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Our neighbours have just redone their fence which means we can at last plant something in our border.  The border is 40m long, and is planted for the first 20m with mahonia, lilac, bluebells, ribes, crocosmia, the second half of the flowerbed is empty pretty much.  It is south facing, on sandy soil, light shade and goes to the entrance of a woody area.  The border is only 1m20 deep getting only to 2m just before the wood.  I have a herbaceous border the other side of path

 Should I be looking to put a few more shrubs in and then some perennials inbetween or do a solid bank of something ?  Grasses, agapanthus ?  

I'm trying to  get some inspiration, any ideas out there.  The garden has a fairly 'natural' feel currently due to previous owners, but would like to try and get it a little more manicured if possible.  


Thanks in advance for any help.  

Oh eventually looking to edge the flowerbed with new railway sleepers to give it a more modern look too and allow to build up the flowerbed and dig in manure etc. 


Do you like clematis? I would put up some support wires (are you allowed?) and grow some up the fence.

Hardy geraniums are easy to grow, many varieties and some are OK with shadier places. I like the sound of shrubs, but not too big, and perennials for a softer look.

As that border is south facing your options are huge. I'd improve the soil first with plenty of organic material.

You could smother that fence with climbers from roses to jasmines, clematis and a host of other plants to give you colour all year round, which would hide the fence. Under plant with plenty of spring bulbs, then fill the gaps with almost any number of perennials you care to choose.

A block planting scheme could limit you, as planting with just a few different plants could make the border a bit patchy, especially as its such a long border.

Other may disagree, but it really depends on what effect you really want.

Personally I'd want year round interest and colour, you may like something different. 


thank you for the ideas, will get my thinking cap on.  Like the ideas of climbers, hadn't thought of them. 


Well I would certainly add a group,or two of grasses like miscanthus, stipa gigantea and Calamagrostis.  Overdam, for example, is a lovely green and white grass growing to 6' and topped with beige flowers in summer.  I have several miscanthus in the garden still flowerimg ....well, holding onto their old flowers.....adding a nice rustic decoration.  Stipa gigantea is a must.  Wonderful billowing golden flowers throughout summer soaring high above most everything.

I would also plant a buddleia or two there.  If pruned back only half way each year a structure remains over winter that will soon regrow in spring.

And a canna or two.  The taller ones like Durban can grow 7' plus and flower until autumn with red leaves.  Others with green and,white leaves

And cotinus royal purple.  It would love it there.  No richer purple foliage than that and planted alongside a blue eucalyptus gunnii would look superb

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