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Talkback: Plans for a garden

Hi Kate, I plan to plant more perennials into my front garden this year. The last three years I've planted Petunias, Busy Lizzies etc. I've ...

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Hi Kate, I plan to plant more perennials into my front garden this year. The last three years I've planted Petunias, Busy Lizzies etc. I've got some Dahlia tubers to go in and hardy Fuchsia's that I've grown from cuttings. I've also got Foxgloves that I've grown from seed that I collected from my original plants. I'm just hoping I can pack it with even more colour this year and encourage more butterflies and bees. I have put three bird nesting boxes up for Blue Tits and Robins, all they have to do now is move in.
Hi all. I can hardly believe how similar our garden projects are! We have 3 thin beds in the back (about 3 feet in width and each being 4 metres in length). We have planted 4 tulips, 4 daffodils, 3 hyacinths, 3 rose bushes, 3 lupins, a skimmia, something white and something blue (can't remember what), oh, and 5 dianthus. A red azalea is going to go in too this weekend, and when we find a forsythia (golden bell) and some larkspur we'll hopefully have a nice little garden. I'm still cogitating how to attract and help the bees? I'm swaying towards building a hive... hmm. As for the birds, I have an established red berberis in the front garden which the chaffinches are visiting daily, and a solitary blackbird bobs around in the back garden completely ignoring the feeders which makes me giggle. Thanks for reading. :)

Hi funkywhiteboy.  If you want to attract bees to your garden you need to plant single petalled flowers as opposed to the double kind.  Bees like to have a nice landing pad to land on too, so plants that are flat and open are good.  We have just started beekeeping and there is slightly more to it than just building a hive - but dont let that put you off.  It is a truly wonderful and rewarding hobby.

I'm relatively new to gardening, but would love to have a greenhouse. Unfortunately, the garden is too small to house one. I have recently found a mini glass greenhouse which will fit in perfectly. It has come flat packed, so I am looking forward to constructing it and then using it. I have a couple of places where I can place it, still deciding and it will mean moving some pots around to create room. I am looking forward to planting some seeds, which I haven't really been able to do before. I usually use plug plants, so this will save me a few £££'s hopefully.
Hi funkywhiteboy. Blackbirds seldom feed from feeders. They are ground feeding birds. They also love berries.


Not sure that I agree that bees like single petals...I've had sedums that have been covered in bees to the point that the flowerheads are a mass of moving brown!  Buddleia is also a major attraction (I know it's a butterfly plant but bees love it too).  Cotinus cogryggia is also an attractant and can be pruned to keep it small.

Lydiaann - Sedums do have single petals, but the flowers are arranged in clumps making it look like they are composite individula flowers.  I agree the bees love them.


2012 is the year I hae my potager, Kate, with flowers mixed in with the vegetables and a seating area for me and my tools.  There are going to be eight beds-two matching lots of four and metre wide paths.  I would like lots of lavender for the bees too.

I moved into a flat last August where the garden has not, apparently, been worked on for 12 years. It's sloping with wonderful views across the Bristol Channel. Luckily the soil is wonderful and I have a lot of space, more than I have ever had, butI was dreading having to dig it and get rid of grass which, in some places, was about 3 feet high. Anyway I did dig and dig and dig... Have actually set up a blog (more of a diary for my own benefit) if you google "willieverfinishdigging" you can find out more. Anyway, I have dug out a rose plot plus two flower beds (have started filling them with dahlias, agapanthus, chrysanthemums and lots of other flowering periennals) besides a fruit plot for raspberries and strawberries and one vine. Climbing roses and clematis have to be fitted in somewhere. I have also dug plots so I could have an apple and a cherry tree plus two cobnuts (no doubt the birds and squirrels will get there before me). And........ I dug out a pond too. It has been filled but before too long I will need to get out there to clear all the fallen leaves and other bits which have fallen in. Underneath all the grass I found a rockery.. Hopefully I will be able to get around to doing something with it next year if not this. I also intend to keep some of the garden for wild life. Think I have enough work to do to keep me busy for a few years.. I really am quite excited by it all.

Hi Kate did have a nice holiday or are you still on holiday. I haven't started my daugther's garden yet but her maisonette is coming on fine happy day's,I hope to start my gardening year soon.


Hi Julia, it must be very exciting starting a garden from scratch so to speak. You must have muscles on your muscles with all that digging.......I bet it will look brilliant this summer.


Great to see everyone's plans for the coming year  I'm a novice gardener living in Norfolk and it's fascinating looking up your plant references, etc.  I've been browsing the web during the winter months for inspiration and I think this is a site I shall return to again and again!  

We have raised veg beds as well as (unraised) flower beds in our garden.  We have a right ole mix as we have natural springs bubbling up, so one side of the garden is a bit soggy, the other side more dry; the bottom part is more shaded and the top half by the house gets a lot of light.  We live in a very rural location with a woodland behind us and fields around us, so plenty of birds and wildlife (deer, pheasant and also rabbits that like to try to eat our veg when the dogs aren't in the garden!).

This year I would like to learn about companion planting for my veg plot - my brassicas suffered terribly with white fly last year - any advice?  I'm trying to be as organic as possible.  Also looking to add some summer/autumn colour to my front garden, it seemed so bare once the bulbs had gone over last year (btw, if I'm feeding the soil, do I still need to dig them up and move bulbs each year?)

@ funkywhiteboy don't forget the RHS 'Good for pollinators' list for bee/butterfly etc friendly planting.  I'm sure many others will have good suggestions (and if you find something that works really well, please share, I love bees too.

Thanks for reading - all suggestions welcome 


hi evertone could you tell me is this the right link to ask a question as im new to gardeners world site thanks

Hello Homebird

Sorry it's taken so long to acknowledge you. I'm not technical at the best of times and have only just seen this. I shall have to try and scroll back and see what's been happening since I was last on, it's in my 'favourites' now so can find it straight away !

Only just managing to get back into garden, did a lot of tidying up last weekend. Yes, it is exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes up without any input from me !!

Hope to have a mini meadow at the end of the garden so will need to start on that soon. I've made up a mammal nest/home with odd bits of wood and hopefully a few beasts will be impressed with my efforts and make themselves at home.  Also, I've been feeding the birds and am managing to get some repeat visitors. The blackbird follow my trail of raisins and I are quite happy to come up to the top step and onto the patio. I even had a pheasant in the garden last month, bit of a surprise but a nice one.

Hi Ponkel

All I can about white fly is that they get everywhere. They loved all the hiding places in  our Cavelo Nero. (My sister and I share an allotment) Try some collars for the base of the plants to stop eggs being laid.


Hi can any one give me planting plan for my 1m wide and 5m long semi shaded border    thans

Keyser Soze

We moved into a new house a few years ago and discovered the fences all around painted a gaudy orangey colour! We purchased some twiggy fence panels to cover these and trained some chinese virginia creeper up them. They look great all year round. Good for somewhere for insects to hide and we always have an abundance of wrens and other small birds picking their way through the fencing. Highly recommended as a natural screen and wind filtering too.

Keyser Soze


Personally I would go for a structure of hostas, ferns and grasses with some summer interest in the form of perennial flowers or shade loving annuals such as busy lizzies.


thank you Soze i'll try this combination,but i'm not sure which perennial should i grow.

Keyser Soze

There is a multitude of stuff out there. Personally I would stay away from periwinkle as they can be quite invasive. Try looking at some websites where they have plants for sale and you can whittle down which ones you come across depending on the criteria of when you want it to flower, how tall and what colour etc.

Another favourite foliage plant of mine to go with ferns and hostas is heuchera.