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What to plant here?

Good morning,

I've just cleared this space on the end of our main flowerbed - about 3m x 1.5m, and am looking for some ideas about what to put in there. Ideally something that is vigorous (we've got lots of ground elder), not too tall so we can see the rest of the bed over it, and will provide some lovely colour as it is right next to the patio. Happy to put either annuals or perennials in, but would like to have some good flowers this spring/summer.

I've added a couple of photos, also a "before" one showing how it looked before I started..

Any ideas?

Many thanks for any suggestions.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,957
    Hi @chris 891, what sort of colours do you like?
    I'm guessing it will be quite shady by summer, because of the tree, but it depends on what way the bed faces. Do you know what aspect the bed is?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I'm easy about the colour but a bright pink or blue might go well there. Yes, a fair bit of shade from the cherry tree. The patio end of the bed faces West and the Greenhouse is North - mainly morning sun on the bed.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,037
    @chris891 Campanulas are a good idea, evergreen , a variety of heights, can be lifted and split easily if G Elder grows through them They do have white roots but more fibrous than g elder. You could grow some in various tones of purple to lilac. I love and grow C Dixon's Gold. You will see some flowering at the G C s now.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,957
    I grow Lychnis in that aspect, and it's certainly bright. It does seed around, so you have to keep an eye on it. Liatris are good plants - purple rather than blue though, but they work well with the Lychnis. I don't like blue, so you'll maybe get suggestions of blues from other people. Roses if you like them. Asters would be fine- lots of colours of those, although they're a bit later in the summer, and into autumn. You might need a bit of staking for the perennials too  :)
    There's bound to be annuals which will work. I don't grow a lot of those, but I expect things like Antirrhinums would be fine. Again, others will be able to suggest more of those.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Do you mean the soil there is full of ground elder? If yes then I’d recommend taking the time to dig the soil and remove as many roots as you can. Few plants, especially when newly planted, will be able to compete successfully with established ground elder. Your best option might be low-growing shrubs, but buying larger specimens so they aren’t simply swamped as the ground elder develops. Under a tree, I’d think that Daphne odorata, Hydrangea macrophylla forms and Skimmia could manage and would provide some colour through the year. One perennial capable of resisting ground elder, providing you cleared a patch of soil large enough for it to establish without competition for a couple of years, would be Anemone x hybrida, for example ‘Queen Charlotte’ aka ‘Königin Charlotte’. Those flower over a long period. 
  • Do you mean the soil there is full of ground elder? 
    I've dug, sifted and removed all the roots I can find from the end of the bed - but the rest of the bed - which is large (15m long) has loads of it all mixed up with a huge variety of perennials. The perennials are all tough and tall and smother the elder in the summer but getting rid of it entirely would mean clearing the whole bed and starting from scratch. 

    Thank you for your suggestions, much appreciated.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,462
    I've found hardy geraniums cope well with ground elder and they will give you a good colour range and varying heights. Brunnera and Hellebores also manage fairly well and would give some earlier flowers and don't mind shade.
    I know exactly what you mean about GE in the borders, I've been there, done that!
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