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suggest small to medium plants/shrubs for year around interest

NewbNewb Posts: 211

I am going to refresh/replant my front garden. It is north facing but in front of bungalow so gets sun half the day. Soil is clay and hard, full of tree roots, really not draining but I am working on improving it. It has happy hydrangea and rhododendron even though looking at bright pink colour of hydrangea flowers, it seems fairly alkaline.

I am looking for suggestions for small to medium size plants which look good most of the year. I do love colour and its ok if they get a bit floppy or messy. It doesnt have to have picture perfect look. Fragrance will be additional bonus.

What I have 

White and Pink hydrangeas






i do have more plants, though i haven't decided what out of those can go in front garden.

So let me know your suggestions.



  • NewbNewb Posts: 211



  • NewbNewb Posts: 211

    Thank you. I will google them and see image

    attaching a photo from this summer when i went crazy with dahlias!image

  • NewbNewb Posts: 211

    that photo is from side of house towards road. Looking at pink of hydrangea i though soil is alkaline. These are photos of now from front. I am going to remove the trees and move overgrown choisya And fuschia to back garden. 


  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364


    Keep looking at the threads about "my flowers" etc.  Posters tend to show off their favourite plants and you can get very good ideas from there.  I have already learnt a lot from these forums about best varieties etc. The opinions and experiences of so many other gardeners are really useful.

    The plant sellers sites are good for ideas as well. The best give you details about the requirements of the different plants.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • NewbNewb Posts: 211

    I have a rectangular area in front of house to plant. The plants i mentioned in original post are mostly in pots and i can use them eigher here or in back garden. This summer i had planted loads of dahlias and annuals though i got carried away and planted way too much. so now i am thinking of a bit more permanent plants with some annuals to pop up colour. 

    So come up with suggestions. 

    Last edited: 03 November 2016 08:54:34

  • NewbNewb Posts: 211


    previous photos didnt show the area to be replanted properly. This is another photo from this summer and last winter. See it was full of colour (a bit too much actually) in spring and summer but all empty in winter.

    I am looking for a balance so it looks good all year around. 

  • NewbNewb Posts: 211

    thank you image this winter i have put wallflowers in the central rectangle. I am going to spread loads of homemade compost on beds and leave it for now. i would love your suggestions and i will plant it on spring. 

    it really is hard clay and full of tree roots. so hard to dig. Whenever i went to garden center and looked at shrubs in 2 liter pots, i found it hard tob visualize how they will look and what will look good with what. So I ended up buying loads of seeds and bulbs from wilko and enjoyed the spring and summer. 

    I am thinking the central rectangle to have heucheras and hellebore sith some things that wont grow much higher than those and pop some colour in summer. 

    Outer rectangle with hydrangea, skimmia, sarcococca, dahlias and some things with similar heights...

    I will look at list of plants verdun gave tonight on google. Do give your suggestions. 

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    Wow as well!  Respect.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • NewbNewb Posts: 211

    Thank you image

    it looks like from the picture as if there is no space left. i have lifted and moved spring bulbs from central rectangle and will be moving dahlias too. Also from outer rectangle i will lift some of dahlias and plant them at backgarden. and the trees will go. There will be space then.

    Imagine it like that winter photo and think of what will look good in winter and in summer some annuals, perennials and dahlias (not as many) will pop in colour in between. 

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