Small front space to plant

Between us and a neighbour we have a 1.5m wide by 5m long grassed area splitting our paths and drives. We’ve decided to remove the grass and plant the space with low maintenance bushes. We want it to be bee friendly so want to put an English lavender hedge in there but I suspect that given that the space is 1.5m wide lavender alone won’t be sufficient to adequately fill the space. My suggestion is to plant heather either side of the lavender hedge. Are there any other suggestions people have to fill the space to either side? 



  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    My lavender is in full flower and looks like a field in Provence as it is over a metre wide and in cross section is a semicircle. I too had some heathers but they disappeared beneath the lavender after the first year so were removed. I wish it wasn't so close to the path. I would be tempted to plant the lavender in the middle of the border.  Each side could have heather to begin with. As the lavender gets going, you could plant some bulbs to give spring interest. They  would fill the space each side and as the lavender flowers develop they would cover the old bulb leaves. By the way,  lavender isn't completely low maintenance. After it has flowered it does need trimming. 
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 562
    Yes @Joy* low maintenance is one of those useless terms in gardening. It's a living plant of course it needs care and French lavender hedge needs trimming after it has flowered non stop since early April. Has been a joy in its second year. So some cuttings taken and then a big chop with our trimmer...if the weather behaves 😉

    Maybe you can try some other woody herbs like Rosemary alongside the lavender...particularly an upright variety like Miss Jessop's Upright and maybe a couple of salvias on the edges for a bit of extra colour @peteski2011
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Thanks for your suggestions by low maintenance I just meant plants requiring less mollycoddling. We do expect there to be some pruning feeding etc to ensure healthy flowering happy plants. I wonder given the length of the space (at 5m) approximately how many lavender bushes you’d recommend us starting with to create a nice solid hedge in a few years time @Joy* I like your suggestion of the rosemary and salvias @amancalledgeorge 
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 562
    Depends on the variety of lavender @peteski2011 I planted twenty small plants of variety Anouk and have become a nicely joined up hedge this year. It's a verge of about five metres.  Here are a few shots to illustrate what the hedge I planted looks like a year later. Hope it helps you visualise your space.

    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    I'll try to post a photograph tomorrow,  of my lavender to give you some idea of how it grows, weather permitting. It will be due a thorough trim after flowering this year. 
  • That looks fabulous exactly what we are after @amancalledgeorge why did you choose Anouk variety? Would love to see what you have done @joy* I’m very new to gardening so all the advice and suggestions are very welcome!!! 
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    I think that my variety is Silver Sands. Last week I started culling unwanted shrubs growing in front of the lavender and yesterday we had a lot of rain and wind so it isn't looking it's best. Having removed the shrubs they've flopped over. When I do the redesign,  it will take pride of place. The flowers are just starting to open and are already in excess of 8 cm long, so are very showy. They are covered in bees. When the flowers are over it will get a really good trim to shape it up again and encourage new growth, which in itself looks really nice. It was planted by the builders in the soil they provided so isn't the best. It is on the north side of the house. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,264
    Peteski2011, depending on where you are in the country, the Lavenders shown by amancalledgeorge are not hardy enough to be grown outside in the ground in some parts of the UK. Sometimes called French Lavenders, they do well in warmer, southern parts of the UK. If you get very cold winters, might be best to use Angustifolia or Intermedia.

    What type of soil do you have? Dry free draining or more loamy soil. You mentioned heather in your first post. Some Heathers are intolerant of neutral to alkaline soils.  Erica Carnea can do well in neutral soils. Also, is it an open sunny site with hardly any overhanging trees? Helps to know, so others can give you more ideas.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 562
    I used a French lavender as I like the more dense look and also the pretty flowers @peteski2011 and Anouk is more of a maroon colour than blue. But as @Borderline said I'm in a urban spot in South London so they have been perfectly hardy. They have been great, months of food for the bees, highly recommended if it's not too cold where you are. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Hi @Borderline @Joy* @amancalledgeorge
    I like the idea of having a dense bush like structure for the lavender. We are in Edinburgh. The house is north-westerly facing at the front. The soil I suspect will be bordering a somewhat loamy boradering dense more clayish structure (New Build house soil) so will require breaking up and a little bit of work to get it to be more free draining but that should be an easy fix (hopefully). I'm not a gardener so it's hard to really describe. I quite like the level of coverage your lavender has Joy but I think I'd like something that has a bit more density to it and be a bit more upright. 
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