Posted: 02/04/2017 at 23:39
Fishtycuffs, two things come to mind, Rome was not built in a day, it took Centuries, and Anything worth having is worth waiting for. I have waited five years for a Peony to flower after planting, count the time it took to root call that seven years and it is now a lovely bush which gives me pleasure every year, care and patience are what gardening needs. So you made a mistake so what, every gardener on here has done that it is how we learn. We all yearn for the perfect garden it never happens Nature gets in the way so we work with what we have always planning two or more years ahead.
Right those Rhododendrons only need some TLC plus a bag of ericaceous compost, that is a lime free slightly acid compost from any Garden Shop, mix it into the soil around the Rhododendrons and wait, you will see the difference as summer goes on. You will then have to put in other plants that will thrive in the same soil, each plant has its own needs in nutrients and soil PH. Feeding loads of Fertiliser to plants is a bit like giving them too many big mac's, little and often in the growing season is all they need though if you can get good well rotted manure you could dress or mulch around the beds in Autumn and let the worms work their magic.
Sit down with a pencil and paper and plan with the help of Google Plant Books and this board what you want in the future, some plants will come and go in one year, that is it. Some need to be sown brought on and will flower next year then some will be finished others last years, the choice of plants is yours I would not advise on that as we all differ in taste. Make a list of what you would like in the garden, although a one year wonder which would be all bedding plants would be over in a year then a desert. Bulbs need to be planned by season and sown in the Autumn to flower the next spring. The same thing with Shrubs some such as Lavender will be planted as small plants get bigger year on year for about eight years then become leggy, I then dig them out and start again, it is the same with many plants, they grow away from the original root ball leaving gaps so you split them back into small plants again and replant them as Monty showed on GW Friday, nothing lasts forever unless you plant an oak tree, that will outlast you. It is a continuous job planning changing and maintenance, if someone tells you they have a maintenance free garden they lie because they do not exist. Slow down, Think long and deeply as to what you wish to achieve but let it happen as nature intended in its own time.