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What would you plant here?

(17 Posts)
Gincision Tue 04-Jul-17 22:43:49

We are doing up our garden. South west facing, about 2/3 patio / gravel / pergola, 2/3 grass. We also have some flower beds made from railway sleepers.

One of them is roughly in the middle of the garden, double height sleepers (so about 50cm tall), approx 50x70 plantable space. Full sun from about 8.30-7pm in summer. It is open to the ground beneath, with a path next to it. Soil is mostly clay but obviously we could put any soil within it.

Dh wants a tree, but the problem is that anything bigger than about 1m puts shade into the corner of the garden that gets the last sun, which isn't an option. The only thing I don't like is conifers (which is the only tree of this size I've found). Ideally I'd also like a small tree but would be happy with a cool shrub. We both want something for year round interest because of the prominent position.

Does such a plant exist?? Help!

MrsBertBibby Wed 05-Jul-17 06:55:10

Corkscrew hazel?

PurpleWithRed Wed 05-Jul-17 07:17:06

Try the rhs plant finder website. If you want something tree like then your best strategy may be to get a small tree and change it as soon as it gets too big after a few years. Acer would be nice, but can be pricey. Whatever it is grow a clematis over it for summer interest.

YellowLawn Wed 05-Jul-17 07:20:41

a shrub hibiscus? rose on a stem?
or some tall flowers like foxglove, gladioli, hibiscus, lupins

both would need underplanting to be interesting most of the year.

MattBerrysHair Wed 05-Jul-17 07:43:45

Some St. John's Wort are semi-evergreen and flower for ages.×-i-hidcoteense-i-Hidcote/Details

WellTidy Wed 05-Jul-17 09:34:20

Cordyline? I saw a beautiful pink one in the garden centre yesterday. I didn't note the variety though.

sunnyhills Wed 05-Jul-17 15:53:01

I quite like pittosporums ,but might be a bit dull ???

or a pieris in ericeous ( sp ? ) soil ?

Gincision Wed 05-Jul-17 18:28:41

Thanks all!

I had looked at corkscrew hazel because I think it looks fab, but i was worried it would get too big? Says 2.5-4m on your link MrsBertBibby - do you know if this can be hard pruned to keep it small / grows smaller in this type of situation?

Purplewithred I tried their plant finder and our doesn't come up with anything except a conifer... Interesting thought to replace when it gets too big, which I hadn't considered, but only issue is there isn't much space in our garden to move a tree to without affecting our sunlight...

Interesting ideas yellowlawn all of which would be a yes if it was down to me but I suspect dh would veto...

Stjohn's wort definitely a possible mattberryshair

Gincision Wed 05-Jul-17 18:34:00

Cordyline also look interesting, thanks welltidy

Not convinced on pittosporum for that position but might well get one for elsewhere in the garden as the leaves look cool. Liking the pieris though but again worried about predicted final size of 2.5-4m. Do you know if it's possible to control this with pruning sunnyhills?

Thanks everyone, certainly some options to discuss with dh.

wrinkleseverywhere Wed 05-Jul-17 18:51:49


GloriaV Wed 05-Jul-17 18:58:00

A tree will shade the flower bed and take up a lot of moisture from anything you grow under it.
Amelanchier and parrotia perspica ( or similar name are smallish trees , maybe you could put shrubs beside them . How big is the flower bed? Raised beds can be dry anyway.

MrsBertBibby Wed 05-Jul-17 20:19:11

Could the hazel go in a big tub? That might limit its size. And make it portable!

It's a long time to full size too, so you could just execute it if it gets too much.

Or maybe a witch hazel? I so so badly wany one of those. Just need to find the right spot.

WellTidy Wed 05-Jul-17 22:20:12

Instead of the cordyline, what about a sambucca? I have seen black beauty and black lace, they're both gorgeous.

sunnyhills Thu 06-Jul-17 09:02:36

Oh welltidy I suspect you of being a much more chic version of me - I just love all the plants you mention .
Yes yes to the sambucca ,my friend has one .I think it must be black lace as it's very airy and light .

WellTidy Thu 06-Jul-17 12:58:07

Me, chic, sunnyhills? I am cracked up! I wish I was!

sunnyhills Thu 06-Jul-17 16:51:41

Well to be fair welltidy the bar is set pretty low if we're talking about chicness in excess of mine smile

But I do love your choices .

Gincision Fri 07-Jul-17 22:03:54

I agree with Sambuccas being fab - I have one already though so won't go for that!

Thanks for all the other suggestions though, it's certainly given me some ideas i had never considered and some food for thought...

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