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Help with plants for new bed

Hi there,

I have got so far on in plans for a new bed and now ground to a halt as I simply can't settle on what plants will look best together.

I have an area around 2m long and 1m deep. I already have a veg patch, and many attractive pots for mediterranean plants around seating areas and I'd really like a flower bed.

The area is walled in on two sides as it it against my porch wall (to the left) and garden wall behind; I have painted the garden wall white to reflect the light and tart it up a little. To the right is the trellised-in compost bin. The garden wall (the backdrop) is south facing, and gets sun from around 9am til early evening.

The earth is clay, but this particular area drains well, and I plan to raise the bed slightly with wooden gravel board or log roll and dig in sharp sand and compost (it'll still be clay though!)

So... plants. I like the idea of crocosmia 'lucifer' at the back; japanese anemones in pink, fuschias, blue geranium like 'Rozanne', maybe a purple sedum... but I also have some hebes from the magic colours collection which are green/purple/pink & variagated and bloom in pink and purple.

I have an evergreen clematis 'freckles' waiting to go in somewhere, maybe there.

I'd like all year interest... please help!


Thanks in advance image



  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,497

    Two square metres is not very much space if you are hoping to mix evergreens for year round interest with herbacious perennials!  As you already have the hebes it would make sense to take them as the start of your scheme and choose some other plants with purple, pink or cream in there somewhere, either as flower or foliage.

    Euonymus fortunei would fit the brief: you can get plain green or  Emerald Gaiety is variegated with white and flushes pinker in cold weather. It would scramble up the base of your wall if planted against it. You could add a summer flowering clem in pink or purple to join Freckles for  seasonal colour.

    A conifer might be nice for height. The Irish Juniper (Juniperus communis Hibernica) is a slow growing, very narrow columnar tree, that looks a bit like an Italian cypress and doesn't take up too much space or have huge roots. Plant it next to the bin!

    Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' is a deciduous shrub with lovely purple leaves. It will grow large if left, but can be cut right back to the base in spring to keep it to the right size, and this will also give you larger leaves.

     Your Japanese anemones would work colourwise, though they may spread. 'Rozanne' could fill half your bed all on its own, so you would do better with another geranium that is clump forming, or a low grower that will go right at the front to soften the edges. Some have bronzy foliage, some are semi-evergreen and some flower for ages so it's up to youimage Most nurseries have some, nice selection here:

    Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' is a perennial wallflower that will give you flowers from April to November and attracts lots of butterflies and bees. It tends to flower itself to an early death, but is easy to grow from cuttings so take a few each year as replacements'

    Have a look at phlox for reliable well behaved plants in the right colour range, Veronicastrums, tall but slender, and don't forget bulbs. Alliums or gladiolus or white narcissi would tuck in between your shrubs without competing while the shrubs would hide their dying foliage and small bulbs along the front would liven up the spring display. Gladdies might replace Lucifer which can grow large and though lovely might be overpowering in colour. There are large flowered ones in pinks and purples for summer and the small G byzantinus is a delight for late spring.

    Have funimage

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Hi. The plants sounds ok, obviously put clematis climbing up the wall,don't have to many plants 7 is the magic number according to Monty,have the tallest at the back unless you have some tall grass's then you would be able to see through. Not sure about the hebes but if you like them put them inimage
  • Hmph. I don't think I quite hit the mark did I? image

    OK... stuff the previous list... what about hebes under some pretty and fragrant bush roses (something like buxom beauty)? With big blue alliums chucked in the back and clematis up the wall behind it all?

  • Evergreen winter flowering clematis 'freckles' and evergreen magic colours hebes are very visible... I am looking at them right now through the window :-/

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