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Help me plan a new flower bed

(19 Posts)
Umpteenthnamechange Tue 25-Apr-17 11:32:33

In the attached pic - you see a paved rectabgular area - just in front of the kiddie toys? I am planning to get the paving ripped up and replace it with a flower bed - with pretty fencing all around and a narow path in the middle (if that). What could I plant in that space that would give year round interest? Thompson and Morgan are doing their 72 perennial plug plants for £8 offer at the moment - so i thought maybe some honeysuckle up the back against the wall and then arrange the perennials, with a pretty little low border around the side?

Any ideas from more creative people? It gets sun all day.

pansydePotter Tue 25-Apr-17 11:42:10

Is the idea that it will be a little children's garden in front of the playhouse with a low picket fence or something for the adults to enjoy?

arbrighton Tue 25-Apr-17 11:51:11

The perennial plugs take a lot of growing on to get them established. So sitting around in pots for a year....

It's a false economy, i've never managed to get enough T&M plugs to take for it to be worth it.

Their garden ready stuff however, great....

Umpteenthnamechange Tue 25-Apr-17 11:59:44

The idea is I think for something that will look pretty when viewed from inside the house and give a nice real flowery al season interest to the garden. as it's close to the kiddie area, it works to not have thorny prickly stuff and we all like scented things!

Umpteenthnamechange Tue 25-Apr-17 12:48:14

Have removed the slabs myself - was easy but underneath is sand and lots of little crawly insects

pansydePotter Tue 25-Apr-17 17:17:00

Plug plants are really for people who have a greenhouse, don't mind potting on a couple of times and are prepared to wait a year for the full effect.

I would imagine that you want more of an instant hit, with things that will look good all year interspersed with others giving you seasonal interest. I think you might want plants that are hard wearing with regard to the occasional ball or child falling on them without hurting themselves or the plants. Also think about whether you want to do occasional work on the plot or just low maintenance.

So you could space your plants out and throw in some annual seeds in the spaces. Calendula, California poppies, Nigella and Candytuft all grow really quickly. They can be picked by the children as this will just encourage more flowers and have really interesting seed heads. My kids called Nigella seed heads 'Fairy Carriages'. Then in the autum when they have finished you can plant bulbs in the space.

For year round interest I think Hebe is perfect. They have pink and silver leaves and interesting flowers of every colour. Very hardy and low maintenance. Instead of a fence you could plant a hebe hedge alternated with dwarf lavender. Spring and summer impact I would plant a Weigelia and Hibiscus. Weigelia is early summer, Hibiscus late summer. The flowers last for ages, unlike some shrubs which have a huge impact and then disappear in the first shower. For Autumn Spirea, Gold Flame is good and for winter Cornus Midwinter Fire. As a climber I would choose summer Jasmine and the thornless rose Banksii Lutea. Fabulous perfume for both. All of the above are low maintenance and Hardy.

Then I would have a perfumed area. lemon Mint, Ginger Mint, Chocolate Mint, Lemon Balm, Oregano and lot of differs thymes . I would plant these Either side of the path so that the perfume will be realeased as you walk on them or brush past.

If you don't like these then ornaments grasses are excellent. If you buy fairly tall ones they give a sort of secret garden feel and you can leave them over winter whenThe frost will crystallise on the seed heads and look magical, especially if you plant the Cornus Midwinter Fire in the middle of them,. Grasses I recommend are Stipa Tennuissima, Calamagrosti, Karl Foerster and pheasants tail grass Stipa Arindinacae . Piet oudolf landscapes is a great site to google.

Heathers and low growing conifers will provide evergreen ground cover and keep away the weeds, but can be a bit prickly for little hands and feet so need to be planted away from the path.

Umpteenthnamechange Tue 25-Apr-17 18:59:24

I shall do exactly as you say - gosh this is so brilliant advice. Thanks a bunch! Was looking to create a blue themed area generally - so will look for blues in what you suggest

JT05 Tue 25-Apr-17 19:17:01

Just butting in to say wow pansy you have summed it up perfectly smile

WellTidy Tue 25-Apr-17 21:00:13

Wow pansy I have also found your advice very useful and valuable indeed. I am investing in my gArden after about 6 years of neglect, and I will buy a lot of what you suggest especally the hebe, dwarf lavender, wigiellia and hibiscus, jasmine and thornless rose.

pansydePotter Tue 25-Apr-17 21:30:42

I found Pinterest brilliant for planting schemes. Just put blue planting schemes and hundreds come up. My favourite blues are
Aqueliga blue Barlow
Salvia sylvestris Mainacht
I team my blues with white and lime green. There is a green heuchara called Key lime Pie which really makes the blues zing. Planted with cosmos purity, or alllisium.

Thalacrium though not strictly blue also works.

RMC123 Fri 28-Apr-17 07:18:29

Shamelessly stealing ideas!

langlandgirl Fri 28-Apr-17 16:08:39

oh can I highjack please? or tell me to bugger off and I'll start another thread grin I have a long border to plan for next year (can't afford plants this year). All along a 14m wall. East facing bed, sun in the morning shade in the afternoon. Can get quite moist in the winter. Wanted year round interest mainly from foliage and white flowering plants and shrubs. Need low pollen so grasses with seeds would be out. Don't like limey greens - prefer emeralds/deep greens. Need height. Love agapanthus, hosts, lily of the valley, clematis and really interest architectural plants. House is 1930's with a huge rhodendrum hedge one side of the wall and a beach hedge the other. We also have a massive beach tree just off centre of the wall length and two pink and 1 yellow camelias. Wall has just been painted black as I want the greens and whites to pop out. Will these plants work together, am I missing out on thinking about others? Haven't found much I love on Pinterest- any other resources?

pansydePotter Fri 28-Apr-17 16:36:04

Not sure if this list ticks all your boxes
Hydrangea Petaloris
double Philadelphus
Chocolate vine
Wxochorda the Bride
Viburnum opulus
Stellata Magnolia

pansydePotter Fri 28-Apr-17 16:36:36

Exhorchorda the bride I mean

pansydePotter Fri 28-Apr-17 16:44:56

Also if you like Acers, they love East Facing walls
Acer Sangu Kaku and scarlet stems all through winter
Acer Katsura
Acer De Hojo
Acer shirasawanum - moon Acer
This look good with the dark red cornus

langlandgirl Sat 29-Apr-17 18:31:14

wow, thanks for those suggestions Pansy. They are all really beautiful. Tough some of them are maybe a bit too white and fluffy for me. I love the climbing hydrangea but not sure if our wall to low for it (only 2m). I think my perfect plant would be a white crocosmia - is there anything similar?

pansydePotter Sat 29-Apr-17 19:23:40

A lovely structured tree is Sorbus Cashmiriana

MaterEstIratus Sun 30-Apr-17 09:43:38

I don't know of a white crocosmia but you might like gladiolus Murielae (acidanthera) which is a white bulb with a burgandy tinted centre and very crocosmia type leaves.

langlandgirl Sun 30-Apr-17 14:50:06

thanks both. they are all going in my Pinterest file ready for when I feel less overwhelmed & daunted about the planning! I especially love this glads.

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