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What to put in the empty bits whilst waiting for hostas and irises

(18 Posts)
HastaLaVistaPrint Tue 16-Apr-19 12:07:45

I have gaps where hostas and irises are planted. They're starting to make an appearance, but I'd love there to be something in those spaces during the non-hosta/iris months. What can I plant?

The beds are a mixture of east and south facing, plenty of sun. The other plants are things like fatsias, ferns, brunnera, hydrangea and sarcoccoca (sp? there seem to be far too many letters in there!). There are also a couple of arum lillies which upset the Asian feel but I like them, and lots of foxgloves because the bees like them. Climbers are climbing hydrangea and honeysuckle.

Any ideas?

HastaLaVistaPrint Tue 16-Apr-19 16:26:36


Harebellsies Tue 16-Apr-19 19:35:55

Forget me nots can easily be pulled out.
Flowering crocuses, the season is over and the leaves are collecting energy for next year.

HastaLaVistaPrint Tue 16-Apr-19 21:43:49

Why would I want to pull them out? Sorry, am pretty new to gardening.

Harebellsies Tue 16-Apr-19 22:04:06

There is no need to pull them out, they are little darlings, but people who like things terribly neat may like to pull them out after the flowering season has ended. Which would be a shame, but if they have been able to set seed they will return the next year so there is some hope.

pickingdaisies Tue 16-Apr-19 22:08:03

Snowdrops, anemone blanda, muscari?

HastaLaVistaPrint Wed 17-Apr-19 13:36:39

Definitely not looking for terribly neat, I love overflowing foliage and green in abundance! grin.

Thanks to you both for the replies. So, I should be looking at something that will be up and then die off round about now?

Would something like ajuga stop the irises and hostas coming up? I love pachysandra terminalis as well.

everywhichway Wed 17-Apr-19 13:46:46

You might try Aquilegia - plenty to choose from and the kind of foliage you're after.

HastaLaVistaPrint Wed 24-Apr-19 15:09:21

Thanks! I think I'm going to go for a mixture of aquilegia, ajuga and pachysandra terminalis.

ppeatfruit Thu 25-Apr-19 14:46:54

Iris leaves take up a lot of space, esp. if you're recently planted them. I'd just wait to see how they come up. Aquilegias tend to flower later than irises (in my garden they do).

ppeatfruit Thu 25-Apr-19 14:49:41

Unless you plant them in flower out of pots, having been forced of course.

HastaLaVistaPrint Thu 25-Apr-19 19:32:09

Hhm. My aquilegia (I already have a few) are about ready to flower, but my irises are not long out of the ground, same as the hostas. My neighbour’s irises are already in flower and have bigger leaves, maybe a different type?

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Apr-19 09:31:42

Yes there are many many different types of irises. Mine are the common type , purple, which were here when we moved 15 years ago, they spread quickly and seem to flower depending on whether it's has rained heavily in March which it did.. I love their perfume and the strangeness of their flowers but I wouldn't choose them except to go by the pond.

I LOVE aquilegias but mine are not here this year according to the book they don't last for many years.

HastaLaVistaPrint Fri 26-Apr-19 09:50:00

My irises are all Sibirica type, which I think have more delicate foliage, certainly my neighbours have big beefy strappy leaves that look more robust than mine.

Maybe I need to be more patient re the gap filling. Not something that comes naturally to me! I've planted aquilegia next to brunnera, which I don't think is a success story, the foliage is too similar, so I may move them when they've finished flowering. The brunnera look great against japanese grasses though.

I didn't realise that eventually aquilegia disappear, I thought they self-seeded.

So, I still don't think I've quite solved my initial conundrum of what I can plant that will be around at the start of the year, given that here anyway iris and hosta have only just recently peeked out, and the aquilegia foliage only started about 3 weeks ago.

Hellebores? I have a couple but they never look as nice as the pictures, all leggy and straggly.

LiveFatsDieYoGnu Fri 26-Apr-19 10:14:51

How about snakeshead fritillaries? Or the imperialis for a more exotic look. They might have the right feel. Pulmonaria possibly, although the foliage might be wrong. Spring flowering cyclamen perhaps?

HastaLaVistaPrint Fri 26-Apr-19 12:38:08

Blimey, those imperialis are amazing! The RHS is pretty cautious about them though, looks like they need a lot of soil prep. My soil is v mixed even the garden is small, as the house was built on a brownfield site.

Will do a bit of cyclamen research. Thanks!

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-19 09:52:34

Hasta I'm a twit blush My PENSTEMONS have disaappeared (which is par for the course according to the books) not my aquilegias they are lovely, they keep coming up every year, some are growing on my dm's balcony happily, appearing every year without any help. oh a bit of feeding I use 3 parts rainwater mixed with on part coffee\tea grounds and dregs), that's all grin

I prefer their old fashioned name which is Granny's Bonnet so sweet grin.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Apr-19 09:53:41

ONE part coffee\tea dregs !!

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