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Planting new borders

M FentM Fent Posts: 166

When planting a new border, which plants should you/do you plant first? Would you plant shrubs first and then perennials.. etc or does it matter? Also, when deciding on where to plant your plants, do you go for a certain pattern like in 3's or just random? image AND when is the best time to be planting a new border?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,384

    Shrubs/trees first to give shape to your planting. They stay a long time. Get them far enough apart to grow for years. Arrange them in a way that pleases you. Fill in between with whatever takes your fancy. It's your choice. Now is good. Spring next week.

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Just planted up a new border which will be a mix of shrubs and perennials.  Had nearly all the shrubs a first and then lay them out looking at height etc They are the long term structure of the border.  Left a couple of spaces for the 2 I have been unable to get.

    Will now collect suitable perennials, probably to arrange and plant out in 3-4 weeks time, they will be in odd no groups with some singles

  • M FentM Fent Posts: 166

    Ooo right yes i get it. So shrubs first = structure and shape. then fill in spaces with perrenials and bulbs etc. How do you go about planting up a long border? Ive found a planting plan online ( that i like and suits my garden but it says that the plants that it uses will create a border of 2.5m, but my border is about 13m spanning the entire garden. Would i literally just repeat the plan? Sorry for all the questions! :S

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Why not start with the border say 3.5m and see if you like the planting plan. Then you can always change what you have, if you don't , and add to it/find other plans you like. Also as you get better find more plants you like as your knowkedge increases

  • M FentM Fent Posts: 166

    Hmm good idea Rosa! Ill see how it goes image

  • Hi, I'm in the same position, except that the entire garden is only 3.5x6m, with a path down one side and 5 foot brick walls on 3 sides. Tiny wee postage stamp. I've planned it out for practicalities, access and low maintenance, plus year round interest. It's my first solo garden, and I know my own limitations, so I'm aiming for minimal phaff and as much evergreen foliage as possible, planted through gravel and membrane. I'm surprised to find myself very excited.

    At the moment, the plan involves a smallish pieris, camellia, tree peony, some carex, agapanthus, miscanthus and a few other low grasses. I'm spreading them out to allow for a spacious feel and room for growth. If it looks too sparse in the first couple of years I will add some bulbs in the gaps, including alliums and iris. I would love an oriental poppy, but the dying back foliage in autumn is putting me off at the mo.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,384

    Hi Brunnera

    Get the oriental poppy behind a miscanthus, it hides the dying off stage


  • That's brilliant! Thank you.

    And now I have that happy online shopping phase choosing a variety. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325
    Brunneria wrote (see)
    That's brilliant! Thank you.

    And now I have that happy online shopping phase choosing a variety. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning.


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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