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So I have a decent sized area of soil which is ready to plant in and to create a long lasting new structure. The area is shaped like a semi-circle, with a half-height fence at the back end of the flat edge of the semi circle. It is in full sun and the soil is loamy and well drained (not done a pH test, as of yet but at a guess it wont be highly acidic).

So far, I have 6x lavenders (hidcote) which i'll be planting at 30cm intervals, in a triangular cluster. I'd like to do the same with some other plants, so each species can have its own little colony within the area. I've done some planning and measuring up today and figured i'm going to need around 80 plants to complete the front two-thirds of the semi circle, following the curve around.

I love the colour combination of purples, pinks, blues and whites (pastel and bold), with strong yellows, so would like this to be the dominant theme. I love Salvias, Nepetas, Lavenders, Verbenas, Echinaceas, Rudbeckias, Anthemis, Asters, Coreopsis - im sure there are others but these are favourites.

I also have a few herbs on the go from seeds - pot marjoram, thyme, sage, basil, parsley.

As a lot of these aren't evergreen, im really after some suggestions on creating some persistent structure in the area, so through winter it isn't dull and twiggy/woody. I'm sure many of you have borders or areas with a lot of the plants i like above in them, so wondered what you plant in partner with these. I'm not fixated on the list above, and am aware that i will probably have to limit that down in any case, ive just put them there as a starting point. I like grasses too but really don't know anything about them at all in honesty.

at the front of the semi circle, which is raised to about mid-thigh level, id like some cascading/trailing plants to cover the whole wall. I do have some aubretias growing but blimey they are slow, they have hardly grown in the last week or so.

please suggest away, keen to get the plants in and getting the area going!

I forgot to mention - this is on the end of a drive that is on a fairly busy main road, so you could consider the part of it by the main road to be 'exposed' so it would need some wind-tolerant edging plants on the one section. I also have 2x Hebes in pots, not sure on the variety though ill post pics up and find out. not sure if they would be suitable for that task of windbreakers, for this there would be the need for about 5-10 of the plants.

Hi Mike

I do actually have a Daphne in a pot, funnily enough. I also have 3x Viburnum Tinus (Eve Price, If i remember rightly) which i intended to stick at the back fence.

On annuals - indeed - i have left some spacing inbetween, primarly at the front section, so that each year that little space can be filled. this allows for flexibility and to add a bit of excitement at planting something new and playing with the colour schemes each season.

Djjuk, For cascading plants there Helianthemums, alyssum (the yellow perennial), Arabis,  osteospermums, convolvulous maritima, verbena homestead purple, Erigeron, and others will thrive.  My front wall,has these in abundance for colour from spring to autumn. 

Convolvulous cneorum, if you're not in too cold an area, is a womderful silvery velvety plant, sub shrub, with pure white flowers in spring and early summer.  Will give height of 3' but cascade too so perfect wall shrub.  There are cascading brooms, nepeta, and  blue shrubs like caryopteris and ceratostigma for late summer flowering.

Try the not so common abelias like Confetti with its lovely variegated foliage, the euphorbias like silver swan, and the red version rubra.  Try a grass like fescue elija blue or stipa Tennuissima for movement and grace.  What about the purple pittosporums which will love the sun?  Get silvers and greys like santolina and helichrysum, the curry plant, in there.  

Yes hebes but euonymous emerald and gold, Lonicera nitida Baggesons gold, ligustrum aurea, etc too.  Fuschias like Genii with yellow foliage and red flowers, spireas  like goldflame produce orange red foliage and pink  flowers.

Consider a eucalyptus like gunnii....pruned annually it produces lovely blue foliage some 6' high annually.  Put cotinus royal purple alongside and you have a wonderful foliage association all summer.  Consider too Acer Flamingo, a tough beautiful shrub of grey, cream, pink and pale green leaves.  I cut mine back to ground level every spring and it makes a mound of glorious colour 8' high every year.  It is a real  eye catcher and always evokes approving comments.

Not just flower colour but foliage colour, foliage shapes and textures need to be checked out.  

I could go on and on as more plants  occur to me djjuk but you have an exciting 

Project there. 


Hey Verdun

Thanks for those many suggestions - off to do a bit of research. so far really like the gunnii, lovely!



Busy Bee2

I am also just about to plant up a border to separate our garden from our neighbour's.  I was interested in the programme about Great Dixter and the fact that they didn't do it with tallest at the back, middle sized in the middle and shortest at the front, which is what everyone does, and am wondering whether I would risk that. 


