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Help select plants/look at photo

(18 Posts)
cottonreels Tue 31-May-11 22:45:11

My dad has kindly laid a new patio for us at the bottom of a long rectangular lawn in the back garden. The patio looks lovely and Ive put in some borders all the way around it and replaced some of the clay soil with top soil and dug it over quite a bit.
However, the borders are all still bare as Ive no idea what to put in them!
I like the idea of smelly plants like lavender and something climbling up the tree that has pink blossom. Ive bought a rhododendrum that needs planting out (dont know where to put it) Ive a cherry tree in a large tub that could be planted, and Id like some sort of very low to the ground plant (chamomile?) in the very thin border between the lawn and the patio (this bit will get trod on a lot by my toddler).
What do you think? Any ideas greatfully recieved grin
Oh the sun rises over the bottom of the patio and the trees and sets behind the house, so the wide border gets the sun from afternoon to about 7pm. The border under the trees is a bit more shady.
Hope you can see the photo smile

cottonreels Tue 31-May-11 23:17:40

Ive posted the photo on my profile - fingers crossed!

whatatip Wed 01-Jun-11 07:47:26

The patio looks great and I think lavenders are a great idea, I love big bold clumps of lavender so I think having quite a few of those would be lovely.

What sort of rhododendrum do you have? I thought they generally grew to be massive and need acidic soil, and they do ok in shade. Maybe that will help you decide where to put it.

Scented climbers that spring to mind might be a climbing rose or jasmine (not pink though). Are any clematis scented??

I am sorry I am not a proper gardener, I shall look forward to what someone more experienced says.

cottonreels Wed 01-Jun-11 08:08:57

Ohhh - a response - lovely smile. And that means the photo must work smile smile
Agree with lavenders being in a clump, or a line. Might also be good to brush past so they release their fragrance.
Are you against pink in general, or is it pink jasmines that arent nice?
Am a bit nervous of planting the rho out, but my neighbour has a few and must have the same soil as me - am going to try and ask her if I see her.
Anyone know something pretty to look at but low to ground and that doesnt mind being walked on for the small boder between lawn and patio?

Dazmum Wed 01-Jun-11 08:27:44

You could try some thyme, there are lots of different ones with slightly different leaves and flowers and could be walked on a bit, which releases their scent. Pinks would be good for the borders, but not for walking on! Flowers smell lovely. Also scented leaf pelargoniums ( geraniums), but only last a year for the sunny border. Other geraniums (not pelargoniums!) would like the shady border and would form clumps.

Zepheryne Drouhine is a lovely climbing rose dark pink with no thorns, but might be a bit big for climbing up a tree, maybe a rambler would be better. You could have a look at the David Austen roses website as they describe them very well and what they do/ smell like! Patio looks lovely!

cottonreels Wed 01-Jun-11 09:38:08

Ohh Dazmum that rose is lovely. I like the thornless aspect too - good for toddler. If the tree blossom is pink and the rose is aslo pink should I go for other pinky type colours eg lilac and different shades of pink or would yellow and orange fit in aswell?

Pootles2010 Wed 01-Jun-11 09:42:36

Love the idea of Chamomile. Agree patio looks great!

Like idea of lavender, but how's your soil now? If its still a bit clay-y i don't think they like that, they like quite dry soil i think?

Carrotsandcelery Wed 01-Jun-11 09:51:25

We have thymes growing through a gravel bed that we walk all over to get in and out of the car and it works brilliantly. They smell lovely and you can get various colours if you don't want it all in the same leaf. We were advised that they thrive on being stepped on and it is true that the ones beside where I park the car are the most widespread.

I am really into climbing hydrangeas just now. They are strong growers and have beautifully shaped leaves. I don't know if they would be healthy for your tree though. You will have to take that into account.

Varieagated Polmenaras are great in shady areas. They are beautiful. They don't grow huge though so you would probably put them to the front of a shady border.

Ferns also like shady borders and have gorgeous leaves which provide a good contrast.

I would be keen to put in some aquilegias, delphiniums and campanulas for summer flowers and some every green shrubs towards the back of the border so it doesn't look totally bare in the winter.

Aubretia is also good at the front of a border - it is low lying so keep the tall things at the back and the low lying stuff at the front and the middle sized stuff in the middle.

