Forum home Garden design

Designing a new border

I've got a border that I've recently cleared and covered in bark chip to suppress the weeds and I've got a bit of a blank canvas for the future design. I've currently got some delphiniums in the ground and I plan to also plant some Delias and Echinacia. However, I want to include some structural plants to this border so as to reduce the amount of maintenance it needs. 
I would really appreciate some advice on what shrubs I could include that I could keep to around 2-3 feet tall. I thought something like a Hebe but I'm not knowledgeable on plants varieties.
The soil is chalky though a stack of top soil has been introduced over the years, so it's easy to work with. The direction of the photo is south facing. 
Many thanks! 


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,832
    Lavender is easy and can be kept to the height you want. The majority of shrubs grow bigger than that. Exochorda "The Bride", some of the Spireas, Potentilla, Emerald ‘N Gold Euonymus aren't very tall.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    Euphorbia x martinii will form nice evergreen blobs at that sort of height, with wonderful late winter flowers.
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • I am a huge fan of the ready-made borders in (which is basically the RHS shop). Click on 'inspiration' and have a nose. I don't always copy them identically but u always get nice ideas for structure and plants I wouldn't otherwise have thought of. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Brachyglottis shrubs are useful in mixed border planting. Not only are they quite adaptable to pruning and shaping, they offer a contrast against a sea of green.
  • ga00ga00 Posts: 5
    Hebe Caledonia and Hebe Nicola's Blush grow to about 70cm. Miscanthus is an ornamental grass that looks great all year. You cut it back just as new growth starts in spring so get autumn and winter interest, with very little effort. Hardy geraniums are wonderful and don't take much looking after either. I recently wrote an article about the wildflowers growing in chalk on the Ridgeway in Oxfordshire, which might be of interest to you. Lots of the wildflowers have cultivated varieties which might grow well on your chalky soil.
    Wildflowers on the Ridgeway

  • newprojectgardennewprojectgarden Posts: 113
    edited April 2021
    Trachycarpus fortunai?  :)
    some Hellebores towards the front  , great leaves and nice little flowers too

Sign In or Register to comment.