Front Garden

Hi there,


I got sick of the front of my house being bland, so I've dug up the edge of the paved driveway by the house. I'm going to brick up a low border, fill it with soil and I'll be left with a narrow (30-40cm deep) border in front of a bay window, with slightly deeper spaced on either end. The whole bed will be about 3m wide.


I'd like some suggestions for what to put in it. I can help narrow it down a bit.

  • It's north facing, so mostly in the shade and I'm in Oxfordshire.
  • I'd like to keep it as green as possible, so lots of evergreens. Flowering would be nice, but not essential.
  • I like the idea of having something climbing up the house - but not ivy or clematis.
  • I also like the idea of a tree - but not too high (3m max).
  • In front of the bay window, I'd like to get to around 1m high, as long as it doesn't block the window.
  • Finally, things that attract bees and butterflies would be great.


Thanks for any suggestions.




  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823

    Pyracantha to climb and attract bees.

  • Hellebores are evergreen and don't mind light shade.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,941
    Do you mean the border is 30-40cm deep? ie soil depth. or 30-40cm wide and 3m long?
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Both, actually. I meant wide (from the wall to the front of the border), but it'll end up about that deep as well; I've dug down to the clay.


    Thanks for the other replies too.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,941
    I would think you may be looking for something that would give you structure all year round as it is at the front of the house. That border is quite narrow so would not support many shrubs. I would go for a line of clipped box with taller topiary triangles or balls at each end. Low maintenance and would look neat and tidy all year. Perhaps a climbing white rose on the house wall Madame Alfred Carriere does well on a north facing wall.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Not sure where you're thinking of fitting a tree in there, but I've just ordered a Sarcococca confusa where I needed some foliage/flowers in a shady spot - does say circa 1-1.5m wide x 1.5-2.5m high.

    Bit big for your window area, but maybe an alternative to the tree?

  • KornoKorno Posts: 99

    Begonias like a shadey area, and they come in many stunning colours and varieties

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 21,998

    assuming, perhaps wrongly , that Geoff is in UK. Begonias would be dead by first frost. Sorry Korno.

  • KornoKorno Posts: 99

    Oh dear, I'm a newbie gardener and also in the u.k. Thanks for the tip - I'll need to think about moving my begonias inside soon !

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 21,998

    sorry Korno. Wasn't trying to put you down. Honest. image

    We all started one day. Never feel awkward about trying to help.

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