Empty Space??

I have a small (2.5x1.5 metre) oval bed in the middle of my lawn, there are lots of other well stocked flowerbeds but for some reason this one was empty when we bought the house. There is a small tree on the edge of it; I think a magnolia (yellow, very fancy).  Over the summer I planted some annuals, gladioli and dahlias which have been very nice. I have now cleared it out (almost, giving the dahlias a last hurrah) and am about to stock it with spring bulbs, mostly daffodils and tulips with some crocus for starters and topped by some bellis daisies and a centrepiece of wallflowers.

However, I do not know what to put in for next summer so am looking for some ideas and some inspiration. I am moving the dahlia and gladioli to a bigger bed that I have managed to clear this year where I think they will look better, they grew too big for this small spot really.

Am completely open to suggestions, not sure whether I want a permanent or temporary feature. Around the garden already I have a several herbaceous beds, the usual suspects, have made a small rose and lavender garden and am also building a rockery. There are lots of trees and shrubs and even a place where I have made a shady wild bit and some ornamental grasses. Looking for something to be a little bit different to what we have already.  

This spot is in the middle of the lawn (informal) and is in the shade all morning but does get a fair amount of hot sun each afternoon. The soil is rich and crumbly and well drained. There is a slight ‘mound’ element to it but nothing of any great consequence.  I have a big garden and it is a lot of work to keep on top of it already (and I am a novice to all this) so I don’t want anything too complicated, but equally it is such a prime spot it needs to look good/tidy. As it is so small it isn’t a huge task to weed.

I did think of a picking a colour and planting up all in same colour, a white garden possibly, gypsophila and nicotiana perhaps with some chrysanthemums to continue the flowering into the autumn.

Trying to keep costs down so will probably grow from seed (I have a greenhouse) or very small plug plants, so thinking I ought to start planning now. Obviously nothing can be planted in it until after the tulips have finished, late spring flowers it says on the packets. Would be very grateful for ideas/suggestions and advice as to how to achieve the masterpiece. Or should I just grass it over? image

Sorry for the long post, just trying to give you all some detailed idea of what I am talking about. image

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

— Gertrude Jekyll
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,577

    How about one really fine specimen tree? Something that will be fairly slow gowing and not swamp the magnolia, with an interesting shape and colour?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks Pansyface - unfortunately already have a lot of trees, and not sure we need anymore.

    We have a huge walnut tree with a little seat around it (desperately in need of some TLC - OH keeps promising image ) that really is a centrepiece in itself and this little oval is just down and to the left of it.

    This area of grass is really the only bit where we get a lot of sun so don't want to lose that. Will try and find some pics to illustrate my point. 

    Thanks though, do like to hear everyone's thoughts. image

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,453

    If you want to reduce your workload you need to think about perennials rather than annuals.    If you're going for a block of colour such as white, look at achillea ptarmica Pearl, Japanese anemone Honorine Jobert, white roses, white perennial cornflowers (deep purple centres) white Michaelmas daisies, lysimachia clethroides alba, white echniacea, white lavender and so on to give you a good display through the seasons.   You can extend it with white flowered hellebores and then white daffs, white crocus, white clamassias, white Dutch iris and white acidanthera for late summer bulbs.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,517

    Quick question DD so I get the whole picture in my head image Have you already got the bulbs so they are coloured? What colours please? And if you choose one colour will you still use these bulbs or get some more? Also why can't you plant the bed up after planting the bulbs? Or am I losing the plot and you didn't say that image

     

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,517

    Oh and have you pic of the yellow magnolia?

  • image

    This is the main lawn area, the 'empty space' is to the left and beyond - a bit.

    image

    You can just see it how it was when we arrived in April, the small pile of weeds between the acer and the bigger flowerbed. (ignore small child demonstrating 'tricks').

    image

    This is what I made of it this summer but it was a bit tatty and the annuals went a bit wild. I have now tidied up the edges better and am looking for some sort of edging, maybe log roll to keep the grass back.

    As you can see it is only small but I am sure it could earn it's place if it was planted up properly - just what with?? image

     

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 568

    How about a fern? 

    I'm not sure about the soil being 'rich, crumbly and well drained', however.

    This is one of mine - it is still tied back to allow me to clean up the brick border built recently.

    image

     

    It is shaded by the North facing side of the house for most of the day but gets some sun from the eastern side from late afternoon. 

     

  • Wow, you all appeared whist I was typing, will try and answer queries;

    Bulbs are red and yellow tulips with dwarf tete a tete and crocus - I don't know why I can't plant bed up until after flowering, just thought would all be too crowded and was only thinking annuals at that point so afraid of frost.Also bellis daisies and walflowers will be in the way - won't they? image

     

     

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • The only picture of the yellow magnolia I have is the one behind my son on his bike - probably too far away to see properly. image Sorry.

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
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