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Please give me some advice!

Good Evening Everyone!

I'm new to gardening and I wont pretend to know much if anything about it, therefore, when advising please babyfy your advice.

I have bought a house with a patch of dead flowers at the front of the front garden, I have removed the flowers, put some shrubs and pebbles at the front in-between the pavement. I now have a patch of soil between the pebbles and grass, and I have no idea what I can do with it..

- I dont want to extend the garden, I would like flowers of some kind
- I dont want flowers that will die through the winter (I live in the uk and we dont have long summers)
- Finally, I don't want any high hedges

Does anyone have any friendly advice? I was planning to plant some creeping flocks to add colour, thoughts?

I'm sorry about the pitch quality, this site doesn't allow me to upload hq images.

Thank you in advanced.

Joshua

Posts

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,012
    Hello Joshua  :)
    Can you give a bit more information please, such as is it a sunny or shady site, and whereabouts you are in the UK (just a rough location will do).
  • AnniD said:
    Hello Joshua  :)
    Can you give a bit more information please, such as is it a sunny or shady site, and whereabouts you are in the UK (just a rough location will do).
    Hi Anni!

    It is not overshadowed by the house and gets sun throughout the day, not as much as the back garden however. I live in the midlands, we will have a hot summer eventually, but it is still cold at the moment.

    ty

    Joshua
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,012
    OK, you could look at things such as lavender, that will give you some colour and is good for attracting bees, but it can sometimes look a little tatty in Winter.
    To save me having to think too hard at this time of night, l've found a list here that might give you some ideas. 
     https://www.thompson-morgan.com/top-10-evergreen-shrubs-for-small-gardens

    As it's alongside a driveway you might find that you have some of the concrete footings close to the edge, also if you're keeping the grass remember to allow for the manoeuvring of the mower. You might want to think about making the bed a bit bigger or possibly removing the grass altogether? It comes down to practicality and what works best for you.
    It's a good idea to dig it over and maybe add some feed before planting.

    I'm sure others will be along with ideas, there's a lot of information around here !
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    I'd agree with @AnniD that you might be better removing the grass as it's such a tiny strip anyway.  :)
    What have you already planted? It looks like hedging of some kind. If so, you'll need to bear in mind that it can affect what you plant nearby, and you'll need a bit of room for maintaining that  :)
    If it's sunny, and the ground drains well, shrubs like Hebes will give you some evergreens, and you can add other perennials  around them, like hardy geraniums, which give a long season of interest and are easy to look after. You could add bulbs for spring as well, and that will give you more flowers without a lot of work.  Simple evergreens like Euonymous will also provide year round cover and need virtually no maintenance other than the odd trim if they get a bit too sprawling. If you like them, things like Phormiums would give all year colour.
    The alpine phloxes you mention would be fine there too, but make sure they don't get overshadowed by anything bigger. 
    You can add a few 'vertical' plants too, so that it isn't all one height. There are lots of different ones from Lychnis and Veronicas, to Liatris and Lilies, and also Asters and Crocosmia for later in the year and going into autumn.
    Just check the rough sizes plants will eventually make, so that they're not crowded too much. Shrubs take a while to grow to full size  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,118
    @joshualukebeirne It is important to know what sort of soil you have before you start. This will affect which plants you buy, you could be wasting money on the  wrong plants. Again I would get rid the lawn, far less hard work in the long run rather than dragging out a lawn mower.

    Do you know the names of the plants that form the hedge please? Overall you will want the space to look green if it is to look natural. Euonymous is a good choice they can be pruned which is vital in a small space, Green Pillar or maybe E fortunei
    Once you have prepared the soil well, move some buckets and plant pots around in the space to work out where your evergreens need to go. Try to form a shape throughout the area .If you have an upstairs go and check from there. This will give you an idea of what it would look like in the winter. 

    Different leaf shape is the next thing to consider maybe a grass such as Calamagrostis overdam will work with the hedge and give height which is vital in a small space not evergreen but stands all winter, a group of three would look good. When you have the backbone to your garden then consider the flowers.
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • AnniD said:
    OK, you could look at things such as lavender, that will give you some colour and is good for attracting bees, but it can sometimes look a little tatty in Winter.
    To save me having to think too hard at this time of night, l've found a list here that might give you some ideas. 
     https://www.thompson-morgan.com/top-10-evergreen-shrubs-for-small-gardens

    As it's alongside a driveway you might find that you have some of the concrete footings close to the edge, also if you're keeping the grass remember to allow for the manoeuvring of the mower. You might want to think about making the bed a bit bigger or possibly removing the grass altogether? It comes down to practicality and what works best for you.
    It's a good idea to dig it over and maybe add some feed before planting.

    I'm sure others will be along with ideas, there's a lot of information around here !
    Thanks so much Ani,

    The lawn goes back quite a long way, and you were right about the drive way :(. I really like Daphne and their longevity through to Autumn. Great advice, thanks! 
  • Fairygirl said:
    I'd agree with @AnniD that you might be better removing the grass as it's such a tiny strip anyway.  :)
    What have you already planted? It looks like hedging of some kind. If so, you'll need to bear in mind that it can affect what you plant nearby, and you'll need a bit of room for maintaining that  :)
    If it's sunny, and the ground drains well, shrubs like Hebes will give you some evergreens, and you can add other perennials  around them, like hardy geraniums, which give a long season of interest and are easy to look after. You could add bulbs for spring as well, and that will give you more flowers without a lot of work.  Simple evergreens like Euonymous will also provide year round cover and need virtually no maintenance other than the odd trim if they get a bit too sprawling. If you like them, things like Phormiums would give all year colour.
    The alpine phloxes you mention would be fine there too, but make sure they don't get overshadowed by anything bigger. 
    You can add a few 'vertical' plants too, so that it isn't all one height. There are lots of different ones from Lychnis and Veronicas, to Liatris and Lilies, and also Asters and Crocosmia for later in the year and going into autumn.
    Just check the rough sizes plants will eventually make, so that they're not crowded too much. Shrubs take a while to grow to full size  :)
    Really helpful, lots to think about. Thanks!
  • @joshualukebeirne It is important to know what sort of soil you have before you start. This will affect which plants you buy, you could be wasting money on the  wrong plants. Again I would get rid the lawn, far less hard work in the long run rather than dragging out a lawn mower.

    Do you know the names of the plants that form the hedge please? Overall you will want the space to look green if it is to look natural. Euonymous is a good choice they can be pruned which is vital in a small space, Green Pillar or maybe E fortunei
    Once you have prepared the soil well, move some buckets and plant pots around in the space to work out where your evergreens need to go. Try to form a shape throughout the area .If you have an upstairs go and check from there. This will give you an idea of what it would look like in the winter. 

    Different leaf shape is the next thing to consider maybe a grass such as Calamagrostis overdam will work with the hedge and give height which is vital in a small space not evergreen but stands all winter, a group of three would look good. When you have the backbone to your garden then consider the flowers.
    That's brilliant, thanks Suze!
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