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What plant do I need?

Hello all. 

I have a very narrow border alongside a path that leads up to a front door. East facing. I'd like to grow a row of just one plant there, for impact, but it needs to be something that won't spread out too much - height is fine, but I don't want to be climbing through it on a daily basis. What would be a good plant to try? Would love some bright colour, and have thought of Crocosmia but not sure if it will get too bushy. The soil is clay. Thanks for any suggestions!



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,904

    I'm thinking that a row of Japanese Blood Grass - Red Baron   would look stunning in a spot like that.  I'm pretty sure it'd be fine with east facing as long as it's not too exposed, and if you can improve the clay just a bit it should be happy. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 5,260

    Hi Sarah999, are you after a good foiliage cover all year, something that grows back each Spring or mainly flowers? Most blooms will be Summer only and some will die back over Winter (like Crocosomia) so nothing to look at then. 

    I imagine that the border is shady in the afternoon, so maybe ferns, Hostas, Astilbes? Clay will need some mixing with organic matter and gritty soil to achieve better drainage. 

    Last edited: 02 August 2017 19:54:37

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Definitely not crocosmia - too floppy and no winter interest. Ditto ferns, hostas and astilbes. Red Baron sounds ideal but you could also plant saxifrage Londons Pride if you want something low growing. Pachysandra would also do the trick. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860

    Carrying on Dove's suggestion - there are lots of evergreen grasses which would also be ideal - Carexes and Uncinias for example.

    If it's sunny enough - some of the smaller Hebes would be ideal too. I've had them in that kind of aspect without any problem, although they flower a bit less than in a relaly sunny areas.

    Just how narrow is it Sarah?

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks everyone! Yes, year round interest would be great and I do like grasses. I have some pheasant grass in my back garden. The space is less than a foot wide (can't be exact as we haven't made it yet). I like a modern, simple look but I'm a big fan of colour too.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,904

    We had a similar space alongside our front path in our last home ... we made it into a 'raised bed' just a few bricks high, filled it with topsoil and grit (about half and half if I remember correctly) and filled it with lots of different sempervivums and finished with a light coloured gravel ........ it looked fantastic!.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I love that idea Dove! Do you have any pics? Would they work in wet conditions?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,904

    Sorry, I don't have any pics ... the bed  was against an east facing wall in a city centre street of Victorian terraces, so not the sunniest driest spot in Norfolk  ... I think if there were gaps at the base of the 'wall' for drainage and plenty of grit in the growing medium, and they get a fair bit of light, they ought to be happy.  

    Last edited: 03 August 2017 15:23:16

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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