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Can you identify these bushes in border?

Over Easter I’d like to deepen our garden border and maybe add a curve. It’s way too narrow and only home to a sad red hot poker and some Glads in summer.
I saw this beautiful border last year and would love to add a mix like this. Anyone know what these plants are? Love their different textures and colours. Thanks.



  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    The lower picture is from left to right
    Pennisetum (grass) which variety I don't know but there are lots available.
    Cotinus coggyria purpley centre one (smoke bush) makes a large shrub. Smokey plumes of flowers.
    Berberis (possibly) the bright pinky red one, has thorns/spikey leaves.

    That is a good idea to widen and curve your borders, your garden looks nice even though narrow :)
    Can you also add the dimension and the way the beds/garden face for plant suggestions.
    And your soil type.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    First Photo - The strappy yellow leaf plant is Phormium, the red shrub to the right is a Berberis Thunbergii.

    Second photo - the grass is a type of Pennisetum, the dark foliage shrub is Cotinus Coggygria, not totally sure about the dark border shrub that lines the edge, but could be Prunus Otto Luyken, and the pale tall shrub could be Pittosporum Tenuifolium 'Silver Queen'.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    There also might be a "Zebra" grass behind the Phormium two tone green and white stripe. Although there is another that is similar and smaller.
  • Thanks so much! The garden faces North North East, however this border gets full sun May - September.
    We brought in all of the soil and organic matter as the garden was previously paved. It’s nice and neutral, if a little on the clay side (London)
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    Good idea to widen your borders, whether keeping straight lines or uncomplicated soft curves. Many of your plants can be moved out temporarily to allow you to insert some shrubs. It's a common mistake to forget about shrubs in early gardens. As seen with those front gardens, form and contrast even with the absence of perennials can hold interest throughout the year.

    Your garden looks very good already, and looks much more than Gladioli and Red Hot Poker! A good all-round garden is to try and create interest in dribs and drabs throughout the year. Well that's my opinion anyway...

  • Yes, year round interest is what I’m after.  The plants you see here are what we  put in in its first year to quickly get some colour.  Now it needs some structure and architecture.

     By the way, in the top right hand corner of the garden, we have some concrete underneath that we cannot remove so nothing can be planted there.  We’re hoping to do a small corner seating area. Inspiration attached. That means that everything in the border to the left of (the 2/3 of the fence) needs thinking about properly in relation to the future seating. This means the length of the usable back border will be 2.6m.  I wish there was some sort of planting guide or tool that you could download up by that I don’t try and cram in too many of these herbaceous bushes you’ve identified!

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,363
    Rubytoo said:
    There also might be a "Zebra" grass behind the Phormium two tone green and white stripe. Although there is another that is similar and smaller.
    Could that one behind the Phormium be a broom of some sort, blown up it doesn’t look like a grass. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,811
    You just need to do some research on the shrubs/plants you like and look up their height and spread, then you can work out how many plants you can fit into your beds, bearing in mind they will be smaller when you plant them, so fill in with annuals.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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