What is best around decking


I am new to this forum and I am looking to sort out my garden ready for the summer. The garden is heavy clay soil so it dries up a lot during summer and rain holds for awhile.

We have a section of decking at the back of the garden however it doesn't have any border on it therefore i am looking to place some plants, grasses or something which would make it look attractive to go around the back and down one side and looking for suggestions?

I know everything i need to do in terms of improving the clay soil and digging it all out, mixing in soil etc

Any suggestions for appropriate plants would be great. Preferably ones which are easy to maintain, last all year round. I am happy with any general weeding, trimming etc.

Many thanks,




  • Hello and welcome, Simon image

    A bit of info about what exposure your garden has, would be very useful. 

    Grasses generally like it dry, free-draining and sunny, above all.

    A photo would also help to give us an idea of how large a site it is etc., if you have time to take one, so we know how large the plants can be that would go there.

    There is such a vast array, that narrowing it down a bit helps.




  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    I think Phormium look great next to decking. Available in greens, reds, yellows, pinks, blacks and everything in between. I have a dozen around my garden.

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 378

    If your deck isn't in full sun try Hostas in pots, I stand mine on big plant pot saucers and that way they are easy to keep moist and avoid staining the deck. I find if I keep a small amount of water in the saucer I'm slug free. There are experts on Hostas in this forum who would advise on varieties for your conditions.

  • Blairs I love Phormium - your garden must be pretty big to have several - I have none, no space! I particularly love Chocomint, which I've never actually found though to buy.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,095

    Would there be any possibility of making a raised bed around your decking? You could use some solid wood and fill it with John Innes 3 or topsoil mixed with compost. Or it that too complicated and expensive? Then you could grow what you like.

  • Keyser SozeKeyser Soze Posts: 124


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    Never used this site so not advertising it!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,737

    Is the deck on the same level as the surrounding garden Simon? If you can give us an idea of aspect and size for the borders you want to create it will help with suggestions. Also, what type of planting you prefer - I'm guessing more structural than flowery - and any colours you like. image

    If you have a bit of shade Fatsia japonica is a great structural plant and is evergreen. I had one at the end of a deck in a previous garden.

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • Thanks keyser - will keep that one on file for when I eventually own a garden large enough!

  • Keyser SozeKeyser Soze Posts: 124

    No worries Jess. I know they can get to outgrow themselves after a couple of years!

    I just got a Phormium "Yellow wave" to replace a frost killed one and I am in two minds whether to use it for my decking project this year.

    I quite fancy a Stipa but the small one seems too small and the big one too big! I I'm only planning to plant in the corners as the deck will be straight onto the lawn with just a small pebble cutting edge. If I had the room I would go for the likes of Rogersia or ligularia "The Rocket" against decking as I've seen it in this situ before and it looks great!

  • Hi,

    Thanks for all the suggestions they have been great!

    Below is a picture of the decking area - The decking is raised and I am looking to put the plants on the left hand side and the back.

    The left hand side probably has a clearing of around 40cm and the back the clearing is larger, maybe up to around 75cm.

    Hope this helps with the suggestions and Busy-Lizzie I may look to do a raised planter on the left hand side given the small clearing.




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