The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Samjp

Staffordshire, West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

Hi All, I'm after some plant suggestions please for my moms garden (mine isn't anywhere near ready for plants yet lol). She has two main borders, both of which are quite narrow but widen out around a tree. The one border is south(ish) facing tends to get a lot of sun with a bit of shade later in the day from the trees. Previously I've planted things like echinacea, dianthus, phlox (still survives) astible (may be alive) and filled gaps with annuals. They all did quite well, survived winter and were growing strongly until the bluebells (of which there are hundreds) came up and smothered them. The garden looks lovely in spring with all the bluebells but then looks awful the rest of the year.

The other border is north (ish) facing part shade. The very end of the border has a couple of rhododendrons so I have used ericaceous soil here. Again it looks ok until the bluebells come up and crowd everything out.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. The soil tends to be on the drier side and is neutral. Whatever I go for needs to be reasonably low maintenance. None of my family are keen gardeners and since I don't live there any more I don't really have the time to look after it. I may suggest using a bark or gravel mulch, but I think bark will look better.



Neutral soil? Then for the shadier border, look at shrubs such as skimmias, camellias, sarcococca and hydrangea. Then consider polemonium, geranium macrorrhizum, brunnera, hosta, gillenia, heuchera, tiarella.
For the sunnier bed, what about abelia grandiflora for the late flower, geranium 'Rozanne', G. psilostemon, gillenia again, potentilla (shrubby and herbaceous), geum.
The list is huge, but I would work one off the other, overlapping varieties and genera for continuity through the garden. E.g gillenia might work in both borders, as will some of the hydrangea paniculata cultivars. Using the right plants for the right places, with GOOD cultivation and a thorough watering in will give the proper lasting result.

7 Jul, 2013


Worthy know his stuff, but I'd underline that Perennial geraniums survive with very little care. Most disappear in winter, and then will grow and spread out to cover the old bluebell leaves.

7 Jul, 2013


Thanks for the suggestions I appreciate it. Have either of you got any suggestions which could help me stop the bluebells strangling everything (give the plants a chance). There must be hundreds of bluebells in those borders. I took 2 carrier bags of bulbs out the other year - you couldn't tell in spring lol.

9 Jul, 2013

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?