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Hardy pretty fast growing shrubs for south facing garden ??

(8 Posts)
NomDePlume Mon 07-Mar-05 12:05:44

Last summer we had a man in to do the garden, he tidied the borders, pulling out the unwanted plants & weeds and digging them over, reshaping the lawn, bulding a raised herb bed, moving the shed & extending the patio. The garden has been ignored since last summer and so now is in a bit of a state. The borders all need digging over again and weeding, as does the herb bed.

As I mentioned before, the gardener fella removed a lot of crap (plants-wise) from the borders so they're now rather sparse. DH and I hope to be putting this house on the market in the next 3-6 months so obviously it'd be nice to get some quick colour and shape into the garden for not too huge a budget, to encourage a sale. We have the bare bones of a lovely garden but I just want to pretty it up a bit.

I have a large arc of bare earth in which I'd like to plant a pretty shrub. It needs to be attractive, flowering, fast growing, hardy and suited to south facing clay soil. Any ideas ? Being totally non-greenfingered all I can thing of is a rhodendron, but which is the best variety for my patch and are they fast growing ?

Sorry for going on and on...

NomDePlume Mon 07-Mar-05 12:07:20

plant for arc would ideally reach a decent 1.5m - 2m spread to fill the arc sufficiently.

tigi Mon 07-Mar-05 12:19:27

what about a leycesteria ( sp?) a type of bamboo. arches, and grows to 6ft, large green leaves, and red berries, very pretty, and doesn't spread like ordinry bamboo at the roots.

Buddleia (butterfly plant) grows pretty quick once it starts.

how about a little tree?

NomDePlume Mon 07-Mar-05 12:28:28

There is already a tree next to the plot and I wouldn't want to take away from that, as it is lovely. I'll look up the leycesteria. Berries might be a bit of a risk as I have a toddler and we'll be selling a family house, berries may put families with littlies off.

Berries Mon 07-Mar-05 12:29:02

cistus - grows quickly, lots of flowers all through the summer, will tolerate heavy clay soil (&fairly cheap) think rhodedendrons are too slow growing for what you want.

tigi Mon 07-Mar-05 13:11:40

yes cistus are good, I keep chopping mine back.

tortoiseshell Mon 07-Mar-05 13:16:49

rhododendron needs acidic soil, and flowers in early spring. I think clay is usually alkali (ours certainly is!) Blue geraniums (eg Johnson's Blue) are very fast growing, and spread outwards massively. If planted with senecio (Sunshine) are very pretty. Or you could just plant some seeds - poppy seeds would look beautiful, though quite leafy. But they are very easy to grow - you jsut scatter them!

tortoiseshell Mon 07-Mar-05 17:49:41

A penstemon might be nice as well - quite late flowering, but beautiful, and fast growing as well.

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