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Hello, I've got a 30ft by 1ft border running along a drive with a hedge behind it that is currently full of weeds. I need something low maintenance - I was thinking lavender with a couple of other similar size hardy flowering plants in between repeated along the border. Any ideas for seasonal colour for a beginner?
Many thanks for any help, because I'm completely clueless!
What sort of soil do you have Notaclue? How much sun/shade does the area get? Is the hedge yours and what plants make up the hedge? Are you going to be able to get rid of the weeds before you plant anything?
You have a nice long area that could be planted with bulbs in between whatever plants you go for to give some spring colour, the plants would grow in spring to cover the bulb foliage.
Hi Notaclue, Just for a little more info, what's your soil like? What's the hedge? and is there much soil depth? Finally (it's like 20 questions this, sorry!) what's it's aspect? south facing? north facing???
Just to help with some suggestions
Well, it's west facing, not too sure what the (shared) hedge is, but it had little dark pink flowers a few weeks ago and is about 5 feet tall, semi-deciduous, small bright green leaves, the soil is well drained and yes, I would be able to get rid of weeds before planting.
Any thoughts very welcome.
I would think lavender would do ok as it'll get lots of afternoon sun and will thrive in poor well drained soil. I have a customer that has a similar width area to you although not as long and she has it planted with lavender with a perennial nemesia (I think, not sure of its official name) in between, lavender is purple (hidcote) and the nemesia is pale pink. It's also planted with clumps of crocus and tete a tete daffodils for spring colour.
Hi hardy geraniums are always good value for money, get the lower forms rather than the taller and sometimes leggy G.psilostemon.
The idea of planting bulbs in autumn is great. maybe some daffodils and tulips choose your colours depending on the successive plants. And what about interspersing with some asters, again lower forms for colour later in the season.....?
All these are tough as old boots and will give a more continued flowering period, as PaulaH's would as well, which is good for the bees etc.
Lavendar for sure. It's too short and narrow for fussy planting.
Last year I planted a 40' by 3' border solely with lavendar. It's already filling in and starting to flower. Mine is slightly curved leading to another entrance. I have had a lavendar hedge atop my veg patch for some 10 years....the scent from flower and foliage is wonderful. Don't complicate it..a simple lavendar hedge but buy small plants just 1' apart. Hidcote or munstead...both very good
I agree with Verdun. Just lavender would look best on it's own. Could the hedge be an escallonia?
i agree - lavender and nothing else, assuming the soil is pretty light and poor. I'd suggest alternating hidcote and munstead. Both are commonly (and cheaply) avaiable. One starts flowering just before the other, and one goes on til a bit later than the other, so you get flowers for almost twice as long. They're otherwise virtually identical, so you'd never know you had 2 different types. Clip them after flowering every year to keep them bushy instead of leggy. If the plant you buy seem to have lots of shoots coming from the soil surface, then plant at the same depth as they were in the pots. If they've got a main 'trunk' and then bush out above, plant them so the bottoms of those 'branches' are slightly under the soil surface. They'll thicken up much faster - this is in fact a common way of propagating them, so won't do any harm so long as the soil isn't permanently boggy. If the soil is very heavy, you'd do better with a long run of hardy geranium.
Auntie Betty....good advice there. For me, one variety only though. A continuous flow of identical flowers at the same time is magical. Nothing like walking a lavender border in full flower
Agree lavender but I'd just go with hidcote the plants seem more compact than munstead.
Just want to say thanks to Notaclue for raising this subject and to all who responded. We have just completed a build project and have a south facing 20 meter retaining wall, we've created a flower bed on top of the wall and have a white picket fence behind, our raised lawn is beyond. A lavender hedge came to our minds too, I've spent a little while researching the different types to select the most suitable to give us flower longevity & had a little wonder about how it would look once flowering is finished. I have therefore found this thread really useful - thanks again to all.
I have planted, earlier this year, a lavender border hedge of alternate Hidcot and Munstead. Flowering already but and am very pleased with it. Can't wait fro it to fill out
Here is mine, think it's Munstead, but may be Hidcote.
Does anyone know, are there two types of hidcote lavender.? I bought a lavender labelled" giant hidcote," from Kiftsgate, which is of course the garden the other side of the road to Hidcote.It is a lot larger than Munstead. The flower spikes are about 2 ft long. I keep trying to propagate it, but there is a distinct lack of suitable material , as every shoot has a flower. It is still in tight bud at the moment. Munstead is already flowering. All the plugs I got as part of the gardeners world offer, are certainly seed grown, which to me means they cannot be true to name, since the named variety should only be propagated by cuttings.
I think labelling is a problem sometimes with lavendars. I planted a lomg border too but I notice, now, that there is a difference between some of them. However, they're flowering together and to all intents and purposes they look much the same. They have blemded in together and look superb. As long as your soil is well drained, the aspect is sunny, and it doesn't get very cold harsh winds over winter a lavendar hedge is hard to beat
I trim back lavendars as soon as planted too. I think it helps achieve a more bushy hedge from the start
Fidgetbones, found you this: http://everything-lavender.com/lavender-hidcote.html
Just scroll down a bit, and you'll find the answer.
It appears to be named correctly then. It has huge spikes. Thanks flowerchild.