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What can I plant and when

Sure this will seem absurdly obvious to many of you...but now I have my azaleas in the ground, and will get my allysum 'gold dust' in this week, I'm looking to open up the bed I've always planned at the edge of my south facing patio....lone opened up space so far occupied by 'deep secret' rose.
Looking for perennial, self seeding plants, colourful, fragrant would be nice, but not essential.
Always believed in planting seeds direct into the ground, but might consider using seed 69 I prefer the quickest fix.
Not necessarily looking for the obscure or exotic..just a nice spread.
Can't believe anything still good idea to plant now with 1st frosts on doorstep...but put myself out if it is.
Love roses because they seem bombproof, and can be planted anytime?
Not opposed to herbs/ veg, but not really 1st choice.
Any thoughts welcome.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,068
    It is a good time to plant bare root roses, in fact, all roses. They will be going dormant for winter. Shrubs can be planted now then they will be settled in and ready to go in the spring.

    It's too late to sow flower seeds, better in spring. Hardy annuals could have been sown up to a couple of months ago.

    Hardy perennials can be planted now if they are a decent size. Small plants will be slug fodder and better to grow then on and plant next year.

    What sort of soil do you have and do you live in the north or the south?

    Will you be buying plants or just sowing seeds? There is a huge choice of perennials, which flower at different times of year, some need more sun than others, some like damp soil, some like dryer soil.

    Is there a garden centre nearby?

    If @Lyn sees this she might be able to advise as she has grown a lovely garden mostly from seeds and cuttings. I tend to go to a GC and buy what I like the look of that will grow in the conditions I have.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks for reply. I live in the south east (UK) Crawley, Sussex. My soil is clay  but seems readily improved with an organic soil improver reasonably priced and readily available at my local garden centre (10 mins drive). 😀 In fact bought my rhodedendrons there and they doing fine, so yes might be worth a look for inspiration.
    Seems pretty ph neutral as neighbours grow clematis as well as heathers etc.
    Haven't planted seeds since childhood, then straight in the ground..seemed to work ok...but room for a couple of seed trays on my sunny 🌞  kitchen window sill.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,464
    Although some things do not mind being planted in winter like roses and things that do not mind a soil that holds more water.
    Bear in mind that many things will do better planted in spring when the soil warms up, rather than going into winter and cooler temperatures.

    We are on clay and also improved it, but I would usually wait to plant most things in spring rather than risk them rotting off in what tends to be cold wet soil.

    Hardy perennials can be planted now if they are a decent size. Small plants will be slug fodder and better to grow then on and plant next year.
    As an example of what Busy Lizzie said, a large  2 or 3 litre  pot of something bought in with plenty of root may be okay, but smaller like the little 7 to 9cm ones may well not.
    Also if you fancy a clematis or three,  I would wait until spring to plant any out.   
    And especially the early ones like Alpinas , they need good drainage as they don't like wet feet in winter.
    Good Luck and have fun, I understand the don't want to wait versus age thing.
    I used to grow a lot from seed and cuttings, but cut back and now buy more things.

    Things that do well here are Linaria purpurea, that will self seed and they do not seem to mind the clay. White and pink ones are available too. They are great little plants and flower for months on end especially if you dead head take a stem or two out as they go over.
    Also a grey leaved plant Lychnis coronaria, which you can also get in white and pale pink as well as the original eye watering shocking pink.

    Both of the above will self seed once you have them and are not hard to pull out or weed where you don't want them.
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