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10/09/2013 at 12:47

I have cleared away all the weeds from around the lawn in the front garden (ignore the state of the front lawn. This is a job for another time and will probabley need re-laying)

The Front garden is south facing and gets the sun pretty much all day.The patch I am looking at runs alongside the front garden wall and is about 5 feet across and about a foot and half deep

I am looking to plant up with some shrubs to cover the wall and bring some shape, interest and height to the garden.

What shrubs would people suggest





10/09/2013 at 12:52

Is the soil acid or alkaline?. clay or sand?

10/09/2013 at 13:07

It is a clay soil with a fairly neutral pH level

11/09/2013 at 12:06
Hi Stebe,this year iv planted Hydrangea with stunning results,they grow quickly and are shallow rooters but like a good drink, and iv fed on nettle juice, next year more potash for lots of flowers. With the neutral soil id go for a good mulch for starters and get mauve mophead and lacecap (Hydrangea Macrophylla ) maybe a white one if youve room,.the good thing with hydrangea is they look after themselves look great so colourful and all this with just a tiny bit of TLC once a year.Also if you go to RHS Hydrangea theres loads of pics and info ,,Good luck S sorry this site wont let me put pics on STILL Alan
11/09/2013 at 16:44

Problem with most Hydrangea is that you are staring at brown sticks for 7- 8 months of the year as the leaves are late at regrowing in late spring and it defoliates after a hard frost. I would go for evergreen plants such as Portugese Laurel, Mahonia, Juniper, Azalea do fine with some ericacious feed in my pH neutral soil. It is also a good space to add loads of bulbs for changing colour over the year - Daffs, Crocus, Tulips, Crocosmia etc.

11/09/2013 at 17:03

How about Rugosa roses. They have glossy,evergreen leaves, largish pink, white or red flowers and sealing-wax, bright red hips in winter.  "Mrs Anthony Waterer" is crimson red, scented and  stands about five feet tall. Fairly spiny, but not thorny, so good to keep out wandering ne'er-do-wells too.

11/09/2013 at 17:14

That's a similar size to my front garden and same layout and I have planted it with the advice of the local garden centre. I am a little worried about the choices as I bought without doing my own research! And did a little on here after. I had four lemon scented conifers which I planted without much knowledge some years ago and this year they died and so I replanted. I have a wooden fence running around, again very similar to the brown one shown. And so, with a little nervousness that someone more knowledgeable is going to tell me that it's wrong, I will say what I planted (I have time to move them at least if wrong! As only did it two weeks ago - ish). From the left, next to the drive is now a pieris, then a Portugese laurel, then a yew, then straight eunonymous and then in the corner (because I wanted to save it as it looked sad and too big in a pot in the back garden) afatsia japonica as it filled the space nicely. A real mixture. In fron of the fatsia japonica are two oriental poppies that i have had for years and moved them, seemingly successfully as they were too big were they were. I would put a pic on but its raining heavily here! Comments welcome - I am shuddering though if I've got it wrong again!

11/09/2013 at 17:17

And I know that some have to be kept in check by trimming

11/09/2013 at 17:19

And mine is clay soil -same again.

11/09/2013 at 17:21

Hello Haisie,

Your planting scheme will be OK short term but you have a lot of big plants for a small area there! The Portuguese laurel grows into a small tree and yews grow pretty quickly and are enormous when they are fully grown.

Enjoy them while they are babies but be ready to say goodbye to them in the not too distant future!

11/09/2013 at 17:33

Damn! I knew it. Flippin eck. I just can't plant some areas right! But, but the man in the garden centre said just trim them and they will be OK? Oh no! honestly that is the umpteenth time I have planted that area. I kept staring at it and I thought that it wouldn't last. Will they really not just trim/hack... I just need some evergreens that will grow to about 5ft and stay there! Help! just another mistake.

11/09/2013 at 17:53

Yes, you can hack and chop to your heart's delight. The thing is, do you want your garden to look hacked and chopped? The Portuguese laurel will grow to about 40 feet high. That's its natural height and that's how it would look best. You can easily keep it to five feet if that's the height you need, but its not showing the plant off to its best and it's giving you a lot more work than you would be having to do with a plant that is naturally daintier.

Don't worry, it's all learning. We all go through the same things. I've been doing the same sort of thing for 50-odd years and I still surprise myself with my inappropriate choices

11/09/2013 at 17:56

Haisie the Pieris won't like it if its too sunny. Makes the leaves bleach out.

11/09/2013 at 18:26

Steebie I would go for things like Cistus Landanifer

 Its evergreen and the flowers are the size of poppy flowers

Where the wall dips in the middle an Abelia Grandiflora. It arches and would look lovely draped over there. It is semi evergreen and flowers late

 Can be pruned to keep it to size.

And last but not least Viburnum x burkwoodii. The smell is wonderful and wafts. You don't have to stick the flower up your nose!

 Again can be pruned to size




11/09/2013 at 18:28

Haha just noticed I seem to have a white theme going on there 

Right so for something a different colour how about Rosemary Miss Jessops Upright

 Obviously not all of these will fit in your 5 ft space. Just a selection of what I would choose to plant there.

11/09/2013 at 18:30
waterbutts wrote (see)

Hello Haisie,

Your planting scheme will be OK short term but you have a lot of big plants for a small area there! The Portuguese laurel grows into a small tree and yews grow pretty quickly and are enormous when they are fully grown.

Enjoy them while they are babies but be ready to say goodbye to them in the not too distant future!

You can of course prune both - Yew makes a damn good hedge plant and Portugese Laural is also a compact hedge plant.

11/09/2013 at 19:09

Thanks very much for your comments. I think that I will just have to wait and see then. Umpfh. I don't mind pruning plants as I have lots of box and a Loniceria Baggins Gold that I am shaping into a snail! I had the pieris in a pot in full sun and it got too big and so that's why I put it in the garden. My neighbours have lots of Llandii that they keep to about 6ft and always look like neat hedging but I would never plant that. Gosh, I wish I could live for 200 years and get it right: I envy C. Lambert in Highlander!

11/09/2013 at 20:08

Thanks for all the good choices. The Abelia Grandiflora is looking like a great idea for trailing over the wall.

Haisie - i had four conifers in the front garden which wernt great so i had them chopped a week after we moved into the house last year. Planting up a border or garden is quite daunting as there is so much to choose from and sometimes the more you research the more you get confused. I think you have to just go for it sometimes and it turns out not right then re plant things elsewhere

Funnily enough i was looking at the Hydrangea in my parents garden this afternoon to see if i can take a cutting from it for the front garden


11/09/2013 at 20:25

just noticed the white theme.

11/09/2013 at 21:39

Good luck Steebe and let me knw your choices

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