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Ideas please

Hi everyone
We have had a number of conifers removed this week from our front garden as half of them had died and the others had got too large making it difficult to drive in / out.
Between ourselves and next door we are going to work on the soil and plant ilex crenata - we have been given conflicting advice about when to plant - some saying this November will be ideal, others saying wait until early next spring to give the soil more time to improve - any thoughts please?

Also, where we had a few removed and left the main run of conifers on the other side of the drive, we now have an empty space to fill and I would really value some ideas please. You will see from the last picture that currently our front garden is made up of all green trees and plants so don’t know about introducing any colours there however, we don’t want to replace with more leylandi / conifers. At some point in the future we may even remove all leylandi from that run and possibly consider turning that stretch into a herbaceous border so don’t want to put in something that would then be difficult to move if we did go down that route. ..... any ideas?


  • Oops, should have said that the stretch where the conifers and space is gets lots of sun all afternoon 😀
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    edited September 2018
    If you have recently take out the conifers, the soil in that area will be quite dry and will need a load of compost and well rotted manure to help it along. With shrubs like Ilex crenata, it's fine to plant them in now. Remember to water in well until the heavier rain and damp weather comes along. It's also fine to plant in spring too. Shrubs, especially evergreens will be fine planted in Autumn. 

    Most herbaceous plants are more easier to move than shrubs, especially when more mature, shrubs may be a tougher task, so I would avoid them. Hardy geraniums and Roses are a good candidate for colour. Low sprawling roses with a nice lax habit like The Fairy are easy to grow. Glossy green foliage and small flowers that open from June right the way to November. 

    With your last photograph, I don't understand what you want to achieve. There is grass there. Are you digging in a bed/border? You mentioned wanting to get something in that is easy to take out
  • Many thanks Borderline, good to know I can plant the hedge this year - just need to get to work quickly  to improved the ground.

    I only included the last picture to show that the rest of the garden is basically all green to see if people felt I should plan something green for the space at the end of the conifer run in picture 2 or if I should introduce some colour.

    We noticed that in the space that there are some large sandstones and, on talking to a neighbor, it turned out that the previous owners, over 25 years ago had a rockery there and am wondering whether to re-instate that? - another big challenge as I have no idea where to start ....

    the only only reason I mentioned moving plants was  Incase we remove the rest of the conifers and put in a large herbaceous border in the future

     think I need to work on the hedge area first ..... good to have lots to plan / do.
    will keep in mind your advice.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,542
    Unless you really like gardening and have plenty of time to spare, I would not recommend a rockery - they can be a right pain if weeds get under the rocks. For now, when you've finished improving the soil and planting your ilex crenata hedge, I would merely dig the corner over and dump lots of manure in. (You may have to net it over temporarily to keep the local cats off it). Or you could site a few large pots there temporarily with some nice evergreen plants and/or bulbs.Spend time over the winter working out a colour scheme and researching what perennial plants would do well in your location and then plant them in the spring.  In the long term, personally I would get the other conifers removed, they take up a lot of useful space, they don't look beautiful and they don't enhance the house. You could have such fun with the new space! 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,473
    I would take out all the other conifers as well. Then you could have a wonderful herbaceous border, or even a shrub border that has flowers, not just green.  Lots of bulbs in Spring. Cheery yellow daffodils to greet you when you come home in Spring.
  • If you see conifers in a conifer forest, underneath hardly anything grows. There is a myth they acidify soil, but apparently this is untrue, even so, the evidence is there = the soil is barren. Make sure you dig in plenty of organic matter - horse manure etc
  • Thanks all for your comments, think I need to concentrate on one job at a time - hedge first I think and will follow Lizzie27’s suggestion and give myself time to think through the other space. Thanks for tips on improving the ground, surprisingly it is not all as dry as I expected with the lower part being quite ‘clayey’ 
    Although fairly new to gardening and not really sure what I am doing most of the time I do love it and have loads of time as I retired a few weeks ago and with the lovely weather we are having just really keen to get things done! 

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