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If you started a new garden....


By anget


What plants would you edit out?

I have had the chance to think long and hard about this whilst clearing out the borders over the recent past. It would be interesting to know what you would NOT bother to grow again, given the chance.

Here are my ‘no-no’s’:
1) Bearded irises.

I know they are loved by many, but I think the 2 weeks of colour don’t make up for their awkward silhouette which I find very had to fit into my borders. Also, they are a nuisance to keep splitting when the plant grows to any size. I have a large uplifted group sitting high and dry on my patio with no idea of where to put them back!

2) Oriental Poppies

Beguiled, as with the irises, by their gorgeous colours. But I don’t want the dying, flopping bedragglement anymore. And they’re a pain to eradicate.

3) Dahlias:

Too ‘prima donna-ish’ to be bothered with! All the feeding, staking, overwintering…. For the dedicated. (And I’m not!)

4) Most roses
I ‘get’ the obsession with the flowers (hence all the hoo-ha with the DA roses), but most of the actual plants end up looking shocking with black spot, rust etc. etc. And I don’t spray so… I still have a soft spot for the beautiful shrub roses. I couldn’t have a garden without ‘Lark Ascending’ and ‘Tottering by Gently’, for instance.

5) Hollyhocks:

One word: rust!

6) Invaders and self-seeders:
Red clover, campanula alliarifolia, vinca, many geraniums, single-flowered herbaceous potentillas for instance.

7) Any clematis that aren’t viticellas -
either too blowsy or too pernicketty.


They just don’t flower well enough for me.

So, that’s my list (with no offence meant to those of you who love them!) There are still SOME plants left in my garden (!) Will you own up and tell what’s on your list?

More blog posts by anget

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I do agree Ange. Anything with a short flowering season and hard work the rest of the time. I agree with all of the above, but not Dahlias, I love them!
Next year I'm growing mainly perennials with a few annuals like cosmos which have and are still doing very well. I bought mini plugs of lavenders and perennial salvia which have grown well for planting in the autumn.
The strappy leaves of autumn kniphofias are a pain in the .... but I do love the flowers come November!

17 Aug, 2021


All my favorite flowers Anget. Can I come to your place with a wheelbarrow ?

17 Aug, 2021


After all that Anget so what are you going to grow ??

17 Aug, 2021


I agree Dahlias are hard work but I just can't give up on them...just having 4 next year.
Roses are a favourite but I'm not sold on DA ones...have a few of them which although specified as very healthy, still present with blackspot.Some of the GCs roses have done much better and half the price.

I wouldn't want the ever increasing circles of Grape Hyacinths either..just when I turn my back up pop more ....similarly with Lily of the valley.

Monardas have been pathetic this year showing mildew,so ,no more to them.

Agree with Janey, Cosmos is a winner...long flowering period and very attractive foliage.Must buy more next year.

Next year I won't be buying Perlagonium plugs for the pots. They are only just fully blooming. Far too will soon be time to plant up Winter flowering pansies.Now those I love.

Oh,just remembered, the Pulmonarias are a no no...they rapidly increase and only flower for a short period leaving flat,dry floppy leaves with long stems.

17 Aug, 2021


I'm glad somebody is on my side, Janey! Your plans sound good ones.

Haha, Klahanie, you could have had any number of plants from me... As it is the recycling bin has had the weeds, and the compost bins are full to overflowing! There must be some plants you can't be doing with??

Stripes, I still have plenty of choices waiting to go in. It's just deciding how best to position them. Is there nothing you've 'gone off' in your garden, or anything you've found too troublesome?

Good to hear you have rejects, too, Meadow. I will take your lilies of the valley, and monardas if they would grow well in my hypothetical new garden! They don't do much here but I do love them. OH loves pulmonarias, so I whip the seedlings out sneakily, otherwise he would save them
all and they would take us over!
I (whisper it quietly) do so agree about DA roses, but my 2 beloved shrubs have done beautifully.
Can't get cosmos to grow well from seed so I've pretty much given up with those, although I do like the white ones.

17 Aug, 2021


I agree with everything on your to-go list, including the Iris which are my labour of love. Also would include anything planted in a pot. Oh, and grass.

17 Aug, 2021


Good thinking Ange… I’m saying No to sweet peas next year because we don’t have a suitable site; love perennial Geraniums but will choose more carefully and avoid the enormous thugs(!): have dug out and given away Peonies and a tree peony: ditto to Leucanthemum which seeds itself around where not wanted. I plan to dig in plenty of grit to give better drainage, and mulch more often - ha ha - we shall see! Oh, and have more long-flowering plants like Cosmos 🙂.

