Need Colour. Sorry, it's long.

(27 Posts)
SpaghettiMeatballs Mon 27-Jul-15 08:44:44

I've been in my house 18 months but was heavily pregnant when we moved. We've concentrated on getting the inside straight and are finally ready to tackle the garden.

A new patio is being laid next month. This will be to one side of the house as the garden wraps round. I have plans to cover it in pots and paint up the pergola which has a lovely wisteria growing over it. I think I'll be happy with this part of the garden.

The back lawn runs under the kitchen and dining room windows and it's so depressing looking out! There are no flowers at all!

There is an apple tree which blooms in the spring and this runs into a tiny border which circles out into a bigger bed dominated by an out if control budleia (sp?) and weeds. This then runs into a bed of very established shrubs. I think they include choysia and a jasmine of some description. They are also out of control.

The lawn is absolutely awful. Full of moss and burgundy coloured weeds.

I want to cut the budleia back hard and shape the other shrubs but u desperately need some flower ideas.

So far I have planned to put a forsythia in to compliment the daffodils that seem established and a couple of hydrangeas which should tolerate the shade of the apple tree?

I'd really appreciate some ideas for a range of hardy flowers I can put in the curved bed to give colour through the year.

I'd also be grateful for any advice on weeding the lawn.

Any other tips very welcome. DH is keen on using Garden On A Roll but I don't think we need anymore green. We desperately need colour.

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 27-Jul-15 11:27:01

Can you get out to some open gardens and have a look at what you like? Do you have any favourite colours / styles?

I have a massive rock rose in my garden - it's virtually indestructable and has beautiful bright orange flowers. I also love dianthus.

My mum gave me a heuchera this year which has deep red leaves and has just shot up a pile pink spikey flower, which is lovely.

I also love my peonies and dahlias (though dahlias need to be dug up and over wintered)

What about scattering some mixed flower seeds in a prepared bed for a cheap way of getting loads of colour?

SpaghettiMeatballs Mon 27-Jul-15 14:03:11

I don't think I mind on colour. Just anything that isn't green! Having the garden full of shrubs is a nice problem to have but it really needs brightening up.

We do have a very good garden centre near by with planted gardens so I will check that out thank you cupcakes. It's finding things that just keep coming back.

I've always been wary of anything that needs lifting and storing over winter. Do you just literally lift the bulb and store it in the dark or is it more complicated than that?

I have a greenhouse that has been ignored since we moved in but I was thinking of growing seeds in there with DD next summer as she will be 4 so a bit more patient with such tasks. DS is walking well now so potters around the garden really well leaving me free to do the odd bit of weeding or seeding.

funnyperson Mon 27-Jul-15 18:10:04

For Autumn and late summer colour you can plant dahlias, crocosmia, heleniums, asters, japanese anemones, lilies, Autumn flowering crocus and cyclamen. You can get in your spring bulbs in the Autumn.

SpaghettiMeatballs Mon 27-Jul-15 22:39:22

Thanks funnyperson. Would you just concentrate on the season ahead then and leave space for future seasons with the exception of bulbs?

CuttedUpPear Mon 27-Jul-15 22:51:17

The purple leaves in your lawn will be bugle. Not the worst weed imo but a bit of a spreader.

I love lavender in any garden and it gives such a great show of flowers for so long, June to September (at which point you should give it a neat trim).
Go for several together for that french lavender field look.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 28-Jul-15 06:42:00

Lavender! I love lavender. Thank you for that idea.

goshhhhhh Tue 28-Jul-15 06:51:19

I'd start thinking for next yea and buy perennials. If the garden wraps around I am presuming some isfull Sun and some is shade.
I'm good at shade & partial shade.
Nipetia(cat mint) Fox gloves, geraniums, heucherella, tiarella, anemones.
Go to the garden centre & see what's in flower. One garden expert suggests buying something in flower in every season to help wildlife.
Snowdrops under the Apple tree would be nice.

CuttedUpPear Tue 28-Jul-15 13:21:16

If you are looking for plants for the shady places in your garden, garden centres are not usually the best suppliers of suitable plants as these tend to be less showy.

I can't remember the exact address but if you Google plants for shade there's a great nursery website dedicated to all kinds of shade plants. I think it's Long Acre nursery but anyway it's really good.

shovetheholly Tue 28-Jul-15 14:42:42

Yep, Long Acre plants - they are brilliant.

I reckon one of the more manageable ways of doing this is to think 4-6 months ahead. Forget the 2015 summer, and imagine we're now in the autumn. There are two main things to think about which will give you loads of colour without too much effort. The first is planting your spring- and summer-flowering bulbs. You may be surprised how many of these you need to make a good show! How about a very large bulk order (think: hundreds of bulbs) of snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, alliums, species tulips (easier than the goblet-shaped ones), crocosmia, and lillies? You plant the snowdrops, crocuses, daffs in late September, the alliums and crocosmia in October and the tulips in November. (See my post of 100 alliums for £5 in the 'cheap by nature' thread by the way). J Parkers bulbs are excellent and cheap for bulk orders, with plenty of choice in varieties! Check flowering times for each variety, because you can get daffs that flower from Christmas (the rare Narcissus 'Cedric Morris') to May, so with judicious selection, you can have a succession of flowers from the same type of plant.

The other thing to think about is any trees or shrubs (including evergreens) that you can pop in during the autumn for the following year. Things like viburnums, fatsia, choisya, syringa, japanese quince, acers, pennisetum etc. etc. etc. some of which are also evergreen for winter colour. Don't forget about autumn colour for the following year, and the fact that this can come from leaves as well as flowers!

