Perennials planting time

Hi, I'm having a path and patio laid in my garden, after which I intend to plant up a few perennials beds.

I was hoping it would be done by now so perfectly in time for autumn planting but it's been delayed.

How late into autumn would it be better to wait til spring? if early Nov should I wait til March?

I'm particularly keen to do the full sun, slightly sloping, south facing site as that's need a lot of water nest year if plants not established. Let's call this site A.

There's two others: B west, part shade. C east, full sun.

Would be grateful for your thoughts on timing and whether you'd think differently for sites A, B and C.




  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,024

    depends what they are and how big they are. I dig up, split up, plant things and fiddle around on good days right through the winter. 

    But some things I'd leave til spring.

    What have you got? 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,024

    It's time we were out there in the garden Verdunimage

    Lovely day here.

    see you laterimage

  • Cheers guys.  Plants not been bought yet- needling to hurry up if going for this year.  It'll be small shrubs, eg hebes, small rhododendrons, abelia, plus some fillers such as crocosmia, iris, echinacea...  Generally going for hardy low maintenance. 

    Your comments make me think it'll be ok.  I hope to get going by end Oct. A and B are at the higher end of the garden so will be warmer. 

  • Oh yes, please do recommend small shrubs! I'm rather overwhelmed (and excited!) by the blank canvas and amount of choice! I'm looking for things up to, say 80cm, and smaller, and bushy habit.

    Am I right in thinking that the echinacea will be short lived anyway, so will need replacing? I just like them, so what to give them a go.

    My thoughts are to get a wide variety of shrubs and see what does well and then adjust from there.

    im also planning to get bare root ground cover roses to cover a small but steep bank around the patio - so it's nestled in roses.

    Very excited, but very short on time (work full time and a mum).  

  • Soil is clay. Rhodendrons, azalea and pieris growing well elsewhere in garden. Not yet done test of new site but intend to see if its acid enough for calluna.  

    Id come across pittosporum TT last night online so good to get a recommendation, ta.

    i like lavenders, and cotton lavender too, and thymes.  But not sure if soil too heavy. I intend to push one or two in and see how they go. Rescue and pot up if not happy.

    ive started trying to draw.  Just doing "shapes" at mo, to try to avoid straight lines.  It's a gentle slope so how to do the heights is less obvious! Any tips gratefully received!

    i like that the two beds either side of the patio will be roughly symmetrical but because one full side and one part shade will have different plants. Good fun to plan.

  • Re rhododendrons. I know they are woodland plants and actually prefer dappled shade.  Most say they are ok in full sun though.  It that definitely true - so I can get several - or should I be more cautious?

  • Re rhododendrons. I'm aware they are woodland plants and so prefer dappled shade but most labels say full sun also ok.  Is that really true or should I be more cautious that they won't do so well?

  • Hi, if your plants are of a good size I think now is a great time to plant out. The soil is warm and the weather is still mild, great for putting on roots in the ground for next year

  • Oooh it's soooo hard to choose!  i keep changing my mind.   I'd decided exactly what to have around the patio part and then last night I completely changed my mind to a rose hedge.   I had earlier considered a mix of confer and shrub or rose but couldn't decide which conifers! Now Verdun has suggested some I'm back in a quandary! 

    I've decided I preferred doing the dry shade area - less choice is much easier!  "Problem" areas are actually the least problematic for an indecisive girl!

  • I have the same problem Snoodle. Too much choice is always hard! If there are particular colours you like that's a good starting point. You can repeat plant groups too so that you can link areas that may otherwise have a different look. That stops it all looking a bit haphazard and gives a nice unified look.

  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 57

    I find that spiraea Goldflame has red-gold new foliage and distinctly pink flowers when grown on clay soil. Wouldn't call it a yellow shrub at all.

    What about a small golden choisya in the sunny bed? Mine is flowering (rather unexpectedly) at the moment, while its green cousin only flowers much earlier in the year.

    I recommend bugle as ground cover for its bronze foliage all year and startling blue flower spikes in spring. Mine prefers sun to shade, where it grows more slowly.

  • how about some euphorbia in your full sun patch? there are lots to choose from (decisions, decisions), quite a range of colours and sizes. My particular faves are Silverswan (medium size, silvery foliage) and mellifera - this last one not particularly dazzling to look at but has the most wonderful scented flowers in early spring. Grows quite tall and multi-branched over time. It will tolerate light shade as long as it gets sun for a good part of the day.

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