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Busy Bee2

Sorry - I realise my post comes across like a voice of doom, when you have made a lot of effort to prepare the beds.  Hopefully, if you are aware of the potential issues, and like the others say, feed and water regularly, the new plants will cope and go on to thrive.  And if they seem to be sulking, you will know that there's a good reason, and can do something in time.  The further forward you can put things the better.  I have to say that I began my gardening activities by choosing plants I liked and putting them wherever I had a space with little regard for prevailing conditions, and learned the hard way, and am desperately keen for others not to be disappointed.  I wouldn't want to dishearten anyone!


My feeling too busy bee.  But we only really learn the hard ....and expensive.....way, don't we?

Everything I plant now is considered carefully for position, soil, aspect etc.  Plenty of compost, etc. accompanies every plant.  Plants then ....usually....respond with better growth, flowers and health.  

Orchid Lady

Don't worry Bee, I just felt like maybe they had been put in a bit hastily when I read your post.  I would rather you all be honest with me in your advice rather than wasting money on plants that won't survive.

On the plus side, which I hadn't mentioned previously, is that the back of the garden does tend to hold water a lot, hence why I haven't been able to do much with it yet.  Also the grass on that part has always thrived.........always looking for a positive as some of you may know (once I get over the initial doom LOL).

Busy Bee2

About 20 years ago I went to the Gardeners World Live exhibition, and Carol Klein sold me a campanula - white with a dark blue edge - 'like it had been dipped in a pot of ink' she said.  (This was long before she was a GW regular, but I had seen her on ITV and recognised her).  I planted it next to a tree in the shade, because that was what our garden was - trees and shade.  Of course it just 'disappeared' without the sunlight or nutrients.  I was very disappointed, not just to lose a plant, but to lose one which the wonderful CK had sold me with such typically fabulous enthusiasm.  Since then I have had very fixed views on gardens.  Once, when DH and I were house hunting I disregarded a property because the garden 'wasn't right'.  He couldn't understand it because the garden was lovely on its own terms, but for me it 'wasn't right' because I could never have grown the sort of plants I wanted to grow.  Too many trees, too hemmed in, wrong soil type.  Like you say Verdun, we learn to consider carefully through our mistakes - and I made plenty!!

Orchid Lady

Thank you Bee, I am hoping to learn from others mistakes although undoubtedly I will make my own too 



Tracey - the "trial and error" method works for me (in fact i am still practising it!) - in the first year try a bit of everything, work out what does well, and then plant lots more of it !  My "do well" border plant is phlox .... But i am adding others to the list

Busy Bee2

TBH Tracey, the difference between you and me will be the fact that you can watch your plants now, and if you suspect all is not going well, you will be able to save the day by moving them somewhere else - even if you have to put them back into pots for a bit.  With me, I had no idea what I had done wrong, just kept watering to no avail and presumed I had watered too much or too little.  There is so much advice on the internet and in books, etc. nowadays - it's all brilliant for gardeners.  At our last house we had hawthorn hedges, and not a lot grew well very close to them, but one thing I remember working was a choisya - lovely yellowy foliage which would contrast nicely with the dark green of privet. 


As I said before, if it's a raised bed filled with good earth and compost it should be fine, especially if you feed and water it when necessary.

I had typed out a long paragraph all about plants before the privet hedge bit, but Internet had been playing up because of a fault in the phone line and it all disappeared. Don't know if I can remember it all now!

Is any of it in shade or will it all be in sun? Will you have shrubs and roses under planted with perennials? I was thinking about plants for winter colour and plants to contrast with the hedge. What about cornus that has brightly coloured stems in winter even though it will lose it's leaves? Or euonymus Silver Queen which would keep it's leaves and show up against the privet? Heucheras come with different coloured leaves, gold, caramel, lime green, dark red and they keep their leaves. There is choisya ternata Sundance with it's golden leaves. You could under plant with bulbs for spring and if you know anyone with too many snowdrops soon it will be time to divide them and replant. Some of these will grow in shade.

Orchid Lady

I've made a note of that Bee, thanks.

