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my garden has a border that’s about 90cm wide and 6m on each side, 10m x 80cm at the back. I have 6 small fruit trees (2apple, 2 cherry a plum and pear) but I can move them. Garden is north facing so doesn’t get much sun in the winter As you can see (photo taken around 2pm today). I’d like a mixed border so a few evergreens/winter interest, climbers, spring and summer flowers. There is too much out there I’ve no clue where to start!



As you have established edges to your lawn then you will be restricted in what you can plant due to the width of your boarders. The fruit tree's will grow 2 to 3 mr high by 2 m wide so they will encroach on to the lawn area once established. I would suggest reducing the amount of fruit trees in your garden but be aware that what you leave in will require cross fertilisation from another fruit tree to produce fruit. This could occur from other fruit tree's in the vicinity of your garden. Any large shrub will effect the type of light in to your garden, so consider small shrubs that will be suited to, what appears to be part shade garden. There are plenty to pick from and no doubt someone will supply you with that information on here or at any good garden centre. Obviously, the style you want for your garden will effect what plants to place in it. But if you go for a cottage garden with perennial flowers and bulbs then your boarders should fill up quite quickly over a season 

Hope this helps 

weve gotten rid of one of the appple trees it never bore any fruit, but I think we damaged it. How can I get the plum and pear out (plum never bore and pear only ever gave one pear). I’ll leave the cherries as they always give fruit and one apple tree gave a lot too. I know there are trees nearby as there is an allotlament nearby and one of my friends bought the same set of fruit trees as me and planted in the allotment. 


Removal of any part mature shrub could be easy or hard depending on how big the root ball has grown at the base.

I would remove most of the top growth leaving a centre bow. This ensures you have a lever to use to remove the root ball  Dig around the base of the root ball to make the roots visible. You could then leave it exposed to the frost that will weaken the roots and make it easier to remove it a few days later 

Cut out as many of the roots using secateurs etc. If you have a pick axe you will be able to lever the root ball out. I normally use a metal fencing bar that looks like a large crow bar. The advantage of using the fence bar is that it will cut through larger roots and ensure easy leverage of the root ball. I would also lay a plastic garden sheet over your lawn to move the extracted root ball on to as this reducing soil been trodden in to your lawn and it will make it easier to transfer it out of your garden 


How old are your fruit trees? If they are still young that may be why they are not giving a lot of fruit.....I have always found fruit trees a bit less than reliable - some years I had a glut and the next year hardly anythiing.Even other friends say the same thing so it is not only me. Mind you we do all live in Scotland and sometimes the blossom can be caught with a late frost. 

As far as your borders go, you will have to bear in mind the depth of them and plant accordingly. Smallest shrubs like the small hebes would so and are evergreen, as is euonymus. Fill around your shrubs with some perennials but don't crowd the fruit trees. They will need all the goodness and rain from the ground that they can get and don't want to be fighting with other plants for it. 


Thank you, what about climbers? the Back fence is south facing and has two fan trellis, it doesn’t get much sun in winter but is the sunniest area in sunmer. Do I get two of the same climber or two different. I’m trying to think of what the impact would be like in terms of design. Should I add a third fan trellis in the middle? And again, same or different? ive had  Clematis 'Mrs Cholmondeley' that did well on the right before and a Passion flower that was Way too big for the tiny obeliskit was on. But otherwise I’m not sure what climbers would work well


Clematis would do well and you could go for a spring flowering one and then a later one on the other trellis. Or a climbing rose , or two. whatever takes your fancy really. But both clematis and roses are hungry feeders and they will be quite close to the fruit trees so you would need to feed them every year with the appropriate feeder.


What sort of soil do you have? Is it new topsoil laid over? The back south facing border looks quite narrow, and as you mentioned, you have quite a few trees, so I think your climbers need to be quite small and well-behaved. Your fencing doesn't look more than 6ft in height.

