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Ideas for border


I have just finished digging over and adding 300ltr of well rotted manure to improve this bed as it has become too dry/poor and the old heuchera that were in there were well past their best. 

So, I’m looking for some nice ideas which will work well here against a wall. It gets sun at the moment between 8ish-1ish. The door isn’t used but I think relatively short plants would be best, with maybe something a little taller either side. Last time I had something medium height, it leaned away from the wall and smothered the heuchera in front of it so something that stayed upright would be good. A bed of smaller plants (height of door ledge) would be absolutely fine though. 

The plant in the foreground is a Geum totally tangerine. 

I plant for pollinators/insects so anything that would help them would be perfect. 

It’s about 3m x 75cm. 

Many thanks. 


  • One of my favourite low growing plants is Ajuga and it is very popular with bees early in the year and makes a good evergreen ground cover with some of the purple leaved ones seeming to work well here. Also there are some nice hardy geraniums/crane's bill that have nice flowers the bees like and are little work. Thyme might be an option in the sunnier spots and the creeping form of campanula stays fairly low. Penstemon could be an option to give a bit of height but not getting very tall.

    Happy gardening!
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,272
    edited June 2022
    @Wildlifelover Geranium sanguinium Vision Violet or similar would work assuming Geum is staying.
    There are lots of low growing Campanulas to choose from too, C poscharskyana is one to avoid as it is very strong growing, plenty more in the GC's. The tiny sisyrinchium Blue eyed grass, has a sword shaped leaf for a contrast.

    I love Helianthemum Ben Moor[Helianthemum's come in lots of different colours] needs
    cutting back after flowering and will eventually spread . 
    Thyme Foxley  Sisyrinchium Biscutella look lovely with a warm red Heuchera[you may need to water this in dry weather] .

    I would look at some of the rockery plants for inspiration. Anything more than a few inches tall will lean. If the wall gets hot you may struggle with most plants.

    For height I would consider an evergreen such as Euonymous Green pillar and clip it. Not good for pollinators but perhaps a place for something to hide over winter.

    These are various ideas, I think you need to keep your choices simple have a colour scheme and perhaps repeat your plants along the border to bring it all together.

    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,157
    Shrubby salvias perhaps, it looks like a sheltered warm spot  :)
  • Many thanks for the ideas, I’ll take a look at the ones you suggest. I was thinking of trying to get a cotoneaster to climb the wall as that would provide pollen and berries - is that viable or a bad idea as it’s invasive?
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,497
    The cotoneaster would be too big for that bed, they need room to spread their fans and there would be no space for anything else. They aren't easy to prune back either, without ruining their appearance.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,272
    If it is really warm you could also look at Erodiums .Most of these plants will disappear in the winter months. 
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,157
    Agree about cotoneaster, you'd be forever cutting it back. Possibly a pyracantha, berries for the birds and flowers for the bees but that might be equally as difficult to keep in check without losing the berries.
    Maybe one of the Euonymus such as Sliver Queen,  but bear in mind the rain shadow from the wall. 
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