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Gap in my clay border

I planted some mixed Gaillardia as part of a border in front of my back hedge but they all seem to have died. 

The soil is clay although I'm working at it to improve the soil.  I'm going to have to fill in the gap with something I can buy locally from a nursery. 

The question is what?  It's about a 4 metre gap.  I've got coreopsis (now budding up nicely) and penstemons in the rest of the border so something that would complement them.  The whole border is about 21 metres long.  I'm not fussy about the colour at this stage and the only flowers that I wouldn't like to have there are geraniums.  Something between about 50 and 100cm in height would suit the area and that will flower this year.

Any suggestions please?  I don't want to go "blind" to the nursery otherwise I'll end up getting something unsuitable and also spending too much money (againimage )




  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    What colours are your penstemons Charley and are the coreopsis orange? Yellow?

    just so I can picture in my mind before making any suggestions image

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Verdun you're  like a plant encyclopdia genius image

  • CharleyDCharleyD Posts: 440

    Beaus Mum, the coreopsis will be pink, red and orange; the penstemons will be red, red and white and purple.  I just love a good splash of colour, although sometimes I have "pink/white" sections, "blue/white" etc.  Thanks for considering it.

    Verdun, thanks as always for your suggestions.  I knew I could rely on you image  You may be able to help my thinking and planning here.  I generally research what a plant needs - type of soil, conditions etc and plan from there.  But, I'm finding that some of the information I glean, is not always accurate.  So, for example, I looked at all your suggestions and found the following:-

    Heleniums - need good drainage, which my clay soil won't have in winter?

    Aconitums - flower late summer/autumn - these are very pretty but I think they may be too late flowering, once my coreopsis and penstemums are established? 

    Acteas, cimicifugas - these look a good possibility.  Are they ok with very wet soil in winter? 

    Rudbekias (which I love) - are they ok with very dry soil in the summer?

    Aster frikartii Monch - oooh, beautiful.  I've never seen these before.  Do you think they'll be ok with a very wet soil? 

    And even after hours of research and planning, I still sometimes seem to get the wrong plants in the wrong beds!  After a year of gardening, I've had loads of success which gives me great encouragement and plenty of failures too, but I do SO much enjoying working it all out.  No planning or research though, is going to make up for practical experience, which is why this forum is so useful. 



  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Hi Charley, the only ones I was gonna suggest is astrantias as they are my favourite and do fab in my heavy clay soil

    Only thing is they do start flowering earlier than now but im sure if you buy them they will have flowers on? image

  • CharleyDCharleyD Posts: 440

    Oh yes, thanks Beaus Mum.  I love astrantias too.  And they like a lot of sun, I think?  They would get it in this plot.  Yes, hopefully I can buy them already flowering, so it's instant success.  More expensive this way, but in some ways better results.  There is loads of space for different flowers, so I'll wait to hear from Verdun again and then go shopping imageimage

  • MuddyForkMuddyFork Posts: 435

    I have Rudbeckias on clay soil and they love it.

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    I find astrantias do fab in both shade and sun

    verdun oh plant god, do you have list of all astrantias as I would love to see and can't seem to find on the net image


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