Can anyone suggest some low maintenance plants?

(38 Posts)
novicegardener2 Wed 21-Jul-21 13:26:08

I have two large flowerbeds in my garden that both get the sun for about half the day. The rest of the time they’re in shade. The soil type is clay.

Things that do well here are salvia, roses, hebe, lavender and fuchsia. I like all of these plants as they look lovely, are very low maintenance and just seem to do their thing each year!

Can anyone recommend any other plants like these that will just come back year after year looking nice with minimum maintenance required?

Also, when is the best time to plant them - will I have to wait until spring? I have some big gaps in the flower beds that I’m hoping to fill.


OP’s posts: |
StyleDesperation Wed 21-Jul-21 14:02:47

Hydrangeas? Can get lots of different varieties and colours.

MereDintofPandiculation Wed 21-Jul-21 15:00:53

Any “perennial” that doesn’t grow tall enough to need staking should do the trick. Try musk mallow for flowers for the rest of the summer.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 21-Jul-21 15:29:21

Many taller perennials aren't much work if you have sufficient half-hoop supports - just remember to shove them in.

MilduraS Wed 21-Jul-21 15:47:43

Foxgloves? I'm growing some from seed for the first time this year. Apparently they self-sow quite easily without intervention.

Appuskidu Wed 21-Jul-21 15:50:30


ahoyshipmates Wed 21-Jul-21 17:06:52

Alchemilla mollis

You can plant anything now that comes in a pot from the garden centre, just give it a really good soaking before planting it and then keep it well watered for a good few months. You can get long dry spells in the autumn, so watch out for that.


novicegardener2 Wed 21-Jul-21 19:51:45

Thanks for the replies! I don’t think I was clear enough in my post - I’m looking more for bigger shrubs like hebe, rather than smaller plants like hydrangeas. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
TalesOfDrunkennessAndCruelty Wed 21-Jul-21 19:53:18

Hydrangeas can get pretty big! Check out viburnums, too.

DrIrisFenby Wed 21-Jul-21 19:55:53

I have clay soil too and in my garden I have:


Howshouldibehave Wed 21-Jul-21 19:56:41

My hydrangeas are much bigger than my hebes!

WellTidy Wed 21-Jul-21 19:56:48

Abelia is a very low maintenance shrub. Evergreen, flowers in late summer.

Hydrangeas would do well though as they don’t like too much sun.

Escallonia pink elle is a gem, evergreen and flowers in July with another bluest in September.


0DETTE Wed 21-Jul-21 20:02:17

All my hydrangea are much bigger than all my hebe.

You need a mix of evergreen and deciduous. And shrubs and perennials.

DrIrisFenby Wed 21-Jul-21 20:59:44

I also have ceanothus, smoke Bush and Himalayan honeysuckle

novicegardener2 Wed 21-Jul-21 21:42:08

Thanks! Sorry, you’re completely right - I think I was getting hydrangeas mixed up with something else! I actually planted a small hydrangea a month or two ago and it died sad Perhaps I didn’t water it enough?

OP’s posts: |
mineofuselessinformation Wed 21-Jul-21 21:52:05

Hydrangeas are thirsty plants.
Ideas for small shrubs:
Laurel (of any kind, but spotted Laurel are pretty).
Ceanothus as mentioned above.
Berberis (the small holly-leafed kind).
Photinia, as long as you clip it back.
Deutzia - very pretty when in bloom!

WellTidy Thu 22-Jul-21 09:49:57

Bluest = burst

Hydrangeas are incredibly thirsty but I think give lovely impact

You could just plant for foliage rather than flowering?

DonLewis Thu 22-Jul-21 09:52:05

Do not plant alchemilla mollis. Total thug!

What about some azaleas. They don't need much at all and they're really early to flower and once they've flowered, just disappear until everything else does back and there's a lovely evergreen plant for over winter.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 22-Jul-21 12:27:49

Azaleas aren't typically evergreen afaik, and don't disappear after flowering - though they're an ok green shrub over the summer.

Different colours of euonymus are good evergreens that can be kept small (they do need pruning) though my emerald and gold has escaped upwards and covered a good bit of fence behind the original bush. But it's fine, actually makes a good fence cover that's easier to control than Ivy.

DonLewis Thu 22-Jul-21 12:34:03

Ah, I meant they disappear in amongst everything else. Not literally disappear.

And all of mine are evergreen, didn't realise you could get ones that's weren't!

ILoveShula Thu 22-Jul-21 12:37:28

Grasses are good. They look a bit dead in a drought but they come back to life.


You want something that's slow growing. or that only needs pruning once a year.

ProperVexed Thu 22-Jul-21 12:39:24

Sorry to hijack your thread OP but, @DonLewis, will my azaleas mind if taller herbaceous stuff covers them almost completely over the summer? I was going to move them before planting perennials but they give lovely spring colour.

ZaraCarmichaelshighheels Thu 22-Jul-21 12:45:37

Forsythia do really well in my garden which is clay soil and in a place where it only gets afternoon sun, the yellow flowers look stunning in spring, mine is large now but it’s easy enough to prune back if you want something smaller, I pretty much leave it to its own devices which suits my style of gardening.

candycane222 Thu 22-Jul-21 12:45:48

Buddleia grows pretty much anywhere I think! There are some lush dark forms eg ?? Black knight. Smells lovely when flowering and covered in insects of course. It will seed itself around merrily , but easy enough to pull the seedlings out (unlike tred seedlings like sycamore..!!)

Prune hard once a year, in early spring.

EatingAllThePies Thu 22-Jul-21 12:47:36

What about ceanathus? Mine is tiny so they must be slow growers. Agree 're hydrangea, mine are all over 6ft tall and wide!

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