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There is a compact slightly smaller form of perovskia.....little spire.....the Russian sage. I grow it and it doesn't flop like the better known form.

I will have a look at the peroviskia thanks chirstopher

Obelixx thanks for all your help

I am looking at getting a dwarf budlia as they attract bees and butterflys

I will be looking at blue/purple perenials to fill in the gaps or maybe go fo the same coloured annuals

What would anyone suggest? nothing too big height wise due to the size of the planter

Once again thanks to everyone for helping this is a really helpful, informative forum

I grow. Agastache black adder. Compact narrowing and long flowering. Have a look. I love it, as do the bees

Thanks Christopher

I went in the back when I came home from work and there was 7 bees on the 2 planters I was really surprised and happy about that.

I am going to get a dwarf budlia I think ,I Will have a look at the Agastache black adder..I am really enjoying the planters and looking forward to them flourishing

 Heres a view for everyone to see

Am I on the right track?

I have had to curb my enthusiasm because I usually cram lots of plants in and end up smothering them



It looks lovely - well done. You could put in blue violas/pansies( in the spaces you are itching to fill up) Some small blue perennial campanulas would look lovely at the front ( Carol looked at some small ones a couple of weeks back on GW). What have you put in the wall planters?


Looks great, nice to see a solution to a question.

Daintiness wrote (see)

It looks lovely - well done. You could put in blue violas/pansies( in the spaces you are itching to fill up) Some small blue perennial campanulas would look lovely at the front ( Carol looked at some small ones a couple of weeks back on GW). What have you put in the wall planters?

They are heucharas I think, we just bought some on the recomendation of the garden nursery owner they are doing pretty well.

I am now looking at some blue/purple/lilac perenials to fill in the gaps help always appreciated

Also on the other side of the alley are 2 camelias that I have pruned into standards that are doing really well and I have had admiring comments passed.These are in 2 planters made the same as the large ones

I am looking at some deep purple roses for a couple of pots I have a few pots at the sides of the planters too.It all seems to be coming together and I again would like to thank everyone here for their continued help

Jean Genie

I agree - it looks great but beware of the campanula - it has a tendancy to run amok. I planted it once in a belfast sink and it smothered everything else that was planted with it.

Thanks Jean

The ajuga is supposed to do the same , so I will have to pull some out when they go wandering. It will give us both something to do when we come home from work

I am trawling the rhs website to find suitable coloured perenials that do not grow high.

Its a complicated game this isn't it

I think I may need help with the perenials , a lot seem to be very invasive are there any good ones that will not spread all over the planter and ruin the effect I am trying for?

Jean Genie

Hi BIll , have you thought about planting some bulbs for spring in the gaps ?  Maybe some primulas as  well for colour . I have ajuga in various containers and also in the ground and I find it quite easy to control - it's certainly not as rampant as campanula.


Can you plant bulbs and perenials in the same spot

We have looked at some bulbs and like a few of them.

We will use the back alley mainly in the summer and want to have the planters at their best during that time here's what i'm thinking so far, but I would like people to guide me somewhat

Geranium pratense 'Purple Haze'

iris 'Michael Paul'

penstomem nanus blue


Do you think we are going too blue /purple or will these all look ok together?

Jean Genie

Bill -  providing the smaller bulbs are planted at the front I think it would work and I love a blue theme . I'm not so sure about the iris though - I've never grown them in a planter . I'm not as experienced as some of the folk on here but I'm sure they will pop in and out to give advice.

Thanks Jean

You are more experienced than me that is for sure(learning though )

I am still trawling the web looking at blue/purple summer flowering perenials


Best blue geranium is jolly forever and true blue. I grow numerous blue shrubs and perennials, blue is addictive. You. Could add felicia, a tender low growing summer flowerer. I take cuttings now and overwinter in greenhouse for brilliant colour all summer. Pinks would associate well too with their glaucoma blue foliage and scent

geranium  jolly bee looks nice Christopher2, but is it suitable to plant between the shrubs or will it take over?

I have no facility to take cuttings so want to keep to hardy perenials,or maybe just use annuals?.

What shrubs do you have that are blue? bearing in mind I can't have big ones as the planters are not very wide

Bill, caryopteris.....I have sterling silver with silver grey foliage,summer sorbet with yellow foliage and others. All with Blue flowers about to appear. Ceratostigma wilmottianum. Teuchrium, dwarf form. Anchusa. Dwarf hebes. Aster frikartii monch, not a shrub, but lavendar blue flowers for weeks. There are some lovely forms of rosemary with rich dark blue flowers, I have one. I grow salvia cacalifolia a tender bright blue perennial too so there are loads. Jolly bee can be cut back hard mid summer to bloom again. I also grow a geranium with purple leaves and bright blue flowers the name of which escapes me for moment. Jolly bee is a tough hardy perennial by the way

Thanks Christopher loads to research there

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