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Could a complete beginner make/plant a border?

(37 Posts)
DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Fri 09-Feb-18 18:57:25

I don’t grow anything My back garden is all paved and the front is just a small lawn. There is a very low (about 6-8 inches high) boundary fence between my house and next door. I would like to plant a border along it. I would love roses but I have no idea if that is very ambitious of me or even if the area is ok for roses. It is south facing and gets sun all day long. Could I have roses? What could I have with them? If anyone could point me in the direction of a good (step by step) guide that would be very helpful. Is it very hard to dig a border in the first place? TIA.

chouxfleur Fri 09-Feb-18 19:07:40

Try You type in the length/width of your border and they design it for you and then send you the plants to fill it.

Or try Crocus website which is great for searching for plants. Can filter by amount of sun/style/amount of care needed/suitable for family gardens etc, etc.

lilyclover Fri 09-Feb-18 19:12:41

For border design and inspiration, you can look at and

You don't have to buy from Crocus, but I find their plant descriptions and drawings showing eventual size useful as a non-gardener

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Fri 09-Feb-18 19:19:34

Oh thank you both! This is great.

AppleAndBlackberry Fri 09-Feb-18 19:19:52

I made a border along my back fence by just buying plants I liked in a couple of matching colours and planting them. I'm pretty happy with it.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Fri 09-Feb-18 20:08:21

What did you use apple?

lamettarules Sat 10-Feb-18 10:36:49

Of course you can dig and make your own border .

I've done this and it is a bit of hard work - don't do what I did and start it in the summer when the ground is hard and baked !

The only tips I've got are to make it wider than you think you'll need and make it curvy - I used a hose to mark it out .

I think there's something complicated about making the edge next to the lawn like a little V shaped trench .
This looks helpful ,especially as it's suggesting the no dig approach

Roses sound lovely - afaik they like a deep hole .I don't know much !

And the justplant stuff you like bearing in mind whether it's a sunny spot or not .( can you tell I'm an amateur?? )

Hopefully this will entice the experts over to advise - I'd like to know when in the year it's best to make a new flower bed .

WellTidy Sat 10-Feb-18 11:38:03

Yes, you can do it! Look in gardens nearby to see what grows well in the soil you'll all have, and get a feel for what you like. Alan Titchmarsh's book is a bible for me (I started gardening as a complete novice nearly a year ago) and I also like the Ground Force book. You can buy both second hand on Amazon. I bought a huge variety of plants last year as I hot really carried away. I wish I had chosen a smaller selection and bought more of them and repeated sections, looking back. But it's great fun!

Ohyesiam Sat 10-Feb-18 11:51:34

Get the Davis Austin catalogue, it's rose pornwink. I had some criterion, ie repeat flowering, scented, right size, and just filtered the ones I liked. It's a good time of year to plant rose,And you'll have flowers by June.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 10-Feb-18 12:55:56

Ooh more advice and book recommendations! I’ve a fun weekend ahead of me planning this flowerbed!

Thank you! Glad to hear it’s doable for a novice!

retirednow Sat 10-Feb-18 13:01:55

An easy border is some nice grasses, put a few flowers in between and cover it with some coloured slate chippings or bark chipping. Bamboo makes a nice hedging. Is this for the front or back garden. I agree with the david Austin site if you want roses, you'll need plant that are evergreen as well as spring, summer and autumn flowering ones.

retirednow Sat 10-Feb-18 13:04:33

Homebase do garden on a roll, you get everything you need delivered and a DVD.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 10-Feb-18 13:07:14

It’s the front garden. Thanks for that retired

MikeUniformMike Sat 10-Feb-18 13:15:46

Roses are really easy. You can get them in places like pound shops.
You dig a hole about 1.5 times bigger than the root ball , put the root of the plant in water for 1 hr, then pop the root into the hole. Water the root and fill the rest of the hole with the soil.
Annuals are really easy - buy bedding plants and plant them.
Perennials and biennials are also fine.
You can also sow things like herbs and veg in a border. Some are pretty or decorative too (e.g. swiss chard bright light, kale, bronze fennel)
Look on RHS website or search for more info.
Good luck.

Generally, plants from pound shops are cheap ones that are indestructible.

PrivateParkin Sat 10-Feb-18 13:16:59

Agree re the crocus site - I used their ready made border page when digging out our border (previously a massive pile of broken bricks and rocks in the back garden) and it was really helpful - except I just wanted to buy everything! I used a book called The Virgin Gardener as well which was quite good. If it's near your front door, what about something scented, so you get a nice whiff every time you step outside (and come home)? Salvia (sage) is dead easy to grow, pretty hardy and smells lovely. If it's in the shade, virburnum (sp?!) is beautiful and smells lovely too.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 10-Feb-18 13:20:21

It comes up to my front door so something scented would be lovely.

Doctordonowt Sat 10-Feb-18 13:21:59

Planting along a fence is very easy. The main thing to remember is that soil near the fence ver dry and usually poor. Dig the trench much wider than you think. When you plant your roses or other climbers dig in some compost and don’t plant too close to the fence. Plants need some air to circulate around them. Newly planted things will need plenty of water in the first year. If you are unable to water as often as necessary cover the soil with ornamental bark. This stops evaporation and will also break down and be taken into,the soil as nourishment.

I like David Austen Roses. Even though they are a bit more expensive, they save money in the long run. You need less of them to cover a wall. They are well established with good root systems when sent out and will cover your fence quickly, they have a very helpful phone service and after sales guarantee. I don’t bother with their stuff they try to sell you, the granules etc. I give mine a to tomato feed in the summer.

Climbing roses will go straight up, rambling roses will travel along the fence, and bush roses will be form a bush.

I would add in a coulple of summer Jasmine as they will cover the fence when the roses are bare, and give a wonderful sent.

Other good border plants are, Weigelia, Philadelphus and forsythia. Dead easy to grow and will give you lots of colour all year. If budget is an issue, climbing nasturtiums are great. They thrive in poor soil and neglect.

Have a look at Wilko. I bought loads of plants last year from them and they were amazing.

XmasInTintagel Sat 10-Feb-18 13:23:59

I def think you can OP. There are no courses on 'Border Creation', so everyone who makes a garden with borders has been a beginner at it, at some point.

MikeUniformMike Sat 10-Feb-18 13:32:01

Wilko seeds are great and really good value. Yes to climbing nasturtiums too. If you fancy daffodils and tulips, wait until the autumn, but you can buy things 'in the green' to plant now.
I think that red roses have the best scent but it should say on the packaging if they are scented.
I wouldn't plant forsythia, but I'd go for winter jasmine instead. Both get a bit vigorous after a few years but are almost foolproof. I probably would just stick to roses where shrubs are concerned. Look for repeat flowering ones.

If you are digging the border now, cover with black polythene to warm the soil and to prevent it being a cat's toilet.

MikeUniformMike Sat 10-Feb-18 13:36:17

For scent, how about night scented stocks, and sweet peas.

retirednow Sat 10-Feb-18 13:41:34

Do you watch the new Monty don gardening series, there was one last week about rose gardens.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 10-Feb-18 13:46:35

I don’t retired what channel is it on? I might find it on catch up

MikeUniformMike Sat 10-Feb-18 13:59:00

BBC2 on Fridays, I think. Monty isn't the most knowledgeable gardener - I think he's a self-taught one, but his garden looks and dogs look nice.
GQT on Radio 4 is good.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 10-Feb-18 14:00:20

Thanks mike

retirednow Sat 10-Feb-18 14:00:20

It's called big dreams small spaces, yep it's on bbc2. You will need a higher fence, trellis or some sort of support if you want climbing plants.

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