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Planting ideas`

Hopefully the most suitable place to post - but as I value a lot of the advice on here it would be great to get some of your ideas!

Okay so following some work I have a berm around the edge of my garden/field approximately 150yds long, 8ft wide by 4 foot high. There's a hedge behind it but its pretty open and light but partial shade. The soil is poor subsoil - neutral, very sandy and  stony excellent drainage and I'm in the south west.

I've had a few nicotania  hollyhocks sunflowers cornflowers etc growing well but as leftovers from elsewhere. I am after is ideas for planting up the whole thing on a shoestring providing cover and colour. I thought some forget me nots and pulminaria, would be good as edging plant (just run the mower over if they encroach onto the grass), but any other ideas?I like the idea of drift planting, but would like to keep it cheap as cant afford to buy the huge quantity I'd need to cover it all.



  • Given that it's poor but well-drained soil and such a large overall area, how about a meadow wildflower mix?  You get a lot of seed for the money and it would be very beneficial to wildlife. image

    In case it helps, you would need to sow about 3g per square yard and you have about 400 square yards so would need 1.2kg of seed costing somewhere in the region of £40 to £100.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • TopsoiledTopsoiled Posts: 113

    Thanks for the reply BobtheGardener - I think that's my fall back position. A lot of the garden is grass/meadow although the grass is taken over the flowers now. Ideally I would like something more structured or formal and struggling for ideas of cheap effective solutions. But you may well be right! 

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,915

    I take it that it is not a berm in the Peter Sellers mould. 

    How about mixed hedging? Hawthorn, guelder rose, buckthorn, etc.?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • There are quite a lot of different mixes available these days as well as single wild species and all without grasses (often called 100% mixes) so you could perhaps do some areas with single species and others with various different mixes.  Certainly the cheapest option I would think.  Some sites to look at:




    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 743
    Curiosity had me google berm, no offence I thought it was a keying error as I haven't heard the term before. In simple terms it's a flat strip of land, word comes from the Dutch....surprising what you learn on this forum.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,915

    Ah, happy school days, drawing castles and naming all the parts.... the cheval de frise, the motte, the bailey, the berm....

    What useful stuff they packed into our tiny heads in those days.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,978

    I expected to see some Merffs as well!! you live and learn.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • TopsoiledTopsoiled Posts: 113

    Tetley - what perennials did you plant? - that's sounds like you had something similar and did something that could work for me...

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,199


    Didn't know what a berm was either, but I like pansyface's and Lyn's replies...can't beat Sellers ...

    'There is a meuth in my reum'... brilliant!

    You could sow perennials from seed - they'll get to a decent size while the wildflower mix is doing it's thing, and you can get those in the following year image

    Take a look on the Seed Swap thread here Topsoiled. You'll get a few bargains from the kind forum folk imageimage

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,174


    Might look lovely with some hardy geraniums ....  the sort that spread quickly such as Geranium 'Ann Folkard' which will soon cover a large area and is great for hiding the dying foliage of bulbs ... also Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo' which is evergreen for me (south Scotland) and is another good spreader.  

    They won't mind that the soil is poor just now (my geraniums are thriving and I garden on the site of an old sawmill), and if you can mulch whenever you have anything spare it will soon improve.

    The suggestion to ask around for freebie splits is a good one, but if you do have to buy go for a big plant and split up and you could soon have it covered.

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
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