Busy Bee2

And forgot to say that I quite like white nicotiana which gives a very ethereal feel, particularly at dusk. 

well, ive been down the nursery and bought a variety of perennials and some evergreens, with a focus on providing decent plants for wildlife, and differing heights and widths. here's what i ended up with:

  • 3x Viburnum tinus (had these already, planted at the back in front of the fence)
  • 6x Lavender Hidcote (already had these)
  • 2x Hebe (unknown varieties, already had)
  • 2x Choisya ternata (excellent and easy growing. had 2 of these at my previous house)
  • 2x Buddleja 'Adonis Blue' (a smaller variety)
  • 2x Echinacea (purpurea, alba and a pink)
  • 2x Coreopsis rosea ('American dream')
  • 2x Coreopsis lanceolata
  • 1x Digitalis 'Dalmation Purple'
  • 1x Digitalis purpurea (Yellow variety)
  • 2x Verbena Bonariensis
  • 2x Dianthus 'Erecta Red'
  • 1x Erysimum 'Golden Gem'
  • 2x Cerastium tomentosum
  • 2x Veronica 'Inspire blue'
  • 1x Erigeron 'Pink Jewel'

Those perennials were £2 each, in 9cm pots. all very healthy and good growth. the choisya and buddleja are well sized - about a foot or so high at least.

hopefully ill get planting these at the weekend. had intended to do today but only managed to do 2 viburnums as the tree stump roots had to be dug further out the planting holes, nightmare and a very sore back!

Nice plants djjjuk

A lovely summer of flowers I think. 

Remember, spend as much on the hole as the plant so incorporate plenty of compost for each plant.  

Enjoy your planting at the weekend 

I could have bought way more Verdun! but decided to leave some room open for spring and autumn interest to add on top as and when - tulips, daffs, crocus, iris, etc ... and for the autumn, maybe an autumn aster or two and some others. the only thing to decide now is to whether to leave an 'ever-rotating' section of the bed dedicated to annuals, or scatter them in and amongst the rest of the ever-presents. the latter would probably look better but it would be a bit awkward and id be worried about damaging plants in the process!

Good,thinking djjjuk. To add plants for seasonal interest as the season progresses.  Re asters Frikartii Monch and Little Carlow are musts for me. 

I do not generally add annuals now to the perennial garden...except the following.  They look odd and better in containers or in beds dedicated to them.  Having said that annuals like cosmos, argyranthemums, etc,make a nice show if grown in threes.  They then look like perennials ESP if grown on well before planting out.....I grow them on in 2 or 3 litre pots,,having pinched them out a couple of times, so that the large plants make an immediate impact.  Dahlias too, if grown on this way, will make individual splashes of colour from robust big plants.  

Too many annuals squashed in impinge on the perennials' growth rate I think.  And they can look " bitty" ESP if on the small side

Exciting though, eh Djjjuk?  

Very Verdun! This whole project has come about because i lost my own garden through a split with an ex, who i was with for 9 years. she is still at the house we own together, but obviously there is too much work there to not be there full time, so ive had to make a bit of a heart-breaking decision and been a bit ruthless with having to leave plants there, unfinished business. sadly all gone to waste but its out of my hands now. ive took a lot of stuff with me but there is still bits and bobs left which has gone to a right state.

the area in question is at my dads house, having moved into there temporarily until i move into my own flat in a months time. this area was chock full of all sorts of weeds. brambles ... countless dandelions .. thistles .. deadnettle .. hogweed ... bittercress ... and to top it off 3 huge conifer stumps. clearing it was the first challenge, took a few weekends to do that on top of twice-weekly raking of weed seedlings - of which there were thousands, no joke!

now planning and planting time. came to plant yesterday but so many conifer roots still in the way, had to axe a lot of them out.

hopefully at the weekend i can get the rest of them in. then its just a case of watching them grow over the next few years into beauts whilst keeping the weeds down!


Sounds good djjjuk. 

i meant to say aswell - the nursery had convolvulus - really like that plant but a bit concerned about its hardiness? the house is on the west mids/worcester border, and on the edge of a town so not really classed as a rural area. how does it cope with a frost?

Here it's fine.  Near coast.

However, in a terracotta pot or onthe edge of a free draining wall and in full sun should be ok. I would though have fleece handy during winter nights. Its worth,protecting. You can take cuttings too during late spring and summer. 

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