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Something for all year around

I have attached the size of the two planting areas that we are putting into our front garden; if you could give us ideas on what to plant, so that the garden would look good all year around.

Low maintenance would be ideal, mostly perennials.

We would be grateful for any help as we are a little "green" when it comes to gardening.


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Have a look round at the plants growing in your local area and see what you like. Then have a look at the plants on offer at the nearest nursery/garden centre. Have a look at the labels for heights etc. Talk to the assistants there - they will know what grows well in your area and will recommend stuff to you. You need to know how tall you want the plants to be, whether flowering or not, evergreen etc. Do a little research and it will pay dividends. 

    And you can get ideas from gardening books. Plenty on offer to cater to beginners. 

    Asking what plants to use is a bit like asking 'what will I have for my tea?'. The possibilities are endless unless you know what you like and dislike first and what kitchen items you have to hand, whether you want something quick and easy or hours of cooking etc etc.

    Look at the conditions you have, soil type, shady, sunny, space. Decide what height you want, flowering, fragrance, evergreen, climbers etc. Gardening is a huge adventure so enjoy your first steps. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837

    I can't see your attachment Sarah, but I'd suggest you get a few shrubs in there if you want all year round interest. Perennials won't give you that. 

    A few evergreens - Choisya if you have enough room, Hebes if it's sunny, Dwarf Azaleas as long as the soil won't be alkaline (raised beds make that easier as you can 'choose' the soil) and shrubs like Potentilla - which flower for months - would be ideal. You can then build on that with perennials and bulbs. Bulbs can be planted under the perennials so that you have a succession of colour in one spot. The emerging foliage of the perennials will cover the bulb foliage as it dies back too. Summer flowering bulbs like alliums are easy, and give height without taking up too much space, so that kind of plant can be very useful. Hardy geraniums are useful almost anywhere in a garden, and are easy to obtain and look after. A few trailing plants would also be good for softening the edges of the beds. Spring flowering plants like Aubretia and Arabis would be ideal if it's sunny. These plants would all be quite low maintenance.

    As hogweed says, check the basics first about heights, spreads etc, and decide on what you like in terms of colours and shapes too. What you eventually choose will also depend on the aspect of the beds- something sun loving isn't going to thrive in a north facing bed, for instance. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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