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When ...? Spring to summer bedding plants



  • I’m not sure what time of day you took those photos but the raised bed strips are very shady. You will need to buy plants that will grow in shade which further narrows your choice. If the photos are early and the sun moves round then great, but you’ll still need a good few hours of sun to shine on those strips to be able to buy sun-loving plants. It looks like the opposite side is sunnier so you could maybe put big plant pots over that side and plant some lovely flowers in them? I think if you want colour, pots are your best bet as there’s not enough natural space for a good variety of plants. You can get brilliant colour with lots of pots and if you put an obelisk in a big pot (or make your own with willow or bamboo stakes) you could even have annual climbers. Dwarf varieties of trees can also go in pots. 

    You don’t say you want lots of colour anyway so maybe you prefer the minimalist/low maintenance look 🤷🏼‍♀️, it’s your space, but just don’t expect a lot of wildlife.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,121
    First of all, Tiny, congratulations, the landscaping is very smart! I am afraid though, you have made a common beginners mistake of making the beds to narrow (we have all done it. Noone ever wished their beds were narrower ;) ) even for a good display of bedding plants apart from the smallest ones planted in a row, which can look a bit dull, and won’t give you much variety in height. Sorry, that must be hard to hear after all your hard work!

    I wonder if it might be feasible to widen them a bit all round by bringing them out to line up with your wider corner boxes? That would give you a little more scope. If you could make then even 40cm, its surprising what you can fit in. The front section in the following photo is 40cm in depth, the railway sleepers resting on soil:

    It has perennial salvias, lavender, a small rose, a geranium hybrid, gaura whirling butterflies, rosemary (which had to come out as it got too big!), thyme etc. The rear section was solid ground (footings of the building) so I put in large troughs, 37cm deep, with the centre pot being 40cm3. This supports verbena bonariensis, achillea, a small dahlia, gaura etc. The cottagy planting may not be to your taste but hopefully gives you an idea. In that depth, there are all sorts of small perennial and annual plants you can grow, including patio roses, the happy single or other small dahlias, lots of colourful stuff...

    The beds either side of your doors, where you plan to put a rose arch, are also too small to support a climbing rose, which will need a space ideally 50x50 but you can get away with 40x40 in good soil with space for a good root run underneath the raised beds.

    I agree the spotty laurels are ultimately very large shrubs that will struggle there.

    One shrub that does seem to survive in minimal space is chaenomeles (japanese quince) that can be trained on wires along and up your fence. Another shrub that seems to survive well in a crack in my wall is Nandina Firepower, lovely bright red/orange evergreen foliage in sun, more green in shade. Or a small columnar cypress like Goldcrest would zing against the brown of your fence.

    Bedding plants are great for instant colour, but are ultimately more expensive than shrubs and perennials. You may be happy with a few bedding plants, however, and that is absolutely fine, its your garden!
  • Tiny01Tiny01 Posts: 72
    Thanks for all your comments it’s appreciated, guess I’ve made a mistake with the narrow borders but I’ll just have to live with that now , plus it’s cost me a fortune in soil , compost , manure to fill them so far let alone making them wider lol ! 

    To be fair I’d only ever invisaged having bedding plants in all the beds rather than perennials , I was thinking more like , spring bedding , summer bedding , winter pansies for example & I thought that would give me a year round splash of colour ? 

    Guess that I may have to find a new home for the spotted laurels if you all don’t think they’ll do well there , strange though as they certainly seem
    happy enough at the moment with lots of new green shoots on them since they were planted . 

    The garden is south facing so gets lots of light / sunshine when we get some & yes will certainly take lots of watering that Iam aware of 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 17,166

    Spring and summer bedding will give you colour over a long period and will also fit in your beds. The spotted laurels are happy at the moment as they are small but they will grow big and your fence won't be happy.

    Lovely brickwork, but I would be tempted to put a brick path through the lawn too. Looks like the grass is already worn by people walking across it.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,121
    Tiny01 said:

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

    Hi Tiny, yes you were actually just asking about bedding plants! I only use the odd bedding plant to fill a gap, so don’t know the answer to your question but could anyone give Tiny an idea of when the changeover period roughly is?

    I can well understand why you can’t face the additional hard work and expense of making the beds wider after you have just got it looking lovely. I do think you might have to bite the bullet and give your planned climbing rose a bit more room though, sorry!
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 17,166
    @Nollie Obelixx and I answered that on the first page, after frosts are over, May. But best wait until the 2nd half, even early June in a cold area. Then in autumn you can buy online or in places like B&Q or GCs plug plants of pansies, Bellis daisies, forget-me-nots etc. All those thin beds can be used as colourful planters.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,121
    Oops, so you did!
  • Tiny01Tiny01 Posts: 72
    Just a little update I took the advice given and had a little change around 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 17,166
    That's pretty, thanks for the update.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
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