Advanced search

Has anyone used garden on a roll?

(15 Posts)
cupboardunderthestairs Wed 01-Apr-15 10:54:10

I have a border to fill. I've done quite a bit of research to find out the best plants for the conditions, but I'm still stuck with which to pick and how to arrange them. This looks good, but from what I can see they put quite a lot of plants in a small space and I'm wondering whether it would become overcrowded? Also wondering whether all of these plants would really thrive in my heavy clay soil...

shovetheholly Wed 01-Apr-15 13:29:36

A couple of thoughts:

* A lot of landscaping firms deliberately space plants more tightly than advised, so as to fill up the space more quickly. It does mean that you may need to divide and chop back earlier, and that you'll pay more. On the other hand, the result will be there at an earlier point. It depends how much time and money you have and how much patience!

* Some of those rolls will do a lot better on clay than others, particularly if your garden isn't south facing. Mediterranean plants, for instance, and things like echinacea may struggle. You'd need to pick carefully.

* That company is REALLY expensive. I am sure they are very good, but this is by no means the cheapest way of filling your garden. To give you an idea - my local garden centre sells small perennial plants at 6 for £10 at the moment, and a lot of them are the same varieties that are put in these 'rolls'. A bit of research and you could pick out similar plants at a fraction of the cost. It is surprisingly fun to do the design, too! There are garden books that are devoted to border design and you can pick these up really cheap second hand. Or look for advice on the web (you can crib a lot of ideas off places like Crocus, and then find cheaper plants).

* We are all here to help you if you do want to do your own design!

violetwellies Wed 01-Apr-15 14:33:05

Have a look on the Crocus website, use the plant list off the garden roll you fancy.
They are really helpful, give lots of info and lots of price reductions atm.

cupboardunderthestairs Wed 01-Apr-15 15:57:55

Thanks, I appreciate the advice. I am quite keen to do it myself as I've done a lot of research and I now recognise a lot of the plants in their rolls as they are in my shortlist. I'm not keen to overfill the border, as DH will want to rip everything out in a couple of years time if it gets too overgrown.

Having said that, I am really struggling with adding height without too much bulk. The border is only 1.5m deep, and is next to a fence that is about 1.5m high. I would like at least some shrubs that are as tall as the fence, however the taller ones tend to be quite bulky and I want to retain some space in front of the shrubs for other things. In this border, they have things like Photinia, spotted laurel and Choisya ternata sundance, which all seem too bulky to me. So is it just a case of keeping on top of the pruning? Am I overthinking it?

violetwellies Wed 01-Apr-15 18:24:06

There's a berberis that is sort of tall and thin, I think it's called rocket, may be wrong tho. Often am.

scanaldo Thu 02-Apr-15 09:00:38

I've used them and would definitely recommend doing it yourself! The plants that they actually sent bear no resemblance to the pictures on the website, they're too packed together so now about to have to move them all after a year and they look terrible. Two of the plants were diseased when they arrived. I sent a picture of one to customer services the day they arrived but never heard from them again. The other areas of my garden I did myself based on asking questions at a garden centre look much better.

cupboardunderthestairs Thu 02-Apr-15 09:48:32

Oh no sorry to hear that scanaldo. There seem to be lots of good reviews around for them, but perhaps mostly from novices wanting a quick impact.

shovetheholly Thu 02-Apr-15 10:30:32

cupboard - I would go sparingly with the shrubs in that case - which means things that give you all-year-round interest. You have a fence, so you could grow some beautiful climbers up that to give you a high green 'background' - and if you add some evergreen varieties, you'll still have a bit of colour in the winter.

I would beware of dense evergreens, like laurel and even photinia in a narrow space, because it can be a bit of a struggle to get things to grow underneath them - a shrub that you prune to make a beautiful shape, leaving more light to shine through, might work better.

Height is a strange thing in the garden, because you can get so many plants that deliver it on a seasonal basis, rather than permanently. Things like delphiniums, verbascum, foxgloves, verbana bonariensis, some of the beautiful taller grasses (I could keep on listing hundreds and hundreds of things) are perennials that give a lot of height in the summer. If you have a fence, things like grasses can be left over the winter to give you a beautiful golden shimmer (though mine always seem to get pulverised by the October gales).

cupboardunderthestairs Thu 02-Apr-15 22:27:05

Thanks, I like the idea of climbers to add height without sacrificing space. I'm still considering a couple of shrubs, but things that can be pruned easily like Buxus and Euonymus japonicus bravo. Love the idea of the berberis rocket too.

As to the perennials, I have LOADS of ideas: hostas, hellebores, brunnera, astrantia, geum, galium, ferns and grasses etc etc. V excited!

janeandant1 Mon 11-May-15 13:25:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LBOCS Tue 12-May-15 00:17:18

Another idea is to look at Waitrose Gardens. They do 'ready gardens' and provide a planting plan - you don't have to buy from them but you can use their ideas in terms of placement and planting and adapt it to suit your own space.

MmeLindor Tue 12-May-15 00:33:01

I can recommend Crocus too - I ordered a 'ready made border' from them last year, and have added a few plants this year. The plants have all done really well, and are looking great already this spring.

StaceyAndTracey Sun 17-May-15 17:39:44

I think you should keep your idea of some evergreen shrubs for all year interest

Choisya woudl be fine and fit nicely in a space 1.5m . The yellow ones are not very hardy if you are in a cold part of the country, great if you are sheltered. All the green ones are lovely

viburnum tinus Eve Price can easily to pruned to keep in that space , they have year round interest

There are lots of hebes, with different leaf colours and sizes , they will stay reasonably compact . I use the small leaf ones and trim into big domes .

Skimmia are good for winter interest

Nandina is evergreen in warmer areas

Spotted laurel will grow to big for 1.5 m and the leaves are so big it's hard to prune it and keep neat

Photinia can be easily pruned also it's not a very attractive shape . But lots of people love it for the colour

There's also dwarf conifers if you like them

There are many evergreen grasses . And some smaller phormuim would do too . They will still look fine it they grow slightly above the fence hight

All of these are good on clay . You can add deciduous shrubs, perennials and of course bulbs

StaceyAndTracey Sun 17-May-15 17:44:07

Forgot to say that your ideas of box and euonymous are good

You obviously have lots of ideas, it woudl be a shame to lose that creativity . Remember you will be using quite small plants , so it will be easy to move them at the end of the year if you don't like particular plant combinations.

Gardeners are endlessly moving stuff you know .

And you need to get your DH a ( non gardening ) hobby ;-)

juliet68 Fri 12-May-17 17:46:19

I've used Garden on a Roll and they provided a fabulous service from beginning to end. I couldn't fault them at all!
The plants were sent in really good condition and the instructions were easy to follow.
I would not hesitate in recommending them.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: