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Would love some direction 

I've got a small border which is against a low red brick wall (about 70cm high). The dimensions of border are 3 metres wide by about 60cm deep. 

I'm a total novice and early this year decided to fill the empty border with lovely spring and early summer bulbs...which looked fabulous for a few weeks.

My problem is that now it's full of dying leaves and nothing filling it out. I'm due to have my first baby at the end of August & so will have little time to maintain and will have lots (I hope) visitors So would like it to look pretty August September October. 

Mum has agreed to help me dig it over and replant....but what to buy?!

South facing garden. Love purples, whites, blues flowers.

Any suggestions of combinations you've found effective? I promise to out a before and after picture on 


If it's well drained try Cistus, pink's whites even a yellow, lovely colour for full sun and covered in papery blooms that only last a few days, but they repeat flower and go on to the first frosts, an under rated small shrub in my opinion.

You could leave the bulbs and put in plants between then that will take over when they have finished.

Agree with Dave that costs are lovely. Some hardy geraniums would be easy to maintain and be coming into full leaf and the flower as the bulbs go over - Johnsons blue is very reliable and easy to maintain but there are lots if other varieties as well. They would also complement the cistus. Elysium Bowles mauve also keeps on flowering and flowering and is very low maintenance.

With a baby due at the end of August you are going to have little or no time for the next few years so you need something that has little or no maintenance. . How about a row of lavender plants. Plant them up, cover the soil with chipped bark - job done. After the initial few waterings, you won't even have to bother too much about keeping it well watered.  A bit of a haircut in the spring and you are good to go. Your spring bulbs should come up again.


Firstly, congratulations on baby - so exciting 

Agree, cistus are lovely, trouble free and will come back year after year.  Hardy geraniums too will give you lots of colour for very little work.

If you love purples, what about some asters (we used to call them Michaelmas Daisies).  Go for a few of the more compact shorter growing ones and they'll fill the autumn with colour 

All of these will be perfectly happy with the bulbs growing up through them in the spring 


Thanks for suggestions. Really no time at all?!! Oh heck I'm in for a shock aren't it.

next door did the lavender plants & looks neat but I envy the woman (grown up kids) across who has the cram packed border all arranged beautifully!

I'll look at the cistus & asters though (suppose I can start a plan of what I can do when baby is at it's grans next year!) 



Well, you'll probably have more actual time while baby is very small than when he or she starts crawling and stays awake more in the daytime, but you might not have much energy if you're not getting much sleep when baby is small.

 Just make sure you don't wear yourself out - you need to save some energy for when it reaches its teens  

Maybe you could get really friendly with your neighbours and acquire some established plants from their gardens? Most gardeners would be happy to help out and eager to pass on root cuttings of their favourite plants. 

It won't take long to get some if the suggested plants into your border and it will not need much maintenance. A full border is much easier to maintain than a neat one with space between plants for weeds.

The only maintenance you would need would be 5 or 10 minutes now and again and once you and baby have settled down that should be no problem. And when he or she is little then can start to learn about plants and flowers when you are enjoying your garden.

Enjoy your baby and your garden : )
What about herbs? They can be so pretty and will love that spot, they need very little care and as a bonus, you wont have to worry when the little one is big enough to start puting things in his/ her mouth.
Rosemary- bule flowers, chives- pink flowers, thyme, oregano, all are really tough and dont have much trouble from pests, if you live anywhere near me, i would be happy to divde some herbs for you.
Best wishes with the baby, you probably wont care about the garden very soon!

Hebes interspersed with alliums will give structure through summer as well as attracting  bees. Easy to acquire and maintain. 

Santolinas......silver grey mounded evergreens.  Prune back in spring to maintain the tactile foliage.  I would also plant verbena homestead purple.....cascading purple flowers all summer.  For a burst of colour and some height add geum totally Tamgerine.....easy evergreen and long eye catching flowers.  You like blue Moominrhubarh?  Plant either or both of caryopteris or ceratostigma.  Easy shrubs ....the ceratostigma (wilmottianum) starts to flower now and goes on until autumn when it often has reddish autmn foliage.  For a purplish blue check out penstemon Sour Grapes....this is an evergreen perennial with flowers all summer. Check out aster Frikartii Monch......lavendar blue flowers for months.  Finally to comtrast with purple verbena plant a white osteospermum....superb large white flowers all summer long.

Wow Thankyou very much! Maternity leave started and so a bit of (gentle) digging can commence and visits to garden centres (with good cafes)
I remember my first one being a week late so I went out and did some heavy digging on a clayey border - no use - he stayed where he was for another week!


Lovely to hear you will be a 'Moominmumma' soon! If you need a quick fix for your guests in August then pots of bedding (bargains to be had now) with lots of lavender too.

Your mum could move pots about and plant up lavender. After this 'busy season for you what about putting a cordon apple against that sunny border for next year. Babies love apple pur??e and it is so good for their digestion when weaned. Strawberries and blueberries just full of vitamin C for a a tot that will 'grow like a weed'! Fresh, unprocessed and no pesticides guaranteed when it's your own food. Good Luck Moominmumma xx

I've done it. Put row of lavender in and went armed to the garden centre with a list of your recommended  plants but unfortunately they didn't have any so I bought Some echinacea to go at the back and some cineraria maritima 'silver dust at the front  & left what was left of the irises in. It's not great but pleased it looks neat and smells nice x




Great Moomin - that's going to look gorgeous when it all gets settled - and it'll be lovely in perfect time to welcome you and your little one home 


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