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Help with planting

I am in the process of planning a new border as you can see from the photos below.  (The final picture should be the second picture for sequence.) Where the paving is on the first picture I am having a wooden arbour seat so will have climbing roses and clematis growing over this. The bench to the right of the steps is quite a shady part of the garden.  The rest of the border I would say dappled shade/sunny. Any ideas of what I could plant?  It is directly opposite the back of the house and the patio so needs to look good all year.  I have acid soil and reasonable drainage. I love roses and cottage garden planting.  Any suggestions would be grateful. Many thanks


  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,454
    Well its up to you what you like can you give anymore info what type of plants and the look you are after ? 

    Some ideas to get you going small rhododendron and azalea I quite like the deciduous Azalea but evergreens maybe more suitable for you . Pittosporum - lots of conifers to look at - piers - Choyisa - abelia some very nice varieties - leucothoe - small berberis like nana or orange rocket for some strong upright growth with good foliage - some Hebes nicer foliage ones aren't quite hardy as you'd like them to be - euphorbia characias would look good against that acer . Grasses like carex eversheen etc will give all round colour same with liriope - hakonechloa - fetuca glauca or maybe some larger grasses miscanthus like morning light or yakushima dwarf - phormiums . So many perennials to look at like salvias - geraniums - echinacea - heleniums - astrantia etc  and bulbs to add later .
  • As you have a nice long vantage point there I would think of using perennials that would make a statement, and including grasses—things like Pennisetum and Miscanthus—as it looks as if the sun would come through their flowering heads. Things with a good winter skeleton might be fun for the same reason: check out umbellifers and Rudbeckia. This is a bit more in the direction of prairie than meadow, but you might find the books by Piet Oudolf, Noel Kingsbury and Beth Chatto helpful.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,313
    Yes, use the vantage point some grasses form a lovely veil that you could look through to the top of the garden. Choose plants carefully, look at each season, look for berries, seed heads, deciduous plants with a good skeletal shape, evergreens and autumn colour. To the left you have some evergreens could you split anything and plant at the other side to balance your border?  Rhythm is important so repeat some plants throughout and look for thing that are long flowering. You could opt for small narcissus overplant with geraniums to cover their leaves after flowering. Some geraniums can be cut back to ground level and as long as they are watered will so regrow and you will have lots of cutting material. 
    Good Luck  
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    I agree with @Perki. You'd need to offer a bit more info about what you like/dislike, and what you're trying to achieve. How much time you have for maintenance etc.

    Your location/climate are very important. No point recommending stuff that wouldn't survive where you are  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Pam100Pam100 Posts: 85
    Thanks for all the advice. I like the idea of planting a few grasses. However I don’t want anything too tall in front of the tree shaped like an umbrella (it’s actually a silver birch which has been shaped). My other flower beds lean towards cottage garden design. The house is south facing and we live on the Wirral. It’s a reasonably sheltered garden too. 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,165
    It's so personal. Do you want a colour scheme? My favourite is pink and blue. I have a jewel border too, full of bright colours. Do you want perennials or a mixture with shrubs? I really don't like grasses so if anyone had suggested them to me I would have ignored them. I would just go to a GC and choose what I like the look of that would grow in the conditions. I take my phone so I can look up plants I'm not sure about, so long as there is a signal!
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 834
    I really like using the plant finder on the rhs website when I’m feeling a bit stuck, you put in all the info about aspect, soil type, required size etc and it will give you a list of plants that would be happy there!
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