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When ...? Spring to summer bedding plants

Tiny01Tiny01 Posts: 72
Hi all 

I’m just putting the finishing touches to my rear garden makeover that’s consisted of new patio , fencing & raised bed planters all around mainly to hide the horrible gravel boards . 

But now I’m looking to add plants to all the raised beds , now i was going to wait until summer before planting something but I’ve noticed lots of gardens locally with lots of bedding plants in already , spring bedding I presume ? 

My qusetion is if i plant these now how long will they last for and at what point will I be swapping over for summer bedding plants ? 

Apologies for the newbie post but I’m a complete beginner with what plants to use and where , the building / design part I’m ok with .. 

a few pics to help explain ...


  • Tiny01Tiny01 Posts: 72

  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,048
    I'd move those plant pots from below the bird feeders unless you don't mind them getting covered in shite. 
  • Tiny01Tiny01 Posts: 72
    I'd move those plant pots from below the bird feeders unless you don't mind them getting covered in shite. 
    I’d love them to be covered in bird poo , that’s been there for the last couple of weeks & not one bird has visited it yet , very strange as years ago we had lots of birds visit the garden , hopefully they will return 
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,048
    Not quite so close to the fence? Move it somewhere so there's a bit of space around it.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,838
    It seems you are a neat freak.  Unfortunately that means there is nothing there to attract the birds to visit and nowhere for them to shelter if a predator comes too so they'll be slow to come to your feeders.

    If you'd made those thin strips of soil at the base of your fence about 3' wide instead of just a few inches you could have grown climbers and taller plants and shrubs to break up the vast expanse of sterile fence panels and thus provide shelter and nectar and maybe even berries or hips for birds and insects.

    As it is, the only things that will fit in there are small plants such as bedding begonias and impatiens or annual salvias and so on but they are not frost hardy and should not be planted out till the danger of frosts is over in May.  Meanwhile, you could try little pansies and violas and primulas and maybe bellis perennis.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,109

    Those spotted laurels in the thin strips by the fence will bush out and push against the fence, mine is over a metre wide. There isn't enough room for them. Also the 6-12 inches at the bottom of a fence can be quite dry where the rain doesn't reach it. The bed isn't wide enough for shrubs. Bedding plants that you water would work better.

    There isn't enough leafy cover and perching spots for birds. Also it takes birds a while to pick up confidence and come to a bird table.

    As Obelixx said, spring bedding such as violas, pansies, wallflowers, forget-me-nots, bellis daisies, primulas can be used now until planting summer bedding after the risk of frost is past.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Oh dear @Tiny01 sorry we have been critical of your design but it's helpful criticism! So I am adding mine as well...
    On the plus side it is very tidy and neat and I see from another post you want to put an arch in  front of your shed or lodge or summer house.
    Everything is so brown but then my garden fences are grey so who am I to comment.

    I would as suggested take out the Acuba maybe leaving one behind the bird table.
    Then perhaps research perennial plants that would grow in such a restricted space. I had a hardy osteospernum which flowered for 9 months if you dead headed, was evergreen and trailed over a dry stone wall but was easy to keep in check. Maybe aubretia and other small rockery/alpine plants, spring bulbs. Or if you want to go for a sharp look some box cones and alliums. 
    Have a browse through photos in Pinterest for ideas and perhaps other paint colours?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I'm going to disagree and say you can easily grow alpina clematis in those narrow beds. 
    They prefer drier conditions anyway. I have one growing in almost identical conditions. it's a raised bed which is about 9 inches at the widest end [where the clem is planted] tapering to nothing at the other end. About four feet long in total. 

    As long as the beds are open to the ground at the bottom, and you water them well till established, they'd be fine. If the prevailing rain is coming that way, it's even better. Saves having to water. 
    I have other things in with it - pulsatillas and chives etc. The aforementioned aubretias would be fine, and also alpine Phloxes and Arabis, as well as spring bulbs.

    I'd take the laurels out though. They're unlikely to thrive. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,838
    The thing is FG, you know to plant a clematis deep and to give it good soil and plenty of food and water and a support system for it to twine up and over.   Judging by the width of the soil at the base of the fence panels and in the planters in the wall and along that shed, Tiny has not thought about how plants grow - not much room there for rots to get down and seek the moisture and nutrients they need and no indication of what the soil is like at the base nor the soil/compost mix in the planters.

    I think bedding plants are safest and agree those aucubas won't do well at all.

    It's a great design if you want a low maintenance garden with no muck and mud and don't like plants.   I do like that brick work in the back half - impressive - but even the grass has been scalped far too short for it to grow well.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,551
    edited April 2019
    I wonder if you could cram Geranium 'Rozanne' and/or 'Anne Thompson' into that gap? They have small root stocks but expand to quite a large size over the summer, and would soften the edges of the space a bit. 

    If it has to be bedding I'd go for trailing plants, lots of the same thing and not too 'bitty'.

    This garden is going to need a lot of watering. 
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