Forum home Plants

What to plant in front garden beds/borders?

Hi folks Newbie gardener here so please be gentle image My partner and I have moved into our first home and I've spent the last few weeks preparing some flowerbeds/borders round the front and sides of the lawn. They were a bit of a mess before so I've spent a long time by hand digging over the soil and removing weeds/stones etc etc and I think the soil is looking good now, and I've forked in some compost also so hopefully a good starting point now. So as you can see, running down the side of the lawn and along the front of the lawn are empty beds/borders (ignore the plant you can see as that's not there any more!!)

I want to plant stuff in these beds now to nicely frame the lawn. I want the coverage to be quite dense so that there's a lot going on, but I'm clueless about what to plant, especially with regards the spacing of things and how big things will get and how far they will spread etc. Any tips would be much appreciated! I'm wanting mostly stuff that's green/leafy, rather than just planting flowers, as we have a nice selection of flowers in the bed that runs underneath the window. So I'm looking for more 'leafy" type stuff to go in the side/front beds. Things that are going to be relatively low maintenance, hardy and look good all year round is what I'm after. I'm not against having things that will flower as well as just leafy stuff. Apologies as my terminology is awful, but I'm keen to learn image Any tips much appreciated! I'm looking to spend no more than about ??200 on plants, not sure if that's a good or bad budget for the task at hand. Thanks!


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,580

    How big do you want them? Do you want more privacy? I was wondering if a mixed shrub border would suit you. You could have a Choisya Ternata in the corner, which grows quite bushy and has glossy evergreen leaves and white flowers, perfumed. And a collection of other shrubs, like Weigela, spireas, Viburnums, Perovskia, Caryopteris, Hypericum Hidcote. Try looking with the help of Google.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks Busy Lizzie image

    Privacy isn't a huge factor to be honest as its a quiet cul de sac. I was thinking something along the front that would get maybe 3-4ft high in time

    Mixed shrubs sounds good, just looked up Choisya Ternata and really like the look of that!

    Thanks image
  • Well done Bristol86 - your front borders look amazing!  image

    I can recommend the library as another source of inspiration.  You need to know what the plants you like, look like when grown together - photos of successful gardens are very useful for this.  And if any of your neighbours are keen gardeners, have a look at what grows well for them, and ask advice - people love to help, in my experience.

    If you let us know whereabouts you're based (could it possibly be Bristol??), what sort of soil you have (sandy or clay, for instance), how wide the borders are and how much sun they get, we could maybe suggest more plants...

    Have fun, and post some photos when you've planted it!  image

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,516

    Take yourself off to your local garden centre and see what catches your eye. If the staff are any good (lets hope so) they will be able to advise you how big the plants will grow and what conditions they thrive in. Looking at your neighbours' gardens and those in adjoining roads will give you a good idea of what flourishes in the local soil, and maybe take photos so that the people on this forum can identify the plants for you.


    Thanks for the input guys.

    OK a few more bits - I'm pretty sure the soil is predominantly clay and the garden faces due East so gets the sun in the morning.

    Here is a plan of the bed with the dimensions on for info! Obviously a lot deeper in that bottom left corner than where it runs along a straight edge.

    I can find loads and loads of plants I like, it's more a case of knowing how to 'arrange' them, or how many to plant of each thing etc! I like the idea of having some taller stuff at the back of the beds with lower stuff closer to the lawn, to create depth/interest.


  • Roses do well in clay...  image

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,536

    stop it Verdun. I know you don't like roses, but they DO do well in clay


Sign In or Register to comment.