what can I plant that's low maintenance?
at the moment my 'garden' ( little patch about 3m x 6m ) is split into 2 patches with a semi-circular path through it which also houses my rotary line! in the corner created by the semi-circle, I have 3 lavender plants and 2 rosemary plants and it looks, and smells lovely, I would like to create a similar effect on the other side which is much more 'soil-space' but don't know what to put there; I love the bushiness and low-maintenance of the lavender/rosemary but need some inspiration and expertise as to what to put the other side; I have tried various shrubs from the garden centre but they all look really straggly and dont really go together or look good (didnt really do my homework!) so am going to dig it all up and start again.
I like kitchen-gardening so am going to put a thyme plant which is currently in a bucket out the front in the patch but that will only take up a small part of the patch...I'll also put in another rosemary and another lavender plant but have no idea what else to put in that is also productive and useful for my cooking! Any plants here need to be hardy as our winters can be quite bad here. I'm not that bothered about flowers as I normally just plant some pretty annuals in the spring/summer to pretty it all up.
So basically, what can I plant that is kitchen-useable, bushy, low-maintenance and will grow nicely over the next few years to fill the space there?!
Thankyou in advance
How about bay? If lavender survives then bay certainly should.
Sage is bushy, low maintenance, kitchen useable and good for bees they love the flowers - this site will give you some ideas http://pantrygardenherbs.com/?page_id=767 and so will this http://www.jekkasherbfarm.com/plants?s=s
thankyou everyone, i've been to the garden centre today (so didnt get round to the digging but will do tomorrow for definite!!) and i got 6 very small lavender plants which i'm going to put along the wall at the back and cross my fingers, 2 sage plants which i'm hoping will take as I love using my own fresh herbs in cooking...got some garlic and another thyme plant in case my bucket-grown one doesnt like the move! I had an absolutel heart attack at the cost of the bay plants; all that was available in the gc i went to were bay trees,formed into balls at the top so, ornamental plants as opposed to useful...very expensive as opposed to credit- crunch-grow-your-own...i'm hoping to find a basic plant somewhere for a lot cheaper as I also use bay a lot in my cooking! so, i've almost got everything covered for our little home here; garlic, rhubarb, lavender for sleeping, rosemary, thyme, bay (hopefully soon) and sage for cooking, my blackberry bush will be tamed somehow tomorrow, and in the spring I will look at trying my hand at some veg...go me!!! thankyou for all the advice, it is always appreciated as sadly, I dont have anyone close that can help in 'real' life though I come from a long line of enthusiastic gardeners!!!
Yes, ornamental bays are horrendously expensive, but you can grow your own. I bought a small bushy bay plant from a little nursery in the countryside to use for the kitchen, and rooted a cutting and grew it on just as you would grow a standard fuschia, growing it up until it reached the height I wanted, taking out any side shoots along the way - when it got to the height I wanted I pinched the top out and let it grow sideshoots at the top and Bob's your Uncle - after a few years I had a lollipop bay worth £100 and I'm very proud of it . My next trick will be to grow three together with a plaited stem - when I get a round tuit
In the meantime buy a little bay - you'll probably find them in the nurseries in the spring - it'll grow like mad if you plant it in the open ground - they can reach 50 - 60 feet, not trying to scare you, if you keep it trimmed once it reaches the size you want it'll be fine, or you can do as I do and keep it in a pot, but they need a bit more tlc that way.
If you like annuals, then calendula and nasturtium are tradtional in kitchen gardens, and you can use both in the kitchen. Calendula petals can be used in salads and added to soups. If you add them to a stock pot them give it a lovely golden colour and a delicious squash-like flavour - hence it's name Pot Marigold. And you can use nasturtium flowers and leaves in salads, and one of my favourite sandwiches is salami and nasturtium leaves. And you can pickle the seeds to use as capers .... I could go on and on (and often do) but I won't
You little garden sounds lovely - enjoy
You could grow some dwarf french beans in amongst things, or make a wigwam for runner beans in the summer. Or, a few years ago I sowed Broad Beans in amongst the wallflowers in my little city centre front garden, we didn't get a huge crop, but enough for a few meals, and they were lovely. Now is the time to sow Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia which will over winter and give you an early crop, and they don't grow too big - you see, I said I could go on and on
wow, lots of really good advice and hints here, thankyou everyone a reasonably dry and sunny day on sunday meant for once i did actually get into the garden on sunday, accompanied by my trusty followers, my 3 and 4 year old daughters with their little hand shovels and full of willing!!! i moved a fuschia which absolutely exploded this summer into a decent sized bush for my garden; couldnt bring myself to bin it so am crossing my fingers that it survives the move, it had to be moved though as it had grown right across the path, i also moved a little shrub which i have no idea what it is but if it survives the move then all the better; saves me buying more plants to fill the gaps!! also planted the garlic, rhubarb, lavender, sage etc and it is now looking rather promising as opposed to an abandoned sorry little patch!!! i definitely want to find some bay and love the idea of growing it tall and plaiting it dovefromabove, great idea
I also am going to have a go at the other ideas you've all come up with; i'll never know if it works until i try eh?!
thankyou all so much for the help, you're all fab