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Planting scheme advice / suggestions for midsummer onwards


We've got a south facing garden and now a path has been laid we can think about what to put in a west facing border.  Soil is pretty nice - loamy stuff with none of the clay we have in the front garden and slightly acidic.

The boss likes the idea of a border based around alliums, I thought these would go well with poppies and salvia, but aware this show would only be for May/June? (longer for salvia).

I would like ideas please for what to plant before and after this late spring display - those before should have died off / be hidden by the alliums etc. and those after shouldn't interfere with the main display but gracefully take over......  Simple eh? image

I'm assuming I'm limited (and ok with) early spring flowering bulbs for the early show, but afterwards I'm struggling.  I'd like a bit more 'hot' colours, was thinking heleniums, echinacea, knifophia, maybe some Heuchera 'grape soda' or similar at the front but could use some inspiration.

Again, my better half doesn't want 'big and bushy' but would like some height (not everything), but then also doesn't want everything dying off in winter leaving 'bare earth'.  Is this possible?

Photo is just before the path was laid - border I'm talking about is the left hand side from the edge of the gravel patio to the yellow bucket in the top left corner.


 Thanks in advance image



  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,339

    With that bare expanse of fence I would plant some climbers. Roses, clematis, honeysuckle and something evergreen would look nice. Most roses flower in june but some carry on for longer so choose varieties carefully. There are many late flowering clematis'. There are evergreen honeysuckles but they may be too quiet for your stated desire for brightness. There are some hot deciduous ones though.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56
    Sounds like you're in a similar position to me. Just done some landscaping and need to plant a whole bed from scratch.

    Currently researching evergreens, year round interest and instant colour. So get the structure with the perennials, but consider lots of annuals this year whilst the perennials are small and getting established.

    I've been surprised by how much I like some of the new hebes in my local garden centre for evergreen foliage.

    Definitely looking at climbers such as honeysuckles and clematis - your fence is just asking for climbers. What about fruit espaliers along the fence?

    Dog roses can flower all summer and autumn then get colourful hips.

    This year I'd get some key plants in and put annuals around them. Then have another look at the key plants at the end of the season to see if you want to move or add anything. Annuals may inspire a certain colour scheme or look to the border which you can make more permanent next year.
  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Thanks for the views so far - definitely want to look at getting climbers in (probably first) as you say the fence is asking for it. 

    I'm off to the Harrogate spring show in a couple of weeks and already reserved a couple of clematis from Taylors, so maybe I need to add to the reservation image.  Espaliered fruit tree is another nice option, will have to look at that.  Any recommendations for a nice easy option that likes west facing aspect?

    Re: key plants, I think that may just be climbers and whatever else goes up against the fence as my wife doesn't want more 'bushy' shrubs, maybe I could put one or two small ones in.

    Any other suggestions as to what would grow and cover unsightly foliage of alliums / poppies when they are finished?  That's the key question for me I think.


  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56
    Ah I think I see what you are saying. The bed display is all about the alliums and you/boss wants them to be the standout feature. I got confused about the heleniums, etc, but I suppose you're saying they would be colour later.

    So do you need something lower and autumn flowering? So foliage would come up in June to cover the spent alliums? But after autumn it would need to be cut right back for the alliums next year? Then the spring bulbs will fill the gap before the alliums.

    Is that the plan?
  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Got it in one - apologies if I wasn't clear, I do tend to ramble on a bit! 

    I kind of thought the heleniums (for example) may grow large / tall enough to cover the dying alliums / poppies foliage and wanted other suggestions if this (and Echinacea / knifophia etc) wouldn't work. 

    But I'd also like any other suggestions even if helenium / Echinacea etc would work.

  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56
    You were probably clear. I sometimes find it difficult to understsnd straight away in forums like this without clarifying. Its just an interpretation thing I think.

    Just a thought. Could you plant allium in sunken pots? Enjoy the display, then take the pots out when its dying back. Then you don't disturb them too much so they can recover.

    Alternatively, do the bed continuing the allium theme - shapes and colours. Just sat looking at scabious and it has a bit of an allium colour and texture to the flower. Similarly some asters or dahlias may have a complementary look to them.
  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56
    Alternatively a ground cover across the bed but with spring bulbs and autumn bulbs arranged throughout. So the display would be spring bulbs then allium then autumn bulbs with continuous low ground cover throughout.

    Lots of different things you could do here, just depends on personal preference.
  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56
    Or do an allium plant theatre? Or allium plant walk along the path? Again potted up so they could be moved.
  • I think the dahlia idea is good, you could swap your pots of alliums for dahlia's, also hesperantha coccinea flower really late in the year. The viticella clematis are great for late colour also C.Niobe really rich colour early in the year and then again late, mine was in flower on Christmas day last year as it was so mild. I get all my clematis from Taylor's, they've all been wonderful. Please post photo's of this bed through the year, I'd be interested to see how it develops image

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Some great suggestions, thanks.  Can alliums be planted in sunken pots?  Not one I've heard before, is it often done?

    Flowerlover3, I'll certainly post more photos, won't be any alliums this year though, maybe I can get other things in though image

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