I think there will always be an element of trial and error with me because as yet I'm  not knowledgeable enough to do any different, that will be combined with the advice I receive and see how I get on 


There's always an element of risk, no matter how experienced you are, weather, insects, birds, animals etc can all mess up your plans! But mostly it's OK and in June you marvel at how beautiful it all is.


Your garden will be a heavenly haven before long Tracey - I've thoroughly enjoyed your thread and reading all the advice and suggestions.  You have a fantastic lawn - never mind the bendy hedge cutters, has your OH not hinted at a sit on mower yet?

Good Luck

Orchid Lady

Thanks everyone   To be honest, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew!!  It really is a lot of space to fill.  I'm hoping to grow annuals, perennials, roses, evergreens......all sorts really!

I've bought 4 roses today, my sweet peas are going in to germinate tomorrow (indoors in pots), I have lots of annual and perennial seeds I am just going to sow to fill some space this year and I also have a few bushes to move.

Lizzie, from about lunch time the sun is behind the back bushes so it is shaded, although still gets a lot of light with the garden being quite open, it just doesn't get firecracker sunlight for most of the day.  The side hedge/border gets sun in the afternoon.

Lavande......that made me smile.  The lawn is all thanks to OH, not my department at all. I just read your comment and he laughed, he has a great petrol mower which is in for annual service, now I'm not sure whether his laugh was a 'now there's a thought' laugh or not!

I'm hoping for sunshine tomorrow, or at least no rain, so I can get started......everything crossed!


Did you get your sunshine Tracey?  This afternoon has been beautiful here - with a beautiful golden glow from the sun. Happy gardening - I love this time of year..


The border will get much more sun in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky. 


Tracey - another way of dealing with a long border is to plan a smaller one - say a couple of metres - and then repeat it. It gives continuity and stops it looking bitty. You may have to  alter a few plants here and there - for instance if some of the border is mostly in shade and some is mostly in sun, but there are also plants that can cope with those extremes.  


Orchid Lady

Thank you FG, didn't come on here earlier as I was going out.  Obviously back now but I had a bit a stressful rubbish day so only posted on the 'forkers' thread, which it seems is having even worse issues.  I was in a good mood again until I came home!!

Anyway, I will update you all tomorrow on the border!!!! 

Orchid Lady

Hi everyone, thanks for the all the suggestions and apologies for the delay in updating you.  I have today planted 18 plants in total in the border.  Some of you may have read already that I got bargain buys from the GC on Sunday and so in total have only spent about £60 on all those plants. Included in those already planted are 4 roses, Cotoneaster, 2 Hellebores, 2 Gaultheria, a grass with no name and a small Euonymus.

Still to add to my collection are Hostas, Euphorbia (I've seen 2 I like on crocus), another Euonymus, Cornus (there are 2 I like but it says they like sun??) and Heucheras.

Once I have all the shrub type plants in I then have some perennials and summer bulbs to plant and annual seeds to sow.

I will try and get some photos on in the next few days.

It's all coming together nicely and I would like to thank you all for your help  (providing it all survives of course ).

Tracey, I grow euphorbia silver swan.....delightful plant in and out of flower and evergreen.  Euphorbia rubra....blackbird........has rich purple black foliage (I remove flowers) and again evergreen.  

Cornus liking sun?  Well my garden varies from fairly sunny to very sunny and they thrive here....dogwoods...but the soil is good.  Two varieties I grow are Aurea (yellow leaves all summer and red stems) and Elegantissima (green and white leaves amd red stems) 

I grow 3 euonymous.....emerald n gold, gaiety and (bigger) aureus. All delightful evergreens.

Amongst the heucheras Berry Smoothy and Obsidian are my favourites. 

Sure your garden will look spectacular Tracey

Orchid Lady

I have just been to the GC Verdun and a Euphorbia Silver Swan 'jumped' in my trolled LOL!!

I asked at the GC re the Cornus and bought one half price for £5 

Also bought a few others but can't remember their names, will report back to do planting while the sun is shining 

Ooooooo, well done Tracey

Liked it when they just "jumped" into your trolley