Forum home Garden design

New bed

Hello all.

I'm a new garden enthusiast! Since buying our first house, its been a project and a half! but to my surprise I have totally got the gardening bug!! I can't get enough of it. however I am still learning and need lots of advice. My hubby and I recently dug up a a new bed at the end of the garden. It gets plenty of sun in the morning, and shade late afternoon. The original garden/soil is quite stoney and clay like. We have spent a lot of time and effort getting the lawn really green and weed free. But I really wanted to make feature at the end. We have a tree that overhangs and I have a sort of wild bit growing which I like. But for my new bed I really don't know what to plant in there. I want quite fast growing, hardy perennials and hopefully lots of colour too. I ideally would like them to grow big and tall to cover the weird concrete bank that has formed from the fence. Im sure none of this makes sense with out photos!! Thanks in advance and I will post some pics shortly image  


  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Well, morning sun suggests you shouldn't put anything in that can be upset by frost, as it is the combination of the plant cells freezing, and then being thawed quickly by morning sun which makes them go soggy and die.  So it needs to be stuff that is tolerant of quick temperature changes.  Colour can come from shrubs or flowers, or a combination of both.  You say perennials, so I presume you want to plant and go - not change things from year to year.  The advantage of shrubs is that they are low maintenance, and you can have a variety of leaf colours, and if they are evergreen that will be there all year.  Many of them will flower, although the flowering season may be short-lived.  The thing about pretty much all perennials is that they will all have short flowering seasons compared to annuals, so something like an iris is beautiful, but it's all over in a couple of weeks, so you need to pick carefully to have a longer period of interest, mixing early flowering, mid flowering and late flowering things.  Sometimes it is a good idea to have a bit at the front where you put a few annuals, because a lot of them will start flowering late May and continue till the first frosts in October, and you can just buy a few in.  And each year will be a bit different if you vary the planting.  How tall do you want the border to be?  How dense do you want the foliage?  Do you want to use foliage as part of the colour plan (so maybe look at things with red leaves as well as green, and a range of greens)?  There are plantfinder websites which, if you can answer the basic questions about what you need (ie. green leaves, flowering season/blossom, up to 3m high, dense foliage, deciduous, acid soil, east facing, quick growing) then they can suggest stuff.  I am not very good at that, but I do think you should have a good think about what you want from the finished product before you start spending money. 

Sign In or Register to comment.