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Plant suggestions welcome?

AliMcGAliMcG Posts: 14
I am upgrading my patio and path and would like to put a small border between the path and the lawn. The garden is on the west coast of Scotland and quite exposed. I thought I could fill bed along the path on teh right with a variety of Hebe, or perhaps some short grasses such as Festuca Glauca, Elymus Magellanicus etc. The odd corner on the left...Echinops or Eryngium with some Shasta daisy? I would welcome anyones thoughts?

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,981
    I'd go for low growing planting. The last three plants [for the corner] will need substantial staking or they'll spend most of the time horizontal, unless you have a good shelter belt put in place first. Anything taller than a couple of feet needs well staked here.  :)
    The short grasses would be ok. A lot of Hebes don't make it through severe winters where I am, although the whipcord one - James Stirling - is much tougher. You may get less in the way of freezing weather than I do though, so it might be worth experimenting.  Things like Cotoneaster will be fine.
    Dianthus will also manage no problem, assuming the soil is free draining, and not too acidic. Good old heathers will also be fine. Some, like many of the Ericas, are happy with alkaline soil, but most are happy in neutral to acidic. They also don't mind salt spray.
    I grow both of those here as my soil is mainly quite neutral. 
    Any low growing alpine plant like Saxifrages, alpine Phlox and Arabis will be ideal.
    Loads of spring bulbs in among them all extends the season. Crocus, Muscari and Chionodoxa would be ideal as they're low growing. The shorter daffs might be ok. as long as they have the support of some woodier plants. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AliMcGAliMcG Posts: 14
    Thanks - I had also considered some hardy heathers.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,981
    I was just thinking about your query when I was out for my walk this morning. It's when I do all my best thinking  ;)
    If you want some sturdier planting for the corner bed, take a look at Veronicas. Many are quite short, and they're woody perennials, so they're less easily damaged by weather. Salvias would also be good, but most of them aren't hardy up here, with the exception of S. Caradonna, which copes with temps down below minus 10 no problem. They both need a sunny site, with well drained soil, and will then cope with rainfall no problem.  
    It also depends on the type of look you want for your garden, and what type of planting you want - ie  is it for wildlife or year round colour etc. Those are both good for pollinators   :)
    Another plant which might be useful for you is Libertia. It's a grass, but has sprays of small white flowers in late spring. There's a plain green one [which I find a bit dull] but the gold one is very pretty, and provides a good foil for other plants. It prefers a sunny, well drained site too, and should be fine hardiness wise. I almost lost mine during last winter, but it's recovered. I'm not sure which part of the west coast you're on, but the southern end [Ayrshire and south] is easier, climate wise, than the stretch from the central belt north.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AliMcGAliMcG Posts: 14
    Thanks again - I am on the Isle of Bute facing Arran. Although the property is exposed, the surrounding hedge helps lessen the force on lower areas of the garden. I am looking for a low maintenance bed that will provide all round interest - so the heathers or shorter grasses would work. The Veronicas is a good suggestion for that corner though - a nice pop of colour.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,981
    Those will certainly be low maintenance @AliMcG, and should all do fine for you. Good luck with them  :)

    I don't suppose you had much of a view of Arran today  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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