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Please, help needed with garden design and suggestions


A couple of years ago I did a blog that I had finally cleared my last problem corner. It’s located in my front garden and due to us having a very tall front garden wall the bed is north facing. This corner was so overgrown with Blackthorn, bramble and a tall Whitebeam tree growing under the electricity pole and cables going to our house. Was also full of evergreen ivy growing up the pole and along the cables.

This was taken then, bit of a poignant photo as Ben is in the photo, who as you know I lost to cancer last year.

Last year we decided to also take out the Fatsia Japonica as it was rather large and planted fairly near the front of the bed so left a big empty gap behind. But now I have a big empty corner that needs filling with not idea what to put in it. I need all the help I can get.

Please can you lovely people who have far more knowledge then me, give me some ideas what to plant.

Took these next photos around mid day today to give an idea on how much sunlight this corner gets. Want something that is possible evergreen to give interest in winter near the back of the bed and then more ideas for towards the front.

Any help will be so appreciated x

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do you want shrubs or herbaceous perennials or a mix of both?

16 Apr, 2021


I think a mixture of both, Seaburngirl. Part of me would like it a bit cottage garden look as our house is a Victorian house that is called The Cottage. Only problem is that it is also the bed that has the most Horsetail. Nowhere near as much as used to but need some room to be able to deal with it.
Not asking much am I Haha.

16 Apr, 2021


One evergreen shrub I would think about is Osmanthus delavayi which has lovely white scented flowers about now. RHS says it is slow growing but mine has been in 5 years and is about 5ft tall, so not in my experience.

16 Apr, 2021


Thank you Anget. That is really pretty. Didn't know it so looked it up showed hubby and he is worried that end size will be too big and take over the corner. X.

16 Apr, 2021


I'd be tempted to add Aconitum carmichaelii as it flowers late summer early autumn, about 4-5ft tall with amazing blue flowers. pale blue/white forms are available. I have it with Aconitum napellus which flowers late spring early summer; back of the border and well behaved. I leave the stems until the spring then cut them down. They add a nice shape in winter and when frosted are very pretty. Their hollow stems are good hidey holes for overwintering insects etc.

I love Skimmia and it will be happy in those conditions. Is that an Aucuba? if not then they can be pruned to keep it in check and it has berries too for the birds.

Do you want to have some type of climber to go up the pole? How about an evergreen winter flowering clematis? C.cirrohsa has many forms and I have a pale flowered one that glows in winter.

For the mid section/mid height some daylilies don't mind some shade. Plants I have in this sort of area are Hellenium, Epimedium [lots of varieties], Geranium macrorrhizuma, Saxifraga hirsuta Chelone obliqua, Solidago, Lamprocampnos [Dicentra] spectabilis alba, the white one would glow.
Lots of bulbs in the spring too.

I'd go for some pale colours/white to brighten the darker places. Campanula persicifolia [2ft] Campanula lactiflora 4-5ft.
taller ferns like Woodwardia fimbriata [evergreen] would add a nice leaf form and doesn't mind some direct sun or moderately deep shade.

Hope this helps.

16 Apr, 2021


Wow, thank you so very much Seaburngirl. Some really lovely plants. Have to look up most of them ha ha. Really love the look of Aconitum Carmichaelii. When I looked it up, unfortunately it is really toxic to dogs. Ringo is much better but we don't call him the Rat for nothing lol. Yes that is a Aucuba. It was there when we moved in and one of the few plants I kept. Lol.

16 Apr, 2021


I did forget about dogs eating plants and I shouldn't have as eldest girl has a 1yr old Doberman cross that eats everything. Funnily enough she doesn't chew anything in our garden when they come here. Dog that is not daughter!

17 Apr, 2021


There are some great plant ideas but I wonder if a lighter look might brighten it such as a stone statue. obelisk or bird bath in among the plantings. I also think if it were mine I would put thick mulch around the shrubs you decide on and then put a white bench looking this way with maybe a planter of ferns either end.

17 Apr, 2021


Seaburngirl, Ringo is my main problem, as a puppy, if it didn't move he put it in his mouth. Couldn't take my eyes off him. Actually just remembered that with Shadow, he was so bad that eat the berries from my mountain ash and ended up at vets that we had to remove the tree.

Drc726, that is a lovely idea. So far I have been leaving large bare areas in the front as it has really bad Horsetail in it. When I moved in nearly 6 yrs ago, it was covered in the horrible stuff. I've reduced it greatly but this is still my worst corner. I like the idea of some seating there to look out over the garden. Thank you.

17 Apr, 2021


You will get there Jen, I eventually got rid of Horsetail by hand weeding and removing every bit when ever I saw it.

17 Apr, 2021


I think Eileen has offered some lovely advice hasn’t she! I’m sure you’ll get there with that lovely corner area, Jen. It looks a pretty area of the garden already. Just take it easy though, don’t overdo it. x

18 Apr, 2021


Thank you DRC726, I'm doing the same. Hubby says it kills him laughing as he sees me on my knees, bottom up in air, digging a deep hole as I follow the root to try and dig out as much as possible ha ha. 8t is so much better then it was when I moved in but my neighbours have it as well and just let it grow so don't think I will ever totally get rid of it.

18 Apr, 2021


Thank you Kate, she did didn't she. Been looking them up deciding what I can buy lol. X

18 Apr, 2021


Its an exciting challenge. Love DRC's idea of a white statue or similar. You could just grow annuals from seed in the horsetail patch until you finally win? The old fashioned species hellebores will survive in very shady places and so will the species Iris foetidus which has rather muddy looking flowers but bright red berries. Arum maculatum variegatum is pretty all the year round and will flourish in quite deep shade and has bright red berries in autumn too.

19 Apr, 2021


Thank you Yorkslass, hubby got involved Haha, he ordered a few plants this weekend, he wanted to surprise me. Not sure about about a couple but his intention was good lol. I've been saying for a few years that I wanted to add choisya ternata Sundance for a few years so he ordered one, also a Helianthus Lemon Queen (we had seen one at a local garden centre planted out and he feel 8n love with it. I think it's too dark there for it but it's on it's way so we will see. He also ordered 2 Alstroemeria Lucinda for frontish. He tried to order some of Seaburngirl suggestions but they were out of stock on all 5he sites he looked so maybe have more luck next time we go to a garden centre.

20 Apr, 2021


Just had another thought - Dicentra eximia is very cottage garden. Lots of varieties but hard to find stockists, I can 't think why.(I've been hunting for one myself recently) Dicentra spectabilis is easier to find (and now has a different name), but the eximia flowers in summer.

20 Apr, 2021


Dicentra spectabilis is now Lamprocapnos spectabilis.
sent you a pm Jen

20 Apr, 2021


Thank you Yorkslass, see what you mean, just had a quick look myself and every site I looked at are sold out. Hope you manage to find it .

21 Apr, 2021


I found them in the end at Burncoose. They only had one variety but I grabbed three while the going was good...They are good sized plants, arrived in very good condition in pots and in flower. What's not to like (except the prices...)

27 Apr, 2021


So glad you managed to find some Yorkslass, this year, everywhere seems to be either low in stock or selling out very quickly. I have been looking at several different plants and so many sold out or found them in evening and when gone back to the website in morning, they are sold out.

28 Apr, 2021


our 'plant man in the layby' has struggled to get plants and he has said Brexit has been the main problem.

28 Apr, 2021


Seaburngirl, i know that David Austin has suspended sending Roses to EU saying it is due to Brexit. Think it all has been the perfect storm what with Brexit and the virus this last year.

28 Apr, 2021

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