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Which flowers last long in garden?

(11 Posts)
mummy2007 Sat 21-May-11 14:38:04

Hi,

I have a lovely garden that we love but I need some help to make it nice. On the right hand side I have a bed of soil with shrubs that the previous owner left. I've never really been big on shrubs (maybe I know little about them), but I would prefer some colour with some lovely flowers like roses. Can anyone advise a selection of flowers I can buy that I can plant? What do I look for? Ones that will grow each year and only really needs watering to be taken care of (I can do a bit of snipping too I guess!). Flowers which looks pretty and perhaps (only perhaps) do not attract too many bees

Also, in the bed of soil I can't beleive how many weeds there are, wild flowers and even grass! I know, I should of looked after it before (I was pregnant when I moved in and it was the last thing on my mind). What is the best way to get rid of them. They are surrounding the shrubs, and I want to see the soil again so I can plant some flowers. Also, should I pull any shrubs out?

And finally.. the lawn. I have these weeds, I'm not sure what they are called, but they are flat like green leafs in circles dotted around and I hated them. I pulled a couple out and it has left two holes Is there something I should be putting on my lawn that would kill them and perhaps nourish the grass at the same time? If so, I'd love to know! I do have a 3 year old and a 10 month old baby... so I guess something that is 'safe' for them too.

Thanks so much and I do look forward to your responses and input, no matter how small.

Driftwood999 Sat 21-May-11 22:09:02

I should have looked after it before, not of. That would be with a good book from the library, gloves and effort.

WhereamI Wed 25-May-11 06:19:13

I think the suggestion of getting a book (without the pedantry) is a good one as it largely depends on what soil you've got, if the areas are in shade or sun for most of the day, what colours you like and so on. Thedre are books that help you choose plants according to this. Shrubs are actually hee backbone of the garden, esp if evergreen so I wouldn't rip them out (they are expensive to replace). Look for the Hessayon (spelling?) guides.

vanillamum Wed 25-May-11 23:11:09

Don't beat yourself up about should have been doing something earlier, I think you have spent your time wisely getting to know your garden and know what plants are where, which is the sunniest spot etc. I agree with not rushing to pull stuff up, and shrubs are useful and low maintenance. If you want flowers why not consider perennials like lupins, hollyhocks, delphiniums as once you have shoved them in and kept them watered they will look after themselves and come back every year. You can even buy kits which have entire border plants so all the planning is done for you...thompson&morgan
or I know it is a shrub but just think about a peony-huge great flowers that my daughter loves to collect the petals and make perfume with (really just stinky brown water) peony link
Also I would be inclined not to dig too much as it only means loads of weed seedlings will pop up and cats poo in it. Instead I just snap the grass off leaving roots, would leave wildfowers except bindweed (looks pretty with a nice white flower but is a bugger to get rid off). Bindweed I pull out and let it frazzle in the sun before composting as otherwise like the monster it is it regenerates in your compost heap and takes over.
There is method in my lazygardening approach-if you google permaculture it is based on those principles. It means I have a garden I really enjoy, an excuse for it to look a bit scruffy round the edges and it is very low maintenance. Good luck !
Finally, sorry to go on but just remembered if you don't want bees don't plant purple/lilac/blueish flowers.

mummy2007 Thu 09-Jun-11 09:26:21

Thanks.. my garden bed is looking much better now... what about the weeds on the lawn, isthere something I can put on it? Thanks again.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 09-Jun-11 10:06:42

There is a really good series of books: The Gardening Expert. I'd recommend the Shrubs one and the Flower one to start with.

Have a look at the sort of things that grow in natural areas around you - are they things like Rhododendrons and woodland type plants (which would probably indicate that you need to think about acid loving plants) or are you in more of a chalky Downs area (so more alkaline loving plants)

Then consider shade, is it full sun all day, mostly shady or somewhere in between. Have a look at the soil, is it light and sandy or is it sticky (when wet!) and heavy, or somewhere in between.

Once you know those things, it greatly narrows down the plants that will really thrive in your garden and make it easier to choose.

I wouldnt get rid of all your shrubs. Shrubs are a bit like the furniture in your garden, they give it structure. So I'd keep the best ones, move any that are overcrowded in the autumn and plant news ones that you love - lots do flower in a very spectacular way.

Then I'd choose some Perennials. They are like accessories to add to your garden. Choose hardy ones that will pop up each year without any effort on your part.

Wildflowers are great but many come and go so quickly, so don't rely on them for basic structure. The same with bedding plants. They are great for adding extra wow though.

lawns - not got the foggiest - if its green I don't care!

Pootles2010 Mon 13-Jun-11 11:30:58

You mention grass in your borders - do you have a barrier between your lawn + the border? We have a stone type border, just an inch or so high, you can get them from places like b&q, they just stop the grass growing into the border IYSWIM.

We use weed + feed on our lawn - you just add it to the watering can, then water the lawn. You can get child and pet friendly ones, just have a look at garden centre. I have just bought a daisy grubber for a few quid, its just a little hand tool with a metal spikey type thing for digging weeds out of the lawn without making too big a hole, has worked a treat.

For the patches in your lawn - you can now get something called 'patch magic', which is a mix of grass seed, feed + something for the feed to grow in - assume vermicullite? Anyway you just sprinkle it on, water and then it should grow back fairly quickly. Bit expensive mind!

Have a look to see what your neighbours grow - what works well in their gardens will probably work well with yours.

swanker Mon 13-Jun-11 11:47:58

I like lavender- flowers all summer long if you deadhead it, very easy to look after, but you will have bees. But honestly- bees are a good thing, and they won't bother your children, just teach your children not to bother them!

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 13-Jun-11 12:03:51

For the lawn, you need something, I think it is called "weed and feed". It is a tiny grain-like thing that you spread over the lawn thinly and it kills weeds and fertilises the grass. You need to check that what you use is safe for use with children - some need you to keep children off the lawn for a period of time afterwards.

For a plant that flowers all summer long (just dead head as necessary - barely takes a minute) osteospermum is a good choice. It spreads well too and provides good ground cover so weeds don't get through. I like white, but it comes in other colours: Osteospermum

I can't believe your first responder was rude enough to correct your grammar.

herewegoloopyloo Tue 14-Jun-11 11:31:54

We had a similar problem with the lawn - tried a home treatment but the weeds (inc brambles) but was not very effective. We got Greenthumb (nationwide lawn care service) to come out and whatever they did has really worked. They assured me was child and pet safe and have not had to keep off it.

RE. bees - we have catmint (looks and smells lovely but hadn't thought about the cats!) and lavender (looks and smells great) which both attract bees. Bees are great for the garden and no problem so far (3 yrs) with the children.

plipplops Fri 17-Jun-11 16:18:27

I'd agree with pp that perennials are great, esp if you've got some shrubs there already to give it some structure. Lupins/geum/ If there are any shrubs you really don't like the look of then take them out, and if they;re just too big I'd hack them back in the autumn and give them two chances. Then I'd just have a nose round some other people's gardens and see what you like. If something's growing well in your neighbour's garden it will probably do well in yours. Also I used to get Gardener's World mag and they have free plants every month (you pay the P&P), which I used to get if I liked the look of them to just bring in some things I might not otherwise have bought.

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