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What would you plant here?

AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
So, we're about done with the landscaping and I've figured out a planting plan for every bit of soil except for this one:

It's around 1m x 0.5m, south-facing, fairly moisture retentive and, as you can see, is both raised to the main garden and alongside steps. There is a gap in the fence to next door which their lad has been known to cut through to collect balls and I wouldn't mind dissuading that.

I've planted a clematis Bill MacKenzie close to the fence, which I'll be training up to hide some of the unsightly fencing. I had intended to put a lavandula grosso into this space but I actually wondered whether something more dense and larger might be better, which got me thinking of a hebe possibly. But this is my first garden design, and I'm always 'borrowing' ideas for it 😄 so...

What would you put in please? It needn't just be one or two plants if you think there's a better option.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,903
    I think I’d go for a bit of a statement … something bold that will sort of ‘announce’ those lovely steps … what about a formally shaped clipped dark holly … either an upright column or one clipped into a solid shape that follows the curve and fills the space. It’d also be a bit of an ‘intruder deterrent’ without actually being harmful. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I think @Dovefromabove's idea is ideal. Anything bold will be a great statement.
    Lots of different plants will work. 
    I was at the nursery yesterday and admiring the jaggy Osmanthus. They would do a similar job. Anything that has a good shape, or can be formed into a good shape, would work well. 
    You could position your plant/shrub towards the back of the bed, and have perennials and/or bulbs etc in front, depending on what you fancy, and whether you need to access the main plant for trimming etc.
    If you don't want jaggy, you could have a columnar yew,  or one of the cone shaped conifers - providing you keep it trimmed correctly. Some of the Chamaecyparis varieties are very smart. They can get big, but you can trim lightly each year once it's at a suitable height for you. 
    Is there room to have a small tree - what are the surroundings like?

    Afterthought - can you not block the hole [bit of wood/mesh] the little tyke comes through? It would also save any stray bits of foliage creeping through to next door. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,153
    As long as the hole isn't a hedgehog highway 🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔😊
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,903
    I rather imagine that the lad and his football would need a bigger hole than a hedgehog does ... but good point to make sure that there are access points for hedgehogs at ground level  :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
    So, the 'hole'...

    It's a gap between fencing panels of maybe 20cm. The bottom part of it looks under next door's decking, which is no doubt a haven for all sorts as it's rubble, debris, soil and muck. Perfect for hedgehogs, frogs etc. So I won't block it up. By planting something, I'll stop laddo from climbing over - he only does it because there's currently nothing to damage by doing so but he's a respectful enough boy.

    I'm intrigued by the suggestion of a large, dense shrub. It was possibly where my mind was wondering when I considered the hebe but a holly would be even bolder. Would it work with the clematis on the fence behind it and, as @Fairygirl says, possibly some thyme or small plants in front? 

    I've done a bit of googling for pictures but can't quite see what the above suggestions seem to have in mind. If anyone could help with a picture, it'd do my uncreative mind a world of good - thank you!
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,079
    A nice colourful Berberis could look nice there, with a plus of thorns to discourage invaders.
    Sunny Dundee
  • I think Berberis are another good option. Was going to suggest Darwin's barberry which has prickly leaves and is evergreen and seems to produce its nice bright flowers fairly regularly.

    Happy gardening!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,903
    edited March 2022
    The impact of a block of solid green can be seen here  ....  (hope @KeenOnGreen doesn't mind me 'quoting' his pic :))

    in your situation I would train and clip something with med sized deep green leaves that responds well to 'topiary' type clipping into almost a solid cube with one curved side ... and how you shape the top is up to you ... it could be just flat ... or it could mirror another shape somewhere else in the garden ...

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,066
    What's the deciduous plant in the foreground? I would choose something that will contrast with it, for example if it's variegated or gold-leaved, a dark green Holly or if it's plain dark green, a variegated Holly. 
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,678
    @Astraeus I have never recommended anything before as I don't really have the knowledge or experience but when I saw the space that you want to plant in I immediately thought of my Hebe Rhubarb and Custard. I must have planted mine a few years ago and never given it any special attention and it is now one of my favourites. The colours are lovely and it does stand out. Hasn't grown tall in any way but has spread sideways and would ideally cover your space. Nothing on google really compares with it. Unfortunately I don't have a photo at the moment. It remains the same all the year round and just keeps on growing. Maybe 18" high. It says on the label that it has lilac flowers in June and July but I can't say I have ever seen them! Just another thought for you.  :)
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