Forum home Garden design

Any ideas what I can plant in this space - help!











I wondered if anyone would be able to help with this space (the long border space between the sleepers)


it is about 4.5 metres long and 55cm deep and I really don't know where to start. It is a cottage garden and I want to bring some colour to the space and possibly something to creep up along the wood wall.


it is where our patio will be (garden is elevated about 6ft so you don't get a view from the patio so trying to create something nice to look at)


any help much appreciated, I'm not a good gardener but like to learn - just need a starting point image thanks in advance!! 











  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,452

    Hi Pash, Could you tell us a bit more , what kind of soil conditions like clay - free draining sandy - loam - chalk. Which way is the border facing - south etc. 

  • image




    Perki -The soil we put in there (taken from another part of our garden) is a mixture of clay and top soil on top of pea gravel for drainage.

    The garden is south-westerly facing but the border is set down behind the sleeper wall so - the border does get a little direct sunlight in the morning and then a bit more in the late afternoon to evening, but overall it is quite a bright area (sun bounces off the house onto the wall and it get very warm there)

    Verdun - I absolutely love lavender and had thought about planting a row of these along the length of it, I wonder if they would still thrive there not having any of the midday sun? Is there anything else I could plant with it, say between every other plant or so just to break it up and add something different?

    The sleeper wall above the border is about 90cm high so wondering if it it would benefit from something with height as well.

    Picture attached from a different angle where you can the start of the border on the left (excuse the mess!!)



  • Hey Pash

    I’m no expert gardener but the best advice I can give is to make sure your plant will like the condition it’s grown in. That’s why Perki and Verdun’s advice re. Sun and soil are important. You don’t have to always think with the head, go for what you love and you’ll soon learn if the plant is happy or not (but it could be a costly mistake!)

    If you’re opting for lavender, make sure your soil has good drainage.  I’d dig some grit into it before planting otherwise you’ll lose them.  There are loads of different types of lavender out there.  I personally love French Lavender but cannot get it to grow for more than a season but other types (the longer, wispier ones – don’t know the names) are a success for me.  They will also need to be pruned at the end of flowering, otherwise next year they’ll be too woody. This is easy.

    When it comes to planting, I’d try and group your plants into clumps of 3s or 5s unless you want a more formal look.

    Here are some plants which I think are easy to grow:

    nepeta - this stuff is like lavender and if you have cats, they’ll love it. Really easy to grow.

    Sedum (we call them butterfly plants)



    Hardy geraniums: 


    All these will come again every year and you can dot in annuals for height like cosmos. Buy gardener’s world mag and plant the cosmos seeds, grow them on and dot them in. These should grow tall enough to cover the fence behind.  You can buy dwarf ones if they get too big.

    Just a few ideas. Happy gardening!

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Thank you so much everyone for your ideas, I have made a list of your suggestions and will go and do a bit of Googling to find stockists/planting guidance etc.

    Fingers crossed I will get to look at something pretty this year image

    ps. Hazel - I have googled Knautia  Macedonica and it looks gorgeous, I will definitely purchase some for the garden!!


  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,110

    If you decide you would like climbers on the wood at the back then you could easily put some rows of wires and train clematis along them. It would extend the flowering season if you had some early and later ones, but nothing too vigorous.  I've put this link, not for advertising but because it's full of information.


    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
Sign In or Register to comment.