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Help me fill my flower beds!

(16 Posts)
JellyBellyKelly Wed 30-Mar-16 09:32:38

Hi - I am a complete novice gardener and although I'd like to eventually learn more about gardening, at the moment I simply don't have time

I have just pulled up two hedges and have been left with two flower beds. I want to plant them with plants that don't have to replace every year and have some all round interest.

The soil around here is slightly acidic and the soil doesn't appear to be in great condition... But I really don't have the time/inclination to do much to improve it.blush

The beds are west facing and one gets full afternoon/evening sun, the other gets afternoon sun/morning and evening shade as it's in the shadow of a house

I went so far as to buying some little evergreen shrubs which I've planted already.

I now want to plant with just a few hardy, low maintenance (cheap!) plants that will look half decent.

Any suggestions?mi know I probably sound really lazy but all the information I've seen so far is really intimidating and I'd just like to be able to have something that looks a little bit nice for the summer!!

Ooof35 Wed 30-Mar-16 09:35:23

Pansies & Primroses are pretty easy to maintain, flower regularly and look colourful.

JellyBellyKelly Wed 30-Mar-16 12:36:46

Lovely thank you... I shall look into them.

Am I right in thinking they flower in summer?

Any ideas for hardy easy to grow flowers that look good in winter?

Thanks so much!

QuerkyJo Wed 30-Mar-16 15:08:23

if you are looking for quick fillers relatively cheaply. Look at places like Wilkinsons and those type of shops, They sell shrubs in polythene bags rather than in pots.

I have bought Weiglia which you can buy in pink, white and red. They were £2 each and have grown really well and flowered well. Lots of shrubs are OK in poor soil, just add some fertiliser so the soil when you plant. Remember to water well for the first couple of months.

Soon bedding plants will be in the shops. Low maintenance are Busy Lizzie, calendula, marigold, pansies.

dolkapots Wed 30-Mar-16 15:25:23

Pansies have never worked in beds for me due to a slug problem, but geraniums are great.

JellyBellyKelly Wed 30-Mar-16 19:22:59

Thanks all. Much appreciated.

ExpandingRoundTheMiddle Wed 30-Mar-16 19:37:52

Get some Cosmos seed - the tall and the small types
www.thompson-morgan.com/flowers/flower-seeds/cosmos-seeds/cosmos-bipinnatus-sensation-mixed/1367TM
www.thompson-morgan.com/flowers/flower-seeds/cosmos-seeds/cosmos-bipinnatus-sonata-series-mixed/6203TM
Get a bag of potting compost and 2 of these
www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/unheated-budget-propagator-368349
and 2 of these
www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/premium-black-seed-tray-with-holes-595917

They germinate very quickly - mine show within 48 hours. Pot them on into 3 inch pots when they have their second pair of leaves (jaggedy - the first pair are smooth)
Keep them on a window or somewhere light and warm and plant them out at the end of May. They will fill your garden with colour and flowers until the first frosts. They make good cut flowers for the house too.

shovetheholly Thu 31-Mar-16 13:44:13

I know it sounds like an awful hassle, but I would definitely take the time to improve the soil. You really don't have to do loads - just order a big bulk bag of compost, and shove it all over the place, wherever there is bare earth, to a depth of 3 inches or so. This will probably cost £100 or so and a couple of hours for you and a friend to work up a sweat one afternoon.

The trouble with putting plants into poor and depleted soil that's been under things like hedges is that they tend to die, and it becomes a bit of a waste of your hard-earned cash. It's the gardening equivalent of spending ages decorating a house that is damp and has a leaky roof - it'll look great for two minutes, but the problems are going to come back and ruin it in the longer term.

You sound quite clued up for a beginner, doing all the right things like working out what kind of soil you have! Another factor is aspect - is it sunny or shady? Windswept or sheltered? Wet or dry? Choosing plants that suit your conditions can save a lot of heartache in the long run. Having a look at what grows strongly in other gardens close by can be really useful!

shovetheholly Thu 31-Mar-16 13:45:05

Oooops, just realised that you ALREADY SAID what aspect you have! Ignore me telling you things you already know! grin blush

JellyBellyKelly Sun 03-Apr-16 21:21:21

Thanks all

I have taken the plunge, bought lots of compost and will be doing as you suggest shove!

Thanks expanding, I'll look at doing that too.

Still stuck for ideas on plants that look half decent in Autumn/winter

Anyone very welcome

JellyBellyKelly Sun 03-Apr-16 21:21:38

any ideas very welcome, that should read!

SpaghettiMeatballs Sun 03-Apr-16 21:50:26

We did some work on improving our soil last year and it was worthwhile. Everything seems to grow much better now. For example, I've never been able to grow tulips. They either don't come up or they are all thin and spindly. This year I have a beautiful display of tulips coming up that I only put in because the bulbs were free with all the other bulbs I bought!

Not much looks great in the winter. I have some holly and some dogwood that look ok. i have just put some hebes in today that I'm hoping will look ok through the winter.

fiorentina Sun 03-Apr-16 22:04:29

There are Autumn flowering climbers or plants like hellebores that flower in winter or saroccoa that smells amazing in winter, or some good coloured hebes. There are Autumn/winter flowering pansies and other bedding plants for quick fixes.

shovetheholly Mon 04-Apr-16 07:57:58

Autumn interest ideas:

- Acers!
- Asters!
- Verbena bonariensis (keeps going for an age)
- Schizostylus (a great 'doer')
- Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' for a shadier, damper spot
- Grasses
- Japanese anemones - check out 'Wild Swan', my current fave

Winter interest ideas:

- Hellebores are lovely - especially the Harvington hybrids.
- Winter flowering honeysuckle (lonicera fragrantissima): SUCH a knock-out scent when planted in a sunny spot. Lonicera x purpusii is also wonderful.
- Hamamelis for the wonderfully odd little fireworks of flowers.
- Clematis cirrhosa varieties that flower over winter
- Mahonia 'charity'
- Prunus x subhirtilla for a plant that absolutely shakes its fist in defiance at winter, with cherry blossom through November and December
- Winter aconites and snowdrops for something that reminds you spring is just around the corner
- Dogwood for spikes of red colour
- Cyclamen coum

shovetheholly Mon 04-Apr-16 07:58:53

Oh, and of course there are the evergreens that look good all year - they're war horses, so they're often overlooked, but they make such a difference in the winter.

JellyBellyKelly Wed 06-Apr-16 21:54:16

Thanks so much shove, and others... I shall take a look at your suggestions.

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