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my mums got the hump as shes spent loads of money at the garden centre this week and she put them out the front in the chimmey pots and the birds keep sitting ontop of the flowers and they have broke the stems of the flowers.the birds are woodpeckers and there is a family of them they have babies and we dont know why they keep sitting in the pots.they havent done it mum says she gonna kick there backside if they keep doing it....if i say that i get told of. bye.x
I'm very with you Kate, detest bedding with a passion....mainly for the reason's you stated. I prefer to grow perennials from seed and watch them grown into strong mature plants over the years. I tend to fill up with cosmos and california poppies where possible, but inevitably the cat sits on the bare earth patches and nothign grows!
I think if you plant generously with shrubs and perennials then you'll only really have those pesky 'gaps' in the first year. I used shop-bought bedding (nicotiana) last was gorgeous and I'm quite sad that there's no room for any this year! I love growing from seed as much as you do, but with busy lives and lack of space, it's not always possible is it. I also love nothing more than the glory of a mass of day-glo petunias (or whatever) in a hanging basket...It's the sort of thing that encourages millions of people to have a go at gardening....and long-term, more people gardening means more people learning about how our environment works. Swings and roundabouts!
Kate, you are a writer so I will tell you about the ten plaques of recycled wood that have arrived, thanks to the Resident Artist, at the Bristol Botanic Garden. They have haiku about the plant nearest them engraved on them. Gardens can be embellished by many more artifacts than gnomes. The Australian Garden at the National Bot. Garden of Wales has Aboriginal Art dotted about among the plants. Did you see the Literary garden at Chelsea? I wish you lived nearer. I would give you lots of lovely plants to fill the gaps. Your perennials will soon plump up. Does your local corporation not sell off its surplus plants at the end of June?
The roundabout in Cemaes bay angelsey, has been planted with beautiful perennials, grasses etc and are stunning. I reckon they show what a little imagination can do and make a wonderful change from the usual standard of rows of clashing bedding plants


If you plan your perennials carefully, you'll have a few things in bloom all summer long. I enjoy the look of lots of annuals, but I find them best used in pots and boxes to add some color on steps and sills.
I've just sown seedof biennials for next year, Kate honesty.sweet william and wallflowers (half-price seed now). These three are giving good shows in mine and my neighbour's garden from last year's sowing. My local roundabout is the first in Bristol off the M5 motorway and as such gets great design treatnment. We have had sculptures of Concorde, the Suspension Bridge, and now a rowing boat whose lovely tulips have just been removed for the June planting - red geraniums last year. But the rest of the planting is small conifers, perennials and grasses. It is very classy and looks good all year round. The next big roundabout is the one I pass to go to the Botanic Garden(through a lovely wild flower meadow on the Downs) and it is planted up with perennials to make you drool. The euphorbias stand out in early summer. If it is flowers you want why not plant some strawberry plants which will give you a crop in 60 days time? And for colour buy some red or orange stemmed chard for veg. in the late summer. And, as the- muddy-road says you can always drop in a pot or two of exotics.
I love perennials too; there not quite so popular here, so I've grown most of mine from seed (UK seed catalogues) and I fill my friends with delight when I give them a few "unusual" for Sardinia plants: Rudbeckias do wonderfully here, as do Galliardia (last year's Razzle Dazzle flowered from May to December). I do fill in the gaps with a few bedding plants, but these too are mainly grown from seed - the extras after I've handed out plants to my friends I sell off for a volontary organization.
I am so excited I managed to grow pot marigolds from seeds. Plus trying lobelias, no joy yet!!!
I have some gaps in my little herbaceous border where I grew wallflowers Annuals certainly have their place and are useful. I am planting my favourite heliotrope which has a gorgeous scent and is loved by bees and butterflies. I believe they can be taken in for the winter, but have not tried it before - may do this year. Also clary is useful - it seeds itself and is also enjoyed by wildlife. The colours of both these annuals blend in with other perennials and are not too "in your face" as some annuals are.
I tend to fill gaps with a few courgettes, french bean blue lake, even out door cucumbers, strawberries, chard, chives etc. Much rather have productive fillers than bedding plants. If I could I'd be breeding nicer bedding, as I really do not like any of the bedding plants commonly sold and tend to focus on perennials
If you want to see lovely bedding displays then come to Bournemouth, their gardens going from the town centre down to the sea front are always so lovely and look so perfect. Ive got bedding plants in the garden but I am trying to get quite a few perennials then its not so much hard work putting all those bedding plants in, though they do look lovely.
My garden is a veritable sea of colour, not just from the roses and self-seeded annuals and the biennials but perennials like hardy geraniums, the Bristol flower and Lysimachia coronaria, Lychnis punctata and nimmularia, Alchemilla mollis,pinks aplenty,helianthemums and parahebes, and the lavenders and rosemary and , of course, the orange blossom philadelphus. Apart from end of April and early May and July, this should be one of the most colourful times in the garden so look forward to it in future, Kate.
I tend to agree: it's been a few years since I resorted to the plug-plant in polysterene to fill garden gaps and I haven't really missed them. I try to raise some annuals from seed (nicotiana is a favourite) and to allow self-seeding plants to have a go at filling gaps but I'd still rather live with a gap than fill it with a gaudy petunia that's been raised in the horticultural equivalent of a battery farm.


Harry T - click on the "Find that Fuchsia" website and you will find there are quite a few suppliers.
Does anyone have any idea's on plants that work well on a slope? I would like all year round colour if poss.
Mllie. all the alpines do since they love good drainage. you can have cyclamens in flower all the year round and when they aren't their leaves are beautiful. And lots of bulbs will love it. Just remember to put fritillaries and snowdrops at the bottom as they like dampness in the summer.
happymarion....thanks 4 yr post! The slope is in full sun at times tho....4got 2 mention that!
I have to confess to using geraniums to fill a few gaps in my border last year as it was newly planted. My long term goal is to have perennials flowering all through the season but this isn't always possible straight away. Last year and again this year I have set myself a monthly budget of about forty pounds to buy flowering perennials. At my local centre I can but about ten plants with this budget and by buying them in flower I can see how they will look in the border. As the years go by I should hopefully have a better and longer display of colourful perennials in my borders. I have also started to add structure by planting grasses and foliage plants in amongst the flowers. I can't wait to see how this develops as the next couple of years go by and of course with the help of cuttings I can start planning and filling even more borders, to me it's an 'all win' situation! Higgy