17 Aug, 2021


Ange, I think I got a bit muddled with your blogs, sorry! I’m catching up as I’ve been busy the past few/several days.
I think I replied to this blog on your previous blog!😄
Intend to have more evergreens than anything else. I do have ferns, euonymus, ornamental grasses, rockery evergreen plants, choisya x 3, cordylines, box, etc, etc..
My front garden is pretty self sufficient.
The back as you know is small, so I’m limited. I don’t usually have bedding plants. Flowers tend to come from my hydrangeas, sedums, lavenders, little rockery evergreen flowering plants, a couple of roses and geraniums.
I struggle with hebes, roses, clematis, and many others sadly.

17 Aug, 2021


Bouncing bet as she has bounced all over and is now a pain. As are the odd aster, bears breeches, geranium endrssi and its allies. Oh Lamium 'yellow archangel'. Otherwise I think I am happy though several do need trimming back next spring.

I have a species dahlia that is trouble free and fully hardy and not big and blousy.

a lovely blog idea Ange gets the brain working nicely.

17 Aug, 2021


Oh, Siris, I chuckled about the 'grass'. I hadn't thought of that. I'd happily have a wild patch of grass but OH won't agree. I don't understand the point of all the 'bothering' that goes with a green sward. Life's too short..

Paul, your litany of plant disasters warrented a sympathetic nod from me. I'm trying to introduce more foliage plants. There was a women on GW a couple of weeks ago with a foliage garden and I was quite envious. It looked perfect to me!

Yes, Sheila, we've ejected a number of bullish geraniums. I have removed many oxonianums and seeding cinereums and have my eye on a couple of sprawlers (no matter that the flowers are gorgeous). I can't get sweet peas to do much at all - too dry here. But I would grow them again if the soil conditions were better.

Kate, I think having a smaller garden makes us focus much harder on what we put into it. Every plant must count. So, apart from your natural artistic ability, I think that helps to make your garden as pleasing as it is. I have hopes of staring afresh in a new garden one day (if I can persuade OH!!)

17 Aug, 2021


I'll have your archangel, SBG. I love it and can't get it to do a thing here.. I agree about asters - I forgot to add those to my 'thumbs-down'! There are some I like, though. A lot have gone weedy here. Glad you enjoyed the idea of the blog.

17 Aug, 2021


An interesting blog Anget. I keep declaring that our garden is ‘FULL’. Yet still the purchases appear! <];~).

We go round the garden in a 3 year cycle and attack each border in turn, thinning out and giving the remaining plants a bit more room. Fully agree with Siris, if I could get rid of anything in a pot, hanging basket or planter it would save me at least an hour a day walking round with a watering can. If we ever had to move house, we would need the biggest removal van available ….. just for the planters, pots, statues and ornaments.

Sorry anget …. I have not answered your question .. on my list would be bluebells and lily of the valley. Despite my repeated (and polite) requests to my darling OH to plant L of V in a metal container and sink it in the ground, she planted it straight in the ground. Role on winter for a rest ha, ha.

I’ll pop a few photos on when I get time so you’ll see my dilemma.

PS You wouldn’t happen to know how to stop hedges growing? <];~)

18 Aug, 2021


Hi Anget, I think mines a blog in itself lol but very good question, I think I'm happy with my perennials just wish some of them would perform outstandingly as we all wish. I have cornus alba which we call Bully, the base is a thick mass of stems which I doubt we would ever be able to remove and gets a bit unruly. Cornus argentea alternifolia it's lovely but I think a bit too big for our border, it can get 12ft wide, we prune it back and have lifted the canopy. Black bamboo has not been too bad but grows massive and we did try to remove it, we cut it back but couldn't get it out so it grew back with a vengeance so in the same boat again. I would definitely not have lonicera nitida again it grew massive and you have to keep constantly cutting it back, hubby cut right down to ground last year so not very big at the moment, need to try to get rid of it really although the birds loved it and nice colour. I guess anemone is a bit of a thug but again the flowers are lovely so would probably keep but questionable. I guess that's not too bad really, oh and I got rid of geum rivale I still find lots of seedlings of that :-))

18 Aug, 2021


Hi Alan, I like your ideas of revamping each border in rotation. I think that's what we shall try to do from now on. Certainly makes the maintenance less exhausting! I, too, am trying to cut down the number of pots. I have lots of shrubs potted up. All I need to do is work out what to do with them! Re Lily of the valley, I love it, but it's very reluctant to grow here. My Gran used to have a whole bed of it in her little terraced garden - it's a plant about which I am very nostalgic. Saying that, she could get anything to grow!

