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Perennial planting - Is it too late/early?

Hello, I am looking for a little bit of advice about when to plant new perennials. Because of confinement I am not working much at the moment and have lots of time on my hands and am enjoying gardening. 

I have been looking at new plants for a flowerbed I have spent the last week clearing out of overgrown shrubs and very old monster roses. It is not a massive space, it's a crescent moon shape too, which is viewed from both sides, something I always struggle with in terms of setting the focal point. Anyway, one end of the crescent has a few of trees in it, a Fig Tree, a Tamarisk a Liquidamber and a Gledista and a couple of shrubs, an Azalia and a Rhodedendum at the very narrow end and a Hydrangea as you approach the centre. So, that is all ok up that end, I'm calling it my little 'copse'. After that there is a big Grandiflora rose and some smaller roses in the other end of the crescent. There are some lovely plants in there too already, a couple of Peonys, some Daylilies, Geums and Asters that I have recently split to fill the area. 

Anyway, I have got a list of plants I now want to add to this bed to fill the gaps. I have chosen, Campanula, Coreopsis, Gaura, Helenium,  Echinacea and Cordyline. I was going to put the 3 Cordyline across the centre to sort of divide the view up from the other side if that makes sense. 

It is a bed in full sun all summer with well drained soil and from the description of the plants that is what they all seem to like. 

As I have time on my hands now and the ground is all freshly dug over and weeded I am wondering if it would be ok to plant these plants in the ground now?

Or should I order them and pot them up in the greenhouse for the winter?

We do get cold here in January/early February, it can be -8 overnight sometimes. The information says they are all ok down to -15 but obviously these will be new and small plants, probably won't grow much between now and January.

Sorry, a bit of a long winded post to ask a simple question, I do tend to waffle - the problem with too much time on my hands.  :blush: Just don't want to leave the planting until spring really because (hopefully) I will be back at work then and the poor garden very much becomes low on the priority list. 

Any comments greatly appreciated. Also, any recommendations to add to the list of plants welcome or advice about chosen ones. Thank you. :)
"To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,110
    I don't plant any perennials at this time of year unless they're in at least a 6 inch pot -filling it - or are things that like wet, like primulas or heucheras. I don't need to even water them in here. 
    Anything smaller would be potted on and would wait until about May at least, to plant out. Not necessarily in a greenhouse though, depending on the plant.
    A lot of my small plants are just under a bench. They'd get too soft in a greenhouse. 
    Sooner is too early for my conditions, as there would be very little growth, but probably would be fine for you in April or so. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you @Fairygirl
    "To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin
  • Hi @philippasmith2,

    Thank you for your comments. I do want to buy them now, mostly because I know if I don't do it now it'll all get forgotten about, not very often I have time to sit down and think and draw a plan. However, if you both recommend buying and just putting in pots that is a good enough start. At least if I have them, the next stage of putting them in is not such a big deal. 

    The Cordyline are in 30cm pots it says in the catalogue. Do you think they will be better in the greenhouse, it is not heated, just to keep them away from the wet? The spot where they will go seems perfect according to the description in the catalogue. 

    I can find a sheltered corner for all of the others.

    I might add some manure/new compost to the flowerbed now, let it break down over winter. 

    Thank you again for your advice.  :)

    "To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,322
    I plant (and move) perennials all year round but I am in a mild climate and have free-draining soil. Here, most plants have better chances in the ground than in a pot open to elements (pots can waterlog more easily and are also more vulnerable to frost, although frost is rare here). I sometimes have plants in the greenhouse but I've had problems with fungal diseases there.
    I have no idea about the best practices for your climate but I would still plant plants that are in 2l or similar pots. 
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