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Plants & Flowerbeads

Hi All,

For starters I'm new to this business (Gardener) and I've finally finished my Garden.

Having created a flower bed and planted a number of flowers. Things don't seem to be going too great, especially for my Acers...

So I'm thinking of re-arranging things somewhat and could do with some help and advice.

I'm looking for some low maintenance flowers and plants.

I was considering some form or small palm trees up the left hand side and moving all the other plants to the larger squares. The right hand side of the garden gets only a few hours of light a day so I think that may be why my one acer isn't growing.

Any ideas of what I can do to help out what I've already got and any plants/flowers which are low maintenance? 

Anyone got experience of any palm or small trees/shrubs for the left? image


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    I can't see what you have planted on the left, but it doesn't look 'low maintenance' to me. With Acers, if as you say, it doesn't get much sun, it's not a bad thing. Acers are slow growers, so no growth is not an indication there is an issue. In fact, a wall as protection away from harsh wind and sun is good, especially in its early years.

    Low maintenance gardens rely on block plants of one or two plants repeated or in one large area. You could have something trained or creep up the fences to create height and colour. 

    Shrubs are good longterm plants that will create a sense of being enclosed and also adding a great foil for low plants that can change with the seasons.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Hi aj, and welcome to the forum image.  Can I kindly suggest that you've "finally finished" the hard landscaping in your garden......but only just begun to create the "real garden" parts of it image.  An exciting time, with a large blank canvas to work with.

    You say that the right hand side is shaded, so I'm guessing your photo is taken facing east?  With a sunny south facing patio on the left of pic. You mention putting palms on the left side. Do you mean in pots on the far right, or planted beside the lawn?  Are you looking for tropical style planting around that area?  Your location within the UK will determine what you can reliably grow with minimal maintainance.  Eg. Fatsias, tough as old boots....stuff like bananas and cannas need mollycoddling and winter protection in a greenhouse.

    All a bit confusing for a new gardener, I know (I'm still learning), but better to do some research and planning than make expensive mistakes.  Have a trawl around local garden centers or nurseries to get a feel of what you like or dislike. Nosey into local front gardens to see what thrives in your area. There are endless choices to make, but right plant, right place is a good start to any successful garden.

  • Hey, Thanks for the comments so far, Yes, My garden is facing east.

    Where I have created the borders next to the Grass is the only area I want plants, at least at the moment anyway.

    I've put flowers up the left hand side but they seem to be struggling to grow and I put Acer's in the larger squares, also seems like their is no growth with them.

    I want something nice with a little maintenance involved. That's why im thinking of putting the flowers in the large square beds and I'd like to put small 'Palm' style trees in the left bed. Something which doesn't grow too much and then I can decorate with stones.

  • Hi there

    As Borderline says, the Acer should be fine in a bit of shade. It and your other plants might be struggling due to your soil. Did you add compost to the soil after creating your beds? I completely get what you are aiming to do with low maintenance shrubs and stones. Some of us love spending a lot of time tending our beloved gardens, some of us don't!

    If you are planning to plant shrubs/ small trees it will be important to feed the soil with some compost to get them off to a good start. Once they have got established, they shouldn't need much fussing but they will grow so inevitably some maintenance will be involved, even if it's just a light prune every year.

    Plants can cost a lot of money and I would echo Kitty's advice and go to a GOOD garden nursery or centre where you can look at different plants and get some advice before you buy. A knowledgeable garden centre employee should be able to tell you about how big things will get, what sort of conditions the plants need etc. They should also be able to tell you about things that are not currently in season (so unlikely to be in stock at garden centres) - this just simply means they are not flowering or fruiting or displaying lovely foliage at the moment - but that you would  probably be able to order.

    Having said all that you might want to consider googling "Chusan palm". This is fully hardy. I have one in my garden.  It was here when I arrived  and has probably only grown four foot in the last 18 years. I reckon it might be about 50 years old and the trunk is probably only 8 foot now. Does need quite a bit of space for the leaves though. Fatsia Japonica might give you the jungly look you are after. Or perhaps you could consider large grasses, including bamboo? (definitely get some professional advice on the latter, as some varieties of bamboo can be really invasive).

    Good luck!


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    East facing makes sense, but I do feel that you need your left border to be a bit more deeper, which is your sunnier border. If you are looking for a more minimalist style of planting, or something jungly and structured, it is better to have a deeper border. I think Ginglygangly's suggestion of a Chusan palm is perfect. Would be interest to know what kind of flowers do you like, because there are just oo many. But, Hemerocallis, Day Lilies will look great and quite low maintenance.

    On your right sided border, why not think about ferns. I think they will do well and add to the style of structural planting. Bergenia, Elephant's Ear plant will have nice low mound of glossy green leaves and have spring time flowers.

    Last edited: 10 August 2017 18:07:52

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