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Hello I'm a novice gardener and am looking to create a simple boarder that will look good all year round


By Ssenava

Hello I'm a novice gardener and am looking to create a simple south west facing boarder that will look good all year round.

My problem is that its going to be up against the outside wall of my flat and I am a bit worried about roots damaging the wall.
Any suggestions for the best sort of plants I should use?
Many Thanks



Need a bit more info first - how long is the border and how deep from front to back? And what area of the country are you in?

27 Nov, 2011


Hi and welcome to Goy. You are spoilt for choice depending on your soil type and conditions - clay, acidic, full sun or shade etc
Heuchera, Skimmia, Pieris Japonica, will give you low growing interest, while the larger/taller shrubs such as middle height shrubs - Euonymus and Potentillas to the tall Photinia 'Red robin' will give a very different look. To be really interesting dont stick to all evergreen shrubs as some deciduous shrubs such as Cornus where the stems turn red after the leaves fall can look dramatic in winter.
If you go to the bottom of this page and click on a letter you will find lots of members have put their photos on and this will give you lots of ideas as to what can be achieved. Such as 'M' 'Mixed border' or 'H' for 'Heuchera' etc.

27 Nov, 2011


How about some herbaceous plants....Heleniums, Gailardia, Stokesia, Scabious, hardy Salvia, Agastache, Penstemons, Alchemilla, Leucanthemum, Coreopsis 'zagreb', Alstromaria etc etc

Interplant with spring bulbs (dwarf tulips, scented narcissi, crocus, iris) and winter flowering bedding such as Bellis, Pansies and Polys. Add a few Cineraria silver dust for year round foliage colour.

27 Nov, 2011


The only plants that I can think of that affect walls are large trees, bedding plants will not affect walls. None of the plants mentioned above will affect foundations.

27 Nov, 2011


Brilliant thank you for your help guys;) You've really given loads of some of the purple plants suggested.
That's a relief about roots not being a problem.

I think its going to be about 3metres wide by 1m deep and 1m tall (its under windows). I live in south london and have no idea about the soil;-/ I should imagine that its not very good quality as the area has been built on and re-buit on after various wars. It is just unloved grass at the moment.

It is on the edge of a large communal area of grass so should get a fair bit of sun.
Thanks again

27 Nov, 2011


Okay, if its only going to be a metre from front to back, it will be less easy to get a layered effect. Also, the height restriction of a metre knocks out quite a lot of plants. Some of the perennials mentioned will be okay, but bear in mind that most perennials disappear or die back in the winter. So, if you want something that looks good year round, stick mainly to small evergreen shrubs, such as Photinia 'Little Red Robin' (note the Little part, don't just buy Red Robin) Euonymus microphyllus, Lavender, Santolina, Euonymus 'Harlequin', Cistus corbariensis or C. Peggy Sammons, Yucca flaccida 'Golden Sword'. Skimmias will be about the right height and size, but do require acid conditions and most will not tolerate a lot of sun, although the variety 'Kew Green' is one that will. Deciduous shrubs that would be useful to mix in are Spirea Goldmound and the Potentilla fruticosa mentioned by Drc above. Ground cover plants which are perennial, but don't lose their leaves are useful too for covering the soil between - things like Campanula muralis, Ajuga reptans, Lamium Beacon Silver or White Nancy, and Helianthemum, though the latter do spread between 1 to 2 feet.
I used to live in South London - the soil there tends to be slightly alkaline on solid clay, but is sometimes neutral ph - if you find lumps of white chalk when digging, then you'll know its on the alkaline side.

27 Nov, 2011

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