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What could I plant here?


Hoping to get some advice as a complete novice.

I’m finally getting round to sorting out our back yard. The hedge (not sure what it is) between us and next door was just trimmed after getting very overgrown. This has revealed a number of possible spots for planting something in between the hedges. 

I’ve attached a photo so you can see. It’s south west facing but obviously would be quite shady under the hedge. 

What plants could be good to go in those areas? I have no clue about plants as a total beginner so happy to hear any suggestions. 




  • Others may have ideas and be more optimistic than me about planting in this area.  I would be concerned about the hedge taking most of the moisture from the soil, leaving it dry, and what is probably going to be a constant battle of clipping back regrowth (especially now it has been pruned) from the hedge to give whatever is planted at its feet a chance.  You are likely also to be trying to dig through a mass of roots to plant anything.

    I'm not sure if you could make some planting pockets, get some organic matter into them and plant a few of the tougher clematis that don't mind drier soil to clamber up the hedge to give some colour for part of the year.  I might also see if I could get through the hedge roots and put in some spring flowering bulbs.  But it's likely to be a tricky planting spot.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,818
    I don't think very much will grow that close to the hedge - the ground will be full of hedge roots, and depending what it is, the hedge will probably thicken up and cast more shade.
    Maybe you could poke in some small bulbs like snowdrops or crocus, for early spring.  Or have something colourful in containers that you can stand on the path.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks both for your suggestions. I hadn’t considered that the hedge might make it difficult for planting in those areas. 

    Bulbs or small containers sound like good ideas. I’ll investigate!

    Thanks for the very quick responses. Much appreciated. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,070
    I wouldn't entertain trying to plant any clematis there to be honest, even if you're an experienced grower. They need huge amounts of water, and even ones like the alpinas, which need less, would be very hard to establish and grow well. 
    London Pride - Saxifraga urbium - would do fine, and some of the hardy geraniums, but again, you'd need to get them established, and that could be tricky.
    I'd agree with Jenny though - a few small bulbs might be ok, crocus possibly, but probably better to stick with some containers for seasonal colour. Big pots of sweet peas, or similar, to screen the hedge a bit in summer might be good.   :)
    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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