A Jasmine Officinale Devon Cream that keeps compact and doesn't swamp could be a nice option. Once it reaches the height, you just annually prune and shape to the way you want it to grow. If you have neutural to acidic soil, I think Tropaeolum Speciosum can be left to scramble up your fan trellis. Striking red blooms sit proudly over rounded leaves. Can thrive in dappled shade that your garden may have towards summer and autumn.

If you have a third fan, what about Chaenomeles Japonica/Spesiosa? The ornamental quince is a lovely welcome to any garden in the coldest and bleakest of months. Not too fussy on soil types. Plenty of colous to choose from. Compact and easy to shape and train. Particularly ideal in small walls where you can tie branches in place and prune off stray branches as they grow. But again, can be left to scramble about. In extreme warm summers, you will also have quince fruit too, which is a bonus since you like your fruit trees.


Loving Borderline's comments. In terms of the planting, you could try combinations of roses with clematis and honeysuckle: ideas would be Rosa 'Open Arms' with Clematis 'Huldine', and adjacent to that Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina'. In front of that, for evergreen interest, how about Daphne odora, Pittosporum 'Garnetii', Choisya 'Aztec Pearl', then add perhaps some deciduous shrubs like Fuchsia 'Whiteknights Pearl' and Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ice Crystal', which have long seasons of interest. After that, infill with perennials to give you year-round interest. With the above shrubs, I'd go for something like bergenias and Brunnera at the front, in the middle of your borders white alliums, Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba', Sedum 'Matrona' in your sunnier spot, Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Overdam', the amazing Paeonia 'Coral Charm', and Hemerocallis 'Pink Damask'. As shady groundcover between your trees, Geranium x macrorrhizum 'Ingwersen's Variety' and Tellima grandiflora are nice and trouble-free.

Wow thanks for all of this information, going to look up the plants suggested.  This has really been helpful 

sorry another question, how do i know how many of each to get? do i choose a few and buy multiples in an odd number? 

also i take it i need to plan colour schemes based on flowering times? so much to consider


Sashapowell82, all my recommendations you only need one. Jasminum is a climber and gets woody at the base as it matures. Can be semi-evergreen in mild or less windy areas. Will cover nearly half of your back wall if you let it, but easily controlled by cutting back and training how you want it to grow.

Tropaeolum Speciosum acts like a perennial and can easily be pulled out or cut. But wait for the autumn fruit that looks amazing when you will get a two-toned effect of blue and purple. A really special plant if you have the right conditions.

The Ornamental Quince is a woody shrub that loses its leaves in winter, but always looks stunning as the blossoms appear when nothing else grows in the garden. The leaves makes a good backdrop in the summer months. Your borders look quite narrow and shrubs not only grow upwards, but also fills out, so always avoid planting too close to the fence/boundary. Think about long-term and the roots.

Cambridgerose12's extensive list consists mainly of climbers, shrubs and very choice plants that I feel you would only need one. All perennials can easily be divided up or in some cases, if you buy in 1-2 litre pots can be split up or sliced in to halves or pieces. They fill out quite quickly if planted in spring. If splitting, it's classically odd numbers like 3s and 7s. But doesn't always apply in small borders. 

Work in stages. Shrubs and climbers first and then look at your spaces left and then deal with the perennials and bulbs. 

Thanks for the info. this is what is currently in the ground apart from the trees

i Have this in a pot it’s a jasmine stephanese I think, can I plant this now? 


Looks great, I can see you have done quite a bit of work there. You can plant your Jasmine now or any time up to spring time. Avoid planting in freezing soil. Wait for a mild day to do it. I remember you saying it's a north facing garden, so try to find a spot on the back border where most of the sun will be throughout the year. 


Thanks, it’s been mild last few days so if it remains mild I’ll plant over the next few days. Thanks for your help. I understand that the ferns night be too close to the two trees but i Might take them out and give away once I don’t destroy them getting them out 


Good luck with the planting. The fern planting looked fine to me. I'm no fern expert here, but have seen some ferns growing between cracks on old stone walls. I doubt they have a big root system, so planting under your trees shouldn't be a major issue.

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