plant combinations suggestions

djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212


So I have a decent sized area of soil which is ready to plant in and to create a long lasting new structure. The area is shaped like a semi-circle, with a half-height fence at the back end of the flat edge of the semi circle. It is in full sun and the soil is loamy and well drained (not done a pH test, as of yet but at a guess it wont be highly acidic).

So far, I have 6x lavenders (hidcote) which i'll be planting at 30cm intervals, in a triangular cluster. I'd like to do the same with some other plants, so each species can have its own little colony within the area. I've done some planning and measuring up today and figured i'm going to need around 80 plants to complete the front two-thirds of the semi circle, following the curve around.

I love the colour combination of purples, pinks, blues and whites (pastel and bold), with strong yellows, so would like this to be the dominant theme. I love Salvias, Nepetas, Lavenders, Verbenas, Echinaceas, Rudbeckias, Anthemis, Asters, Coreopsis - im sure there are others but these are favourites.

I also have a few herbs on the go from seeds - pot marjoram, thyme, sage, basil, parsley.

As a lot of these aren't evergreen, im really after some suggestions on creating some persistent structure in the area, so through winter it isn't dull and twiggy/woody. I'm sure many of you have borders or areas with a lot of the plants i like above in them, so wondered what you plant in partner with these. I'm not fixated on the list above, and am aware that i will probably have to limit that down in any case, ive just put them there as a starting point. I like grasses too but really don't know anything about them at all in honesty.

at the front of the semi circle, which is raised to about mid-thigh level, id like some cascading/trailing plants to cover the whole wall. I do have some aubretias growing but blimey they are slow, they have hardly grown in the last week or so.

please suggest away, keen to get the plants in and getting the area going!

I forgot to mention - this is on the end of a drive that is on a fairly busy main road, so you could consider the part of it by the main road to be 'exposed' so it would need some wind-tolerant edging plants on the one section. I also have 2x Hebes in pots, not sure on the variety though ill post pics up and find out. not sure if they would be suitable for that task of windbreakers, for this there would be the need for about 5-10 of the plants.


  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212

    Hi Mike

    I do actually have a Daphne in a pot, funnily enough. I also have 3x Viburnum Tinus (Eve Price, If i remember rightly) which i intended to stick at the back fence.

    On annuals - indeed - i have left some spacing inbetween, primarly at the front section, so that each year that little space can be filled. this allows for flexibility and to add a bit of excitement at planting something new and playing with the colour schemes each season.

  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212

    Hey Verdun

    Thanks for those many suggestions - off to do a bit of research. so far really like the gunnii, lovely!



  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I am also just about to plant up a border to separate our garden from our neighbour's.  I was interested in the programme about Great Dixter and the fact that they didn't do it with tallest at the back, middle sized in the middle and shortest at the front, which is what everyone does, and am wondering whether I would risk that. 

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    And forgot to say that I quite like white nicotiana which gives a very ethereal feel, particularly at dusk. 

  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212

    well, ive been down the nursery and bought a variety of perennials and some evergreens, with a focus on providing decent plants for wildlife, and differing heights and widths. here's what i ended up with:

    • 3x Viburnum tinus (had these already, planted at the back in front of the fence)
    • 6x Lavender Hidcote (already had these)
    • 2x Hebe (unknown varieties, already had)
    • 2x Choisya ternata (excellent and easy growing. had 2 of these at my previous house)
    • 2x Buddleja 'Adonis Blue' (a smaller variety)
    • 2x Echinacea (purpurea, alba and a pink)
    • 2x Coreopsis rosea ('American dream')
    • 2x Coreopsis lanceolata
    • 1x Digitalis 'Dalmation Purple'
    • 1x Digitalis purpurea (Yellow variety)
    • 2x Verbena Bonariensis
    • 2x Dianthus 'Erecta Red'
    • 1x Erysimum 'Golden Gem'
    • 2x Cerastium tomentosum
    • 2x Veronica 'Inspire blue'
    • 1x Erigeron 'Pink Jewel'

    Those perennials were £2 each, in 9cm pots. all very healthy and good growth. the choisya and buddleja are well sized - about a foot or so high at least.

    hopefully ill get planting these at the weekend. had intended to do today but only managed to do 2 viburnums as the tree stump roots had to be dug further out the planting holes, nightmare and a very sore back!

  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212

    I could have bought way more Verdun! but decided to leave some room open for spring and autumn interest to add on top as and when - tulips, daffs, crocus, iris, etc ... and for the autumn, maybe an autumn aster or two and some others. the only thing to decide now is to whether to leave an 'ever-rotating' section of the bed dedicated to annuals, or scatter them in and amongst the rest of the ever-presents. the latter would probably look better but it would be a bit awkward and id be worried about damaging plants in the process!

  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212

    Very Verdun! This whole project has come about because i lost my own garden through a split with an ex, who i was with for 9 years. she is still at the house we own together, but obviously there is too much work there to not be there full time, so ive had to make a bit of a heart-breaking decision and been a bit ruthless with having to leave plants there, unfinished business. sadly all gone to waste but its out of my hands now. ive took a lot of stuff with me but there is still bits and bobs left which has gone to a right state.

    the area in question is at my dads house, having moved into there temporarily until i move into my own flat in a months time. this area was chock full of all sorts of weeds. brambles ... countless dandelions .. thistles .. deadnettle .. hogweed ... bittercress ... and to top it off 3 huge conifer stumps. clearing it was the first challenge, took a few weekends to do that on top of twice-weekly raking of weed seedlings - of which there were thousands, no joke!

    now planning and planting time. came to plant yesterday but so many conifer roots still in the way, had to axe a lot of them out.

    hopefully at the weekend i can get the rest of them in. then its just a case of watching them grow over the next few years into beauts whilst keeping the weeds down!


  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 212

    i meant to say aswell - the nursery had convolvulus - really like that plant but a bit concerned about its hardiness? the house is on the west mids/worcester border, and on the edge of a town so not really classed as a rural area. how does it cope with a frost?

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