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I want to liven up my boring front garden

Hi all,

Just looking for advice here on livening up my garden. 2 years ago I have planted the following plants (apart from hedges) Hebe, Tinus Ladybird, Fuchsia, Certostigma, Hydrangea flower plants. Looking back Im saying what have I planted? A mess and bad mixture, as I got excited and rushed. Big mistake. I thought they would have turned out great and seem to be disaster, most plants died and i made a mess of the Hydrangea plus I don't like it as it was too overpowering. 

I want nice different colours mini trees or hedges (keeping them short) in equal sequences and no flowers (maybe a few small ones). Like round shrubs or hedging plants. 

I might strip all the plants out and start again. 

Hope you all can you advise or recommend or even give me ideas? 

I am aware gardening is all about learning from mistakes. 


  • B3B3 Posts: 27,018
    Shrubs don't grow round. You have to prune them. You could prune those hebes into a round shape, but you couldn't cut it too far back so it wouldn't be very  small. 
    I think you should have a go at shaping what you have already and if you still don't like them, then grub them out.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    I think it looks nice!  You just need to fill in the gaps, maybe with some more flowering plants that will flower at different times of year to keep some colour for as long as possible.  Taller at the back, lower growing at the front.

    A natural look is much nicer than regimented 'round' shrubs in my humble opinion. 
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,362
    It looks good to me!  You have the bones of a nice border.  I'd have bulbs in the gaps for spring (plant them in Oct/Nov) and fill with perennials with contrasting leaves (eg daylillies, with sword shaped leaves, or sisyrinchium, ditto, or irises...
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • How about hosta's in the gaps - although they aren't evergreen they come in some lovely shades of green, yellow and blue
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,176
    I agree, it looks fine, nice healthy plants  :)
    You could try something like Berberis (but bear in mind that they are extremely prickly so might be tricky next to a driveway). There also several varieties of Euonymus that might work.
    If it's sunny, maybe low growing lavender for a touch of colour? 
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,695
    Heucheras are one of my favourite plants. They come in some really nice bright colours and don't disappear in winter. Think they would look rather nice in between your shrubs. Just another idea for you to think about.l 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,565
    Some clumps of Calamagrostis Karl Foerster would look good in the gaps, perhaps with Verbena bonariensis. It's an impeccably tidy ornamental grass. See the source image
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    Do we know if it's shady or sunny,I think verbena and grasses would look out of place with the other shrubs and are both very tall
  • gondorgondor Posts: 135
    edited June 2021
    I also like the look of your border - especially those choisya. The gaps just need filling in, which takes time.
    If you want nice colours but no flowers then I agree with the heuchera suggestion. Fabulous foliage and subtle flowers.
    Also consider purple foliage plants like cotinus and physocarpus or others.
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