Then in the spring, you can think about adding your summer-flowering perennials. My local garden centre does 7 small plants for a £10 of things like delphiniums, Japanese anemones, hollyhocks, etc - you have to wait a year for them to really get going, but it does make it cheap to fill borders. You can also plant annual seeds for a blaze of colour, alongside certain more tender late summer and autumn-flowering bulbs.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 28-Jul-15 18:17:57

How much sun does the border get? Any idea what your soil is like?

For the lawn, after years of trying to manage weeds the natural way, we gave in a got a man in. He turned up 4 times and year and sprayed it. It was transformed. We've moved since but my plan was to get it under control and then try the natural approach again.

Liara Tue 28-Jul-15 20:45:25

erysimum bowles' mauve.

Pretty much never stops flowering, purple flowers and pretty close to indestructible ime.

CuttedUpPear Wed 29-Jul-15 00:09:29

Here you go, for your shade/part shade places

www.plantsforshade.co.uk/

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 29-Jul-15 07:13:54

Thank you for your help.

The main bed I need to fill gets the morning sun. The patio gets the afternoon heat. A small part of the garden is nearly always in shade due to the apple tree so I shall definitely check out the website cutteduppear has recommended.

The soil is slightly sandy and slightly acidic. I need to dig some compost in but some of my neighbours gardens are amazing so the soil must be reasonable. It's an older house so none of the soil issues I had in my last house which was new build.

I always plant a few bulbs with the DCs but I don't think I plant anywhere near enough as I'm always disappointed especially as tend to pay quite a lot at the local garden centre. I shall definitely order some online to get more for my money.

Erysimum sounds ace as do snowdrops under the apple tree. Thank you.

likeasoul DH is desperate to get a man in to do the lawn 4 times a year so it's good to hear you recommend them. May I ask what company you used?

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Sun 02-Aug-15 23:56:19

spaghetti we just used a local company for the lawn.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 04-Aug-15 06:36:53

Thank you likeasoul. We have a company called Lawn Hopper coming to have a look.

In the end I went armed with all your suggestions to the local 'Garden World' centre and had a personal shopper go round with me. Lots of herbaceous perennials purchased in the sale. Spent most of the weekend spent weeding and digging in all the compost, top soil and feed she recommended and it looks nice. It should look fantastic next year.

Planning my bulb purchases now.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 04-Aug-15 16:29:34

What bulbs are you thinking of spaghetti ? I love bulbs smile

smokedgarlic Tue 04-Aug-15 16:33:07

Try adding some non green shrubs like yellow Mexican orange blossom for year round colour.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 04-Aug-15 20:05:46

Thank you smokedgarlic. I have put in a holly but once I've finished clearing the out of control shrubs near the fence I reckon I'll have room for something else!

likeasoul I definitely want to use goshhhh's suggestion of snowdrops under the apple tree and I want to put some little narcissi in the raised bed that is next to the patio.

I've always done ok with alliums so I'm going to get the Gardener's World offer pack.

I'd like to try tulips but they've always been disastrous for me so any tips gratefully received.

I'm realising I spread my bulbs out too much. They sprout up randomly and singularly so there is no 'display'. I think I need to learn to clump them together more?

Bearleigh Tue 04-Aug-15 20:13:09

Spaghetti with regards to tulips it's sensible to treat them as annuals they don't generally consistently flower year after year*(so dig up straight after flowering if you're fussy, when they still show their leaves - otherwise, no matter how you try there's always one lone tulip left, a pink one sticking up in a sea of red, that sort of thing.)

*some types do last longer I have some unknown red ones that always come up, as do White Triumphator IME and bulbs suppliers do sometimes hint that this is a variety that flowers for more than one year.

MollyMaDurga Tue 04-Aug-15 20:40:57

If you like a good burst of colour maybe some fuchsias? There's thousands of varieties, from delicate pinks and whites to full on bright reds pinks and purples. Some flower for a long time. I find them very cheerful.
I've just been playing around this year and love my colourful calendulas. If you take out the dead heads they just keep going, bright yellows and oranges, double and single flowers.
As bedding plants I had a mass of colourful phlox, violets and impatiens.
And yes, do the bulbs in clusters, and what you can also do is plant them in levels. Deep planting for the big bulbs like tulips, or even gladiolus under them, then smaller bulbs like anemones, then crocuses and finally snowdrops. . You'll then have flowering bulbs from late winter to the summer.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 04-Aug-15 21:08:37

I agree about tulips - they are fabulous but rarely give a good display after the first year. I still plant them though.

Alliums are fantastic. I also love snowdrops, white daffodils, grape hyacinths and crocus.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 04-Aug-15 21:15:33

That's interesting bearleigh I think of bulbs as always coming back but you are right. My MIL lifts hers but she has lots of time!

I've always struggled to get them to come up at all though! That was at the last house though with the crappy new build soil so I am determined to try again here.

I do well with Fuscias in pots Molly and would love to try and get some larger varieties coming back each year.

I have started to clean up the greenhouse so I can try and grow my own bedding with DD next year. She is quite the little gardener at the moment. The personal shopper at the garden centre identified a very sick, tiny rhododendron in my photos and advised digging it up and putting it in a pot to see if it recovered with a view to moving it to the front. DD has rushed out to water it for me and it is already looking much happier under her watch in its new pot of compost and plant feed.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 04-Aug-15 21:17:24

Crocus are another plant I don't think I do enough of likeasoul. They just come up singularly and look a bit underwhelming. Determined to create more of a display. I shall be so impatient for spring after the bulbs have gone in!

Feeling so much more inspired about the garden now the new patio is in the horizon and the long bed is looking better.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Wed 05-Aug-15 07:22:16

Yes I think you need lots of bulbs and def plant them grouped together. Little clusters of odd numbers work well - a good tip is to gently throw a handful on the ground and plant them where they fall.

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