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Front Garden

We have removed our front border, returfed and made a new small wall. It has opened up the drive making it easy to reverse. I can not make up my mind what to put in. There is a 5 foot fence to give the plants some shelter from winds, as it is a sunny aspect most of the day. I have bought 5 oleander plants in 2litre tubs,which are now sitting in the back garden waiting to be put in. My plan is to put garden weed conttrol fabric on it before planting  and  then cover with stone slate or chipping. A cat keeps messing on the lawn and I spend a lot of time clearing it up. Keeping the grass short helps, and we have put the garlic smelling type of cat repelant on the lawn and soil. So I do need some quick answers before the weather gets too bad and  we go into another year! image  



please has any one  some sugestions? ideas? I would like  it to be not too fussy but elegant. should I put the Oleander some  other place ? all ideas welcome .image



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,610

    Do you live in Devon or Cornwall? Oleanders are not very hardy and if the summer is not sunny they don't flower very well.

    What about Hypericum Hidcote or a variageted Weigela?

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,078

    For elegance and style I would fill the whole bed with Perovskia Blue Spire - nothing else, in the winter the gorgeous silvery stems will give an architectural frame to the garden then in the spring all you do is cut them down and within a few weeks they'll have grown and you'll have wonderful blue/grey flower spikes all summer long. - very little work needed at all for a wonderful display - and fully hardy.image 

    I see that Crocus state that it flowers Aug/Sept, but in this area it can start in May/June and that is certainly borne out by this site

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I agree that it needs a simple group of plants to make it look good. If the soil is poor I would be tempted by some small Euphorbias.

  • Good ideas above - interplant with spring/autumn bulbs to add colour and interest

  • Potentilla is a maintenance-free shrub that likes sun - it flowers for ages (comes in various colours - white is nice) and stays at a 4ft-ish dome. You could put that on the back corner. Maybe a small tree, such as a malus (crab apple) or robinia would be nice, somewhere in the middle, just to give it a bit of vertical. Or for that matter a columnar cypress, elwoodii, or small thuja if you want it evergreen. You might consider a prostrate juniper to front the border next to the grass - they're pretty quick to grow and cover ground maintenance free. Or edging with a lavendar 'hedge' - this would just need a quick clip after flowering to keep it compact. 3-plant clumps of hardy geraniums would work well - just chop them back to ground at the end of autumn. I personally like the blues best. These too flower for ages and don't need messing about with, so lots of bang for your buck. To separate your roundy clumps you could use crocosmia, daylilies (hemerocallis), grasses, or even irises. You could also stuff in a few clumps of 5 or 6 allium 'purple sensation' bulbs for accents. Anywhere u like. Again, easy to maintain - just chop off every when they go brown. For mid-height, sedum spectabilis (iceplant) is a good easy do-er which likes sun, drought and general neglect. Flowers late in the year too, so good for continuing the show. And I'd spray that fence dark brown - shows off the greens of plants better.  I'd keep foliage to greens - its too small a border imho to start mixing in varigation and purples, though you'd get away with something like euonymous fortunei 'emerald gaiety' (small evergreen shrub that'll almost climb a fence if put next to it), particularly if you had some white flowers elsewhere, as the variegation is very white, or 'emerald and gold' if you had yellow flowers, as the variagation is very yellow. If you wanted another shrubby-job, euphorbia 'wulfenii' would be lovely, maybe at the front behind the wall. 

    I'd stick with getting your contrast between neighbouring plants through their leaf shape and size rather than mixing too many different colours. And I'd plant the non-shrubby stuff in triangles of 3s or 5s - you need decent clumps if it isn't to look 'bitty'. All of the above are quick to establish, easy to maintain (and to find in garden centres), and won't go mad and take over the world! Hope that helps xx

  • Wow thank you all for your responses it gives me plenty of great ideaas to look at too. xxx

  • My local council have been using block planting of verbena bonariensis this year. Perhaps not for you but it looks glorious and it is alive with flying things.

  •  I have tried Lavender in the front garden and it grew forward and up, not straight as expected. It took two years or more to get going so Im a bit unsure about this plant  Im still  looking and  tried a lot of others like euphobias  and  hebes which all did well.

    I did want something different but now realise that its besst to use plants that i have had success with. so all your help and advise has helped. thanks everyone .

    Any other ideas are wlcome too.

    Now I shall start off next year when it gets warmer- will let you know how I get on. xx



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