that are still green all year? I also live variegated shrubs for adding interest

shovetheholly Sun 14-Feb-16 18:53:26

It's difficult to tell this time of year because so many plants are still beneath the soil but it looks like you have too many evergreen shrubs and too few spring bulbs and especially hardy perennials.

You don't want to get rid of all those evergreens because they have their own beauty and they do give you year-round interest But I would think about taking out a couple of the shrubs that you don't like and putting in some other kinds of plants, esp perennials. Personally, if it were my garden, that laurel would be for the chop but it's an entirely personal decision! ((I just don't like laurel!!)

Again, hard to tell from the picture but it looks like your soil is in quite large clods, which would mean that it could do with a good mulch with compost before you add perennials - they are a bit more 'sensitive' than shrubs, but it right and they'll reward you with an amazing display. If you have heavy clay, adding gypsum and a bit of horticultural grit to aid drainage can help.

If it's shady, you could try anything from foxgloves through to some of the shade-tolerant geraniums. Have a look at my shade plant thread - I'll try to add in some more suggestions v soon.

iwouldgoouttonight Sun 14-Feb-16 19:10:48

Thanks that's really helpful. I'm not a massive fan of the laurel either but that seems to be the one that will leave the biggest gap if I take it out.

I do have a couple of foxgloves that will come up. Am I too late to plant spring bulbs now?

shovetheholly Mon 15-Feb-16 11:15:20

You can put in pots of outdoor spring bulbs that are flowering (you can buy these at the garden centre). They will give it a bit of a facelift, but they tend to die back quite quickly and are an expensive way of doing it - maybe use them sparingly and then whack in loads and loads of bulbs in the autumn for next year?

TheFogsGettingThicker Thu 25-Feb-16 12:15:05

What about some nice climbers for the fence? It's looking very bare, you could have something nice and flowery at the back.

TheNoodlesIncident Thu 25-Feb-16 14:44:49

The laurel will get huge and create even more dry shade, I would sacrifice that and get some perennials in there, like Shove has suggested.

And yy to climbers at the back, there are some that will grow in semi-shade, halliana type honeysuckle would manage there just fine

Kr1stina Sat 27-Feb-16 22:27:33

I think you have a good structure with your evergreen shrubs, I'd make the bed a bit wider and put in some perennials after Easter and then bulbs in the autumn for next spring . You can plant small bulbs around the deciduous shrubs too .

If your yellow shrub is Choisya ternata ' Sundance ' then it won't like too much shade . But if you prune it hard you will lose the flowers .

I think the one with the yellow splashed leaves is Eleagnus maculata and that won't mind it the shade . The Photinia might get a bit leggy, but yours looks fine so I guess it's the pruning that's keeping it in shape .

Kr1stina Sat 27-Feb-16 22:30:33

Is that a ceanothus in front of the Choisya ? I'm not sure if it's happy ...

Or is it Rosemary ?

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