Have you a picture in your mind of the effect you want to create. Colours or shapes?
If it were mine I'd start with a group of about 3 shrubs for diffent times of the year, In a group with one coming forward onto what is now lawn, placed about a third of the way up. This would break it up a bit and give you someting to go and look at instead of it being all visible at once. You could have different styles of planting to each side. It's down to what you like really. Don't worry about repeat plants unless you like that effect and want to do it. Mention has been made on another thread of the National Gardens Scheme. Go and look at some gardens. See what you like. Garden owners (and other visitors) will tell you what the plants are and what coditions they like. You don't have to wait til summer, snowdrop and spring garden will start opening next month. You'll want some early flowering bulbs, you can see them in action.
Hello Wildcosmos. I would make the bed wider and and add some curves. Then I'd start at the back with some climbers and trellis, clematis early and late, honeysuckle, a couple of roses. Then plant what you like, perennials as a base and annuals for colour, also easier on the budget because you can sow them from seed and buy plug plants to fill in gaps which can be filled the next year. Perennial geraneums are always a good bet, veronicas, campanulas, phlox, penstemen, catmint, sedum spectabile Go to the garden centre and look at the pictures in the gardening books and perhaps buy one.
.....thankyou everyone for all your suggestions...first time here and I'll be back.
lots of food for thought ~
tomorrow is another day ~
I feel you need to widen that border as someone else said curve it . If you make it wider all the way along with sweepimg curves your fence will not dominate so much and you could then palnt up with bolder shrubs as in list above and perennials. Don't go for small shrubs, be bold.
Yes, I also agree that border needs to be widened. Personally I'd be inclined to cut into the grass too by removing 2 strips of turf of about 80 x 200 cm , with an interval of about 350 cm which would make the shape more attractive to the eye IMO. This would give you some more room for (larger) shrubs and plants and maybe even a small tree?The photo shows what I mean, the brick paving would be your lawn.
I would advise you to draw the border at scale. Then, draw the evergreens so you'll be able to see what's visible all year round and how much space you've left for other planting.
Instead of using trellis only you could consider training a shrub to cover a part of the fence (I'd recommend Garrya elliptica) and repeat that once or twice.
There are lots of sites where you can find photos of borders (Google) and of course lots of info at the library to give you ideas...
A lovely project, Wildcosmos, and I wish you lots of succes. Please, would you be so kind and show us the result? And if you need more advice you know where to find us.
Now the internet is up to speed again. You need to aim for shrubs that give year round colour. If you plant well the birds will come as you will give them lots of places to perch and feel safe. In a house I lived in we had a fence just like that, paint it and aim to hide it, at the back in the corner curve the bed arouns - it will ive a softer feel and suggest more hidden garden even if you don't have one.
As you are totally new may I suggest you get a couple of the Expert books in the Doctor series They give easy to follow advice, say which shrubs attract bees, birds and butterflies and most of the plants are easy to obtain
These are how I started to learn about shrubs and are good to browse through
Using these will help you see what will suit your choice
I have a strip like that outside my fence, next to the pavement. It was just weeds when I moved here and the council would trim it once a year. It faces West, it is only.75 of a metre wide and is fairly poor, dry soil.I decided to plant it up; various yellow roses from cheap shops, 3 horizontal junipers, variegated philodendron, 2 or 3 lavenders, honeysuckle, clematis, hibiscus, hypericum, potentilla. Various wallflowers, in the summer I plant the annual white form of lavatera and marigolds self seed. The main colours are yellow and purple, no red or pink. Passers by seem to really like it. (I just wish they would dead head the roses)