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Beginner looking for garden planning tips!

Hi all. 
I am an absolute gardening beginner. I am looking to create a garden that has lots of colour. 
I have a large garden with a very large area for flower bedding. 
I would like to create some rows of flowers along the sides / edges of the garden. 
I am trying to plan the flowers so that I have something flowering / colourful most months. 
I am a lover of pinks, purples and blues and would like to avoid yellow, reds and oranges. 
Is anyone aware of an online too that can list which flowers bloom when in the UK? 
I'd love to know what will flower in May, what will flower in June, July and so on. 
Can anyone help? 
THANK YOU!
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Posts

  • GreenbirdGreenbird Posts: 193
    What you can grow will depend on your soil type/drainage and amount of sun/shade. Google different soil types then go into your garden and check your own, that'll give you a rough idea of what will grow easily. Or look at what grows well in neighbors gardens. 

    Bulbs are usually easy enough, and you can probably start purchasing and planting them come October.  



    Here's flowering periods for flowers.



    As a beginner, I'd probably stick to bulbs, flowering shrubs and perennials. Personally, I found annuals hard work for what you get out of them whilst your learning the ropes. 

    The type of flowerbed you have in your mind will likely cost a considerable amount of money if your buying young plants from garden centers etc. growing from seed and cuttings is a longer more cost effective method but also comes with a learning curve and, in my opinion, a degree of trial and error.

    If you are truly an absolute beginner, a large garden with a lot of borders to fill is a big task. Perhaps start with one flower bed this summer. That'll give you time to get a green thumb and plan your garden going forward (I can guarantee that your tastes will change especially in regards to having flowers limited to the edges)

    It's good you've already thought of a colour scheme, it happens to be very similar to mine. Some purple/pink fuss free plants worth considering:

    Alliums 
    Iris
    Lavender 
    Salvia
    Hebe 
    Peonies
    Asters 
    Buddleia 


    Best thing to do is go and give it a try. 
     
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,132
    If you use the RHS plantfinder it will give you flower colour and general time of flowering, but it is impossible to be precise about what will be in flower when. It depends whereabouts on the country you are, how warm or cold or wet or dry the weather has been at crucial times, on the soil in your beds and whether you have positioned a plant  in sun or shade.
    This year  is a case in point, there are many posts on here querying the  unusual earliness, lateness, lack of flowers or why they have gone over quickly.  There is rarely a definite answer.
    If you choose plants with a fairly long flowering season you should get some overlap so that there is always something colourful to look at.
    If you post pics of your garden you will get help with garden design, if you ask you will get help in preparing your soil and if you ask about specific plants you will get loads of information from people who have grown them and know. Only have to ask :)
  • Thank you so much for this! 
    This is amazing and exactly what I was after! I am so grateful, thank you! 
    About the soil, my garden is enormous (twice as big as the local park!), so actually I might just create a flower bed along a bit of one of the sides and fill it with soil, so I can pretty much pick which soil to get. 
    Which soil would be best for the plants you mentioned? (Sorry to ask one more question, haha! Last one, I promise!) :)
  • GreenbirdGreenbird Posts: 193
    Thank you so much for this! 
    This is amazing and exactly what I was after! I am so grateful, thank you! 
    About the soil, my garden is enormous (twice as big as the local park!), so actually I might just create a flower bed along a bit of one of the sides and fill it with soil, so I can pretty much pick which soil to get. 
    Which soil would be best for the plants you mentioned? (Sorry to ask one more question, haha! Last one, I promise!) :)

    The plants I mentioned are generally pretty robust. You should be pretty safe unless you have extremes (heavy clay or gritty sand) so there's no need to bring in additional soil. Although a good amount of compost or well rotted manure (6 month plus old horse muck) is always a good addition. 

    Then always added a generous application of mulch (multi-purpose compost or bark) once you've finished planting to retain water, protect from chill and suppress weeds.

    To create a bed from lawn, remove the turf, dig through/break up the soil removing any weeds you find and if able add some compost/organic matter to nutrients. Your ready to plant.

    Photos of the suggested plot is always helpful.


     
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,409
    Presumably you already have soil in your garden so perhaps the best start would be to gradually improve it if necessary.  If your garden is huge, choose a manageable section to begin with - decide which plants ( trees, shrubs, perennials or annuals ) you think you would like and work at getting the ground suitable to maintain them.
    Both @Greenbird and @Buttercupdays have given excellent advice - it's now over to you to do a bit of research and decide quite how you want to approach it. 
    If you ask a specific question, then it is almost guaranteed that someone on the forum will have the answer.  However, you will need to take into account that gardens and their mini environment can be completely different - even on the same street. 
    The other thing I would venture to say is that constructing a garden from scratch is going to warrant some work at this time of year given the sun and drying winds.
    Good luck :)
  • Yes, never really thought about soil! I do of course have that in my garden already, but as my garden is quite rustic (and also I probably will only be in this house another 2 to 3 years at the most), I wonder if the best idea would be to get some nice wooden large trough planters and fill them with the correct soil. I think I might do that as I get used to growing flowers. So I guess the next step is to do a bit of research around which type of soil my chosen plants would prefer :)
  • GreenbirdGreenbird Posts: 193
    Don't get too caught up on it. 

    Most plants aren't that picky. 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,409
    True enough but with so little information to go on, it seemed wise to point out that preparing the ground/[planting hole beforehand is usually a good bet ;)
  • berginjim5berginjim5 Posts: 46
    Yes, never really thought about soil! I do of course have that in my garden already, but as my garden is quite rustic (and also I probably will only be in this house another 2 to 3 years at the most), I wonder if the best idea would be to get some nice wooden large trough planters and fill them with the correct soil. I think I might do that as I get used to growing flowers. So I guess the next step is to do a bit of research around which type of soil my chosen plants would prefer :)
    garden bigger than your local park ?   ……….. GO BIG !!!!!!!!!!!!
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 222
    edited 29 May
    All good advice from what I have read above. Just to add about things flowering in different months I put video clips of what is flowering in my own garden in play lists based on what month the flowers were blooming in case it helps with getting some ideas what might be good to plant. Also while flowers are great to add colour it might be worth considering some evergreen shrubs with variegated leaves that could add colour all year round. Pittosporum for example while mostly having small flowers can have colourful leaves all year.

    Happy gardening!
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