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Plant for narrow (60-80cm) border advice please

Good afternoon all,

It's boiling in Suffolk today so please excuse the hammock and random lunch bowl! 

Over the years I have learnt a lot but there is one area of my garden that alludes me! The curved to the right of the lawn (currently just has foxgloves and alliums) either side are two of my three main beds and those are fine but there is a thinner strip in between approx 60cm-80cm deep. Morning sun and afternoon shade. If size were no object something like a hydrangea annabelle hedge would be right up my street, can anyone suggest something similar but more compact? I want to avoid climbers where possible as the fence belongs to my neighbour. White, pink or purple flowers if possible.

Thank you for reading! 


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,751
    You could make the bed wider. Too narrow for shrubs.

    Delphiniums and hollyhocks would appeal to me.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Hi Busy, thank you for the suggestion but I can't make the bed deeper as it borders my lawn (which is steel edged and teardrop shaped). I do like delphiniums but have quite a few already. I thought about hollyhocks for another area but eventually went for lavender and they were very rusty when I tried them before. I do love them though!
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,751
    Shame you can't grow anything on the fence. Have you asked the neighbours? Is there room for slender obelisks to grow clematis on?
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,331
    edited May 2022
    Many of my borders are similarly narrow. I would say you have a ton of options, so it depends on what you like, how much height you need/want and how much overhang over the lawn is still ok for you.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    Would Astrantia 'Roma' work in the places where there's afternoon shade? Or are you after something taller to hide the fence a bit? Would you consider knocking in some posts and wires, as you could train climbers on that rather than fixing anything to the fence?
  • Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

    I doubt my neighbour would mind, I only really have climbing roses and one Montana on a big arch. Is there something a little more suited to a 5ft fence, preferably something that has a far horizontal reach rather than purely vertical?

    @Loxley now there's a thought. I do love astrantia but mine tend to be a bit hidden away, so it would be nice to give them their own stage! Would astrantia with lysimachia atropurpurea Beaujolias and a whispy grass work?

    Thanks v much everyone who has commented.

  • bullfinchbullfinch Posts: 640
    Do you like verbena bonariensis? Or maybe canterbury bells. There is also a cup and saucer canterbury bell which is pretty, and all of those come in your colour palette  :) aquilegias and nigella might work too.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 4,299
    @Purpleandpinks It will always be difficult to be pleased with a narrow border. It is impossible to have interest spring and summer without editing your  plants.

    BROWN IS A COLOUR   Piet Oudolf
  • Arthur1Arthur1 Posts: 538
    Have you considered penstemon. Wide colour range. Easy from cuttings.
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Campanula Loddon Anna would be nice, grows quite tall and spirey
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