(sorry for poor spelling blush)

Dazmum Wed 01-Jun-11 12:08:42

Oh yes Carrots, ferns would be lovely, and Astrantias and Astilbes (big clumps and pink white or red feathery flowers) for moist shade too. I really love aquilegias too, and they seed everywhere. Also the green plant with lime green flowers and leaves that hold the rain drops....I've got two...not that that helps and having a senior moment and can't remember the name blush ooh, Alchamilla mollis! Zepherine has a gorgeous scent too, but might want a fence to hang on too instead of a tree!

whatatip Wed 01-Jun-11 13:48:46

Oh no, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Jasmine, it is the most fantastic thing. Its scent hits me when I go out the back door, loads of flowers and it seems to be happy looking after itself so is little bother (except for keeping it tidy). It got brutally lopped back one year, down to the stump pretty much, but it has fought back and looks lovely again.

What I meant in my earlier post about it not being pink was that you said you wanted a pink flowered climber whereas the Jasmine is white.

I have no knowledge of chamomile, but the idea of thyme is a good one. I have lemon thyme growing in a pot, both variegated and non-variegated, and that smells gorgeous when brushed against. And it's useful too.

Carrotsandcelery Wed 01-Jun-11 21:00:41

Dazmum do you mean Lady's Mantle? That would work well.

cottonreels Thu 02-Jun-11 12:23:52

Thanks everyone. I bought some clumps of (french) lavender yesterday - i didnt realise it was french or that english is easier to grow until I got back home...oh well, Ill see what happens.
I also got 2 cleamtises for growing up the tree and Im thinking of getting the zephirine rose too - its lovely.
Its going to cost a fortune though to plant the whole patch, so Im thinking about getting thyme seeds and growing them in the house for a while to save money.
Any money saving tips for getting plants?

TheDailyWail Thu 02-Jun-11 12:31:07

ebay apparently are very good for plants.

Do you have any friends who would dig up some divided plants for you?

I've given ice plants, Valerian, Vinca major & minor, geraniums & penstenoms to my friends - ooh and a blue bugle too. Lots of them were given to me.

I fill up with other plants from the garden centre and if you have a morrisons near you they do good value plants.


whatatip Thu 02-Jun-11 14:03:23

It is going to be beautiful out there.

To do it cheaply, you may need to take a longer term view to get the area completely planted. Grow as much from seed as you can. Also, could you look into propogation techniques and see if you can take cuttings/seeds from other people (neighbours?).

Put a message on freegle?

We have a couple of gardens where they are using gardening as therapy for people with special needs and the plants are cheap there.
Church fetes sometimes have plants for sale.

I find garden centres can be really expensive, whereas buying online can be cheaper. Our garden centre had herbs for sale for £4.50! Daylight robbery. I found some at a market for £2 which were the same size.

If you get a couple of things in there that are happy, that may be all you need as they may oblige you and spread on their own with time, so you could fill your space that way if you are patient.

Dazmum Thu 02-Jun-11 14:30:17

I did mean Lady's mantle Carrots, thanks! I'm sure plants in garden centres have really gone up a lot in price this year, so if you are going to get them from there, buy stuff that will spread or seed itself as whatatip says. I've bought plants from people with good reputations from ebay and they've been fine. Markets are a really good place and sometimes I've got them from school fetes. Seeds are often really good, but I can't grow poppies from seed and they are supposed to be easy!! Cornflowers and scabious have been my best efforts. Your little one may like to plant sunflowers next year, there are some little ones called Teddy Bear and Music Box which are very reliable and quick to grow.

TheDailyWail Thu 02-Jun-11 17:42:23

Ooh yes! Some boot sales have good value plants.

cottonreels Sat 04-Jun-11 12:50:26

Thanks so much everyone. Ive just purchased a gardeners diary (Telegraph) youve given me that much inspiration!! Bought some seeds today - lupin, hollyhock, aquilegia, garlic chives, and sweet pea. Fingers crossed. grin
My name is cottonreels and Im a GARDENER grin grin

Dazmum Sun 05-Jun-11 11:53:24

Sounds lovely! You might not get flowers from some of those until next year, just seedlings, but don't do what I do and try and keep them all, be mean ruthless and pull out the spindly ones, so the strong ones will over winter. The BBC Gardeners World website has some very good 'how to' videos for beginners for all kinds of things including seed sowing. Programmes are good too, very inspirational. I have a very old tatty 'what to do month by month' diary which I bought when I first started being interested in gardening, which I still look at... you'll be hooked when all your things are in and growing, enjoy grin

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