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12 messages
25/04/2012 at 14:42

My garden is North-West facing which means the entire right side from the back door is unlimited sun (unless shaded by mature plants) and yet, I've never got round to cultivating a full sun border.

What sun worshipping plants I do enjoy are in the hot spots of my shade borders of which I have four, so you can see my excitement, having rearranged my veg plots to the very bottom patch, I now have a rectangle border measuring 19ft x 7ft in the middle garden, running from a rose arbour to a large Pampas grass. It's a blank canvas and the soil will be very poor quality and yet I am terribly excited, to work with full sun on sandy, free draining soil.

25/04/2012 at 15:06

Wintersong I also have a new sunny flower bed for this year, although mine is only 5 foot square. The hardest thing for me is waiting for the plants to make it look designed. It is so tempting to pop in odd plants and end up with a mish mash design.

25/04/2012 at 15:20

Yes, I am impatient and have a tendency to shift mature shrubs around which is easy to do on my soil.

I did consider after writing this post, that I have a full sun section in my front garden but I never planted with purpose there. Most of the shrubs were put there because the soil was so bad (Ceanothus and Buddleia) or to give them a temporary home until I worked out where I wanted them. but they grew too large to move. 

I will try to take my time getting the bones of the border worked out first. That will take a year at least with me, budget wise as well as making my mind up

25/04/2012 at 15:27

I have put in a few Hebes but the rest will be dahlias or plants grown from seed, so I will have to wait to see what looks good/germinates.

25/04/2012 at 15:42
One plant which I love, and have threaded through my patch, is stipa tenuissima. It self seeds so its babies can easily be transplanted. Does well on the sunny side of my desert. Verbena bonariensis is another favourite, easy from seed and will set seed for next year if not arctic during the winter. Vb great either in clumps, or as a repeat. Along the same lines as Vb is thalictrum Hewitt's double, unfortunately sterile, but can be carefully divided in spring.
25/04/2012 at 15:48

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7002.jpg?width=307&height=350&mode=max

 So much potential

There are some nice ideas there figrat.

25/04/2012 at 15:53

I love Hebes Kate, so easy to grow and I have a few that I can propagate from  

I will also check out figrat's options and certainly propagate the Vb. I have this in two locations in my garden and I'm lucky to have a large selection of shrubs and perennials that I can make more from (already eyeing up my Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii in the opposite border because I like repeats and wave plantings.

I've always wanted a smoke bush but didn't have a location before now, so maybe one of those. 

The really daunting part is making the right choices with the bones, because those are this things you have to live with and work the rest around. I think if you get the bones right, the rest comes with time.

Making my mind up will be the hardest part.

25/04/2012 at 16:32

In the past I have been more concerned about growing healthy plants, only just starting to think about design, I understand what you mean about the bones.

25/04/2012 at 17:00

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h342/figrat/IMG_2069.jpg

25/04/2012 at 17:03

This is why I love dancing stipa tennuissima so much. They are a joy through the whole year, even on a foul day like today.

Have to confess, pic not from my garden, but have threaded them through a terrace which I can see from most of my windows.

They've also self seeded in my cobbled patio.

25/04/2012 at 19:44

I'm really excited this year too - FINALLY got to plant up both a Hot border and a cool border with plants I've been propagating and nursing for a few years. 

You're so right about getting the anchors in place - the things which don't like to be moved or which will mature to greater hights went in first, then the stuff that will grow to bigger clumps and are already quite mature but which can stand dividing in a couple of years, and finally the thinkgs which are easy to propagate and move anytime, like aquilegias and foxgloves.

Managed to get the last lot in 2 weekends ago before the rain started which I'm very pleased about - but now I'm soooo impatient for summer!

Then next year I can do as figrat says and thread grasses through - just need to let it settle in for a season I think.

How would this stipa cope in the wet/coldish north west?

25/04/2012 at 20:35

 Those borders sound exciting Hyppybyker!

I'm busy making a list of plants I want, and plants I already have. Luckily the latter is much greater and this summer/autumn I will propagate border fillers whilst the larger items settle in.

Two things changed in my garden last year. One was to clump things up together for more impact planting which I will continue in the new border, and second was to buy single perennials in autumn with the specific intention to propagate required amounts through this year. I also designed spaces with repeat planting in mind to add continuity, so although I'll mostly have an empty bed this year, just like yourself, my forward planning will reap rewards in the future 

Would love to see some pictures of your results when they have matured

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