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New Bench

DFWDFW Posts: 27


Back again, and looking for further advice....

I've shed much blood, sweat, and tears installing this bench into the garden, and though it's not yet finished (left side needs cleaning up, and I need to buy a couple more bags of stone to level things up. I digress...) I'm actually thinking about what to plant around - and behind - the bench so that, over the years, it matures to create a welcoming area to retreat to during a hot summer's day...

My idea, and I welcome the feedback/abuse, is:

a) Two large pots, located at the rear left & right of the bench, with some sort of rose in each. I like the pots Woodlodge are producing on behalf of the National Trust..

b) Lavender, planted up both sides of the stone area

c) A wisteria, wired to the wall, behind the bench centrally.  I'd probably buy a mature one to ensure immediate impact.

d) Another pot either side of the bench at the front of the stone area.  No idea what to put in these....

Look forward to hearing your views.




  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,537

    Looks good so far and I think I get the effect you want.
    One or two questions though.

    Are you proposing to grow the wisteria in a pot too, or plant it in the ground? The ground would be better and a much easier option as they make large plants.

    Why plant the roses in pots when you have a border that would be better for them?

    Lavender loves sun. How much would it get?

    If it would get enough sun, then I would suggest that you could give the border space to a couple of roses, choosing ones with a good scent that grow to a decent size, and don't plant them too close to the wall. Grow your lavenders at the front in your nice pots, and it will be easier to replace tham if they get old and a bit leggy.

    Also be aware that the conifer/s? will quickly get larger and may produce unwanted shade or encroach on the roses, so maybe move it along while it is still small!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,933

    I agree, put as much as you can in the ground ... the plants will do better, the whole appearance of the area will be less 'fussy' and you will have less watering to do and more time to sit and enjoy your garden.  

    I would probably have one large  container planted with something unusual ...... a dish overflowing with sempervivums for example, just to one side of the seat to give an elegant asymmetry to the look.  Fill the rest of the area with bupleurum or alchemilla morris to tie it all together and it'll look fantastic.

    Sorry, not telling you what to do .......... it's your garden image


    Just to show you how well the colours work



    Last edited: 29 May 2017 10:20:43

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • DFWDFW Posts: 27


    Thanks!  To clarify some points:-

    a) The evergreen are just there temporarily as I needed to remove them from some pots and wanted to keep them alive whilst I figured what to do with them. I'll be moving them soon so that whole area is free for planting.

    b) In terms of aspect, the wall behind the bench is SSW facing, so the sun begins to shine there around 1pm, and it then stick around until around 5-6pm (when the shadow of our rather tall house covers it in shade again).  The border area to the left of the bench is soaked in sun from around 12 to 6pm, and then it gets a second dose from around 7-8pm as the sun moves around our house.  Border to the bench gets about 1pm to 6pm.

    This is, of course, when the sun actually decides to come out!! Can't see it making an appearance today at all, unfortunately!

    c) In terms of roses, I did actually recently purchase a couple of David Austin's that are still in their pots - purchased directly from the growers at Coughton Court. Can't beat the National Trust!  These will need planting soon, and they're ALCHEMIST and MARY ROSE varieties.

    d) Wisteria - I would plant this in the ground, for sure. There's a relatively large mature one for sales at my local dobbies (retailing for GBP 70).  Not sure if that's a good deal or not?  I've purchased the vine eyes and wire to hang there....

    Look forward to your further advice.


  • neal4neal4 Posts: 19

    Why not go for the wisteria, so you can enjoy the great flowers and scent and under plant the borders with rose shrubs and lavender. Would be an amazing feast for the eyes and the nose, whilst enjoying a cheeky glass or 2 in the early evening. You could fill in with other herbaceous and evergreens, maybe a Hebe which will tolerate the early morning shade and help to provide some structure.

    Just some novice ideas (I am the novice....)

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020

    I think that if you put pots around the bench it will look cluttered and feel cramped, not relaxing.  A wisteria behind the bench and in the ground is a good plan as are roses either side of the bench and in the ground.  You can underplant with hardy geraniums for ground cover and shorter lavender such as Munstead Dwarf would make a good mini hedge along the edge and attract bees and ward off aphids.   

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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