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Shrub border

Hi all,
I'm developing a new border, about 10m long by 3.5m wide. There is an existing laburnum and purple twisted hazel. The border extends a further 5m beyond the twisted hazel but not doing anything with that till next year. I have bought a combination of shrubs as follows. These are ones I wanted, so not necessarily the perfect companions. I don't expect it to be a perfect show garden border, I will love it, and not many others will see it. That said, if there are glaring mistakes in terms of the arrangements or spacings i would appreciate the advice. So from right to left -  ,Taxus baccata david, 3 spiraea goldmound, berberis red pillar, Spiraea Shirobana, 
Choisya ternata ‘Sundance, bottlebrush, 2 Euphorbia purpurea, pittosprum tom thumb, 5 bergenia (under the laburnum, bulbs will be put here as well ), Helleborus argutifolius, euonymus Emerald Gaiety, hydrangea limelight, Hydrangea Sundae Fraise, pittosprum golf ball, 3 euonymus harlequin, cercis canadensis merlot, pittosprum golf ball, hydrangea quercifolia burgundy, hamamelis aphrodite, pittosprum golf ball. The border will be 80 - 90 percent shrubs. I will include loads of bulbs now and a few Perennials next spring. I will add another few shrubs next year as well, definitely want a Nandina Domestica and a few flowering shrubs, maybe a spiraea arguta and a Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’. I also plan to include another couple of taxus and couple of berberis Helmonds pillar.
Thoughts and opinions welcome, photos to follow 



  • Photos of shrubs in position. The bottlebrush is barely visible, but some pruning of the lower branches of the laburnum should sort that. The laburnum is not in the ideal position, but it's 8 years old and stunning when in bloom so don't want to lose it

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,102
    Have you taken into account the size the shrubs will be in about four years time,  or less in the case of the Hydrangeas.  Difficult to judge how much space you’ve allowed between but many people make the mistake of thinking they are just small plants and don’t realise how big they will grow.
    I backed all of my long border with shrubs, I’ve taken every other one out now.
    Have you chosen plants that will be happy in your type of soil.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I have made that mistake before as well by planting shrubs too close to each other. I will Google sizes and do a final check before I plant them, but I think they are generally ok. When the Cercis reaches full size it will grow into the laburnum a bit, but a bit of light pruning on each and they might be ok? 
    Yeah, I think they will all be happy with the soil 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,102
    Looking forward to seeing it planted up and it’s progress. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,960
    The oak leaf hydrangeas get huge too. Gorgeous at this time of year and into October.

    Your conditions and climate will also dictate the final sizes and spreads. Hopefully, it'll look good in a few years and you don't have to take anything out.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,102
    One of my Hydrangeas is 4mts across.
    I have a whole hedge of them in a different part of the garden, every 3 or 4 years we have to cut them down to the ground,  this year they are huge again.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Wow, that's a huge hydrangea. I have some in other parts of the garden and whilst they are doing well, they are no where near that size. 
    I'm in the south east of Ireland, so ok climate that rarely gets very hot or very cold. Wind is the biggest problem for me. Certain shrubs, Japanese Acers for example, don't do well for me 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,960
    No - Acers won't appreciate the wind, but if you tuck them in against a hydrangea... ;)
    Joking apart - many hydrangeas do get really substantial, but you'll just have to wait and see how they all grow. 
    If you want an Acer, just get one and keep it potted. They're excellent in pots, and you can move it around accordingly until you have the right place. 
    The other thing I meant to say yesterday is, bear in mind the access for trimming your hedging. Might be worth creating a small pathway right round behind the planting.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,102
    Windy area here but I have the advantage of the lovely acid moorland soil. All Hydrangeas are blues and purples. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,384
    That's going to look lovely and I do hope you will keep us posted as things progress.  I would only second what @Fairygirl said, about access to the hedge for trimming (and carting off the trimmings).

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