D'lily, you have an interesting set of thugs! I keep bamboo in a pot but might eject as it doesn't do a lot. (Thinking about it, I have a numbers of 'doesn't do a lot'-ers..) Where am I going wrong??

18 Aug, 2021


I am sure you are not doing anything wrong Anget, my garden is the same, we just need to find the right plants, the good doers, we keep trying! Your garden will look amazing after all your alterations 😀 not that it doesn't anyway:-))

18 Aug, 2021


I enjoy my dahlias but I don't dig them up. I plant new ones - not every year though.

18 Aug, 2021


You're very kind to say so, D'Lily. Looking at it now, I could do with a bit of optimism!!

No space to plant them in the borders, B'gate.

19 Aug, 2021


Oh Gosh !!!..Now that takes some thinking about as I really love plants and hate it when I cannot succeed with anything.
The definite No's..
Foxglove, I hate rust and mildew and unfortunately in my garden it ruined them, I did try though, I don't like the little Bedding Begonia's, to me they belong in a park garden whereby they are planted in their hundreds, dislike Salvia Hotlips, the flowers are too garish for me, Bamboo is a big No, wouldn't ever grow it, scares me to death even if in a pot, my biggest regret is buying a bag of mixed bulbs and incorporating Wild Garlic into my garden, spent years trying to get rid., Sambucus, I love them but mine grew massive, Budhlias, I have one and still trying to rid myself of one we cut down, oh and St John's Wort, been trying for over 45yrs to rid myself of that.
I'm sorry but to be honest there is not a lot that I wouldn't grow, unfortunately I don't have space left, most of the ones you have on your list I do love, I'm dedicated to my garden, if that means spending time caring for them I do it, no point in having a garden if I didn't care for it but appreciate we are not all the same Anget.
I grow mostly perennials, rockery plants, sedums , saxifraga's and alpines now, plus I have my stumperies so I won't be clearing out any beds or borders, (that is an age thing) I've made my gardening life easier in recent years and I'm really happy with it and all it contains.
Now if you had asked what I have on my wishlist it would be verrrrrrry long...Very interesting and thought provoking blog, I won't sleep now trying to think of other definite No Ways, lol...

23 Aug, 2021


I think, 5 years after planting, the dynamics of the garden alter, Lincs, and plants show their true character, size, shape, growth characteristics. I'm happy to put the hours in if I'm happy with the results - but I'm not! I'm very happy to throw plants away if they look miserable, overgrown, rampant etc. I'm not at all sentimental about plant material! And the ones left look like they can breathe now!

23 Aug, 2021


I admit its easier for me as I'm the gardener here, always have been, its never been a case of sharing ideas of what to grow and where, he helps with building projects, getting rid of trees roots, fixing fencing, the sort of things I cannot manage but I'm happy with it being that way, much to my hubby's relief, lol..
Dynamics of a garden are always changing, age, growth, death, weather conditions, disease, our own health and naturally age, I hope you'll be looking at it one of these days and feel happy...

23 Aug, 2021


Knowing me, Lincs, I doubt it!!

23 Aug, 2021


I'm very much the same as Lincs as my OH dislikes gardening, he's also colour blind which presents issues! He appreciates the form and shape of foliage very much so I do try to have some plants with interesting foliage such as Fatsia.

I think the Stipa tenuissima grasses will have to be edited out as they seed just about everywhere and are a pain to remove. Grape Hyacinths, Wild Garlic and Spanish Bluebells are removed as and when they appear, dislike all of those.

24 Aug, 2021


My OH enjoys colour and flowers and is far more tolerant of what I call 'muddle' than I am. He has been helping me move plants about and plant new shrubs over the last few days. But I admit sharing a garden can have difficulties. If I had full sway the garden would look very different: not so many straight lines for a start and far less lawn, Shirley.

I have been digging out lots of miscanthus seedlings which had snuck in amongst other plants, too. I have potted those up, though!

25 Aug, 2021


He does take more notice of what I plant now . . . and has even been known to name some of the plants around the garden! Such a show-off . . . :o))

25 Aug, 2021

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