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Ideas for planting to our front wall

Hi, this is our first post - and probably far from being our last. The current issue is our front garden - we have a roughly 1m high stone retaining wall which drops onto the grass verge. This was topped by metal railings but they were so corroded and unsightly that we cut them down - and now we have a semi-wilderness consisting mainly of rampant euphorbia, rudbeckia and various invaders.

We would really like to neaten up the frontage and have a fairly uniform but colourful look to it so are thinking of clearing/relocating all the plants immediately behind the coping of the wall, apart from a couple of nice buxus that we'll retain, and planting a run of something like fuscia, which seem to grow happily in our Northamptonshire climate.  (Despite appearances, the rest of the planting behind is fairly well under control.....)

We don't want a hedge, we're quite happy with something that grows to no more than 600mm and ideally would trail down the front face of the wall (which is north-facing). Any ideas/thoughts would be very welcome. Thanks in advance.



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349
    Hi @billgibbon - do you want something evergreen or does it not matter?   :)

    Vinca will grow there, but it can sometimes take over if it's happy. It's a bit more difficult to get trailing plants for north facing aspects though. Ajuga will grow down if planted at the edges.
    Do you mean you're taking all the plants out and putting fuchsias in as well, or have I misunderstood ?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    edited October 2021
    I like the look of it to be honest, I would dig it up and remove the less desirables, and plant the Hakonechloa and Rudbeckia (at least) back in intentional looking clumps. If you don't want the Hakonechloa, I will happily buy some clumps from you, if it's the non-variegated kind!
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,026
    Hi @billgibbon, that's a very attractive wall and grass verge! Once you've cleared out the plants you don't like and relocated those that you do, it's really a question of preferred colours, heights and habits.  I like a range of foliage forms and different shades of green, combined with a narrow range of flower colours.  Euphorbias are one of my favourite plants, I'd add more of these.  They go really well with hardy geraniums (cranesbills, not pelargoniums!) which are easy to grow and maintain, often with long flowering periods.  These would happily fill any gaps in your border, they can have an attractive cascading habit, enjoying shade and tolerating some sun, depending on the variety you choose. For extra colour try Anemone honorine jobert or any Astrantia. Extra Hakonechloa will add a softness to your planting, if you haven't sold out!  I hope this helps.
  • Fairygirl said:

    Do you mean you're taking all the plants out and putting fuchsias in as well, or have I misunderstood ?
    Yes, original thought was to replace everything, apart from a couple of buxus, with fuscia, but really liking the alternative thinking in the replies so far!
  • Agreed, it's a lovely wall. If it is north facing, have you considered evergreen ferns?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349
    Loads of stuff will grow there. Hellebores, Ferns, Gaultherias [even though they like a bit of sun] Berberis, Japanese azaleas [if your soil is suitable] Pieris, Euonymous,  Carexes, all sorts of spring bulbs.  
    It will also depend how wet or dry your climate is.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,267
    @billgibbon I actually love the look of the existing plants and what a lovely wall. But of course it's your garden and what you want that matters. A row of fuchsias and buxus would look good (all one colour or different?) as you say but bear in mind the fuchsias will die down in the winter.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,514
    I've always liked to see aubretia on a wall but never having grown it, I've no idea whether it's suitable.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349
    It needs a sunny site @B3, which s why I didn't suggest it - or things like Arabis or Alpine Phlox,  although it could still be worth trying. They do need drier conditions, so it will depend on the OP's soil and climate there. Edges of walls can be quite good though :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,465
    I just love the way the golds and rusts of that autumn foliage complements the soft colours of the wall. 
    For summer colour I’d go for introducing some blues and plums which will also work well with the darker tones in that wall  … perhaps Hosta ‘Hadspen’s Blue’ , Hemerocallis ‘Summer Wine’   It’s a gorgeous wall … an asset to any garden. I’d love that. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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