Filling Large Borders

Hi there,  
i';ve got a good sized front and back garden while not being much of a gardener. i get points for being a enthusiastic amateur. 

I've got 2 massive 5ft, 40ft long wide borders in the back garden, bought some cheap perennial pugs a couple of years ago and some of them did really well but most of the ones in the back garden died, due to being trampled by dogs that have no respect for baby plants! 

If im honest with the rest of the boarders and the front garden im finding the size of both garden's abit to much to manage with my limited gardening skill it seems to be a never ending job to keep on top of it all.  

Because of the size of the borders i was thinking rather than getting lots of small/medium perenials that require the borders to be weeded heavily on a weekly basis's  it might make life easier if i got some big shrubs... something that would quickly fill out and take up a good chunk of the space and wouldn't need weeding as much. 

Is this a good idea? Anyone got any recommendations of ones that would do well, something which flowers and will add some colour?  One border has full sun most of the day, the other is very shady but does get some early morning sun. 

  • May 2021 Grocery Challenge :  £198.72 spent / £300 Budget
  • June 2021 Grocery challenge : £354.19 spent / £300 Budget

Comments

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,608
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    What type pf soil do you have?
    Acid, neutral, alkaline
    Heavy clay, sandy, light freedraining .
    Are there any gardens that open to the public in your area? A visit to them could give you ideas.
    Your local garden centre can also help by advising what grows  well in your area.
    Depending on the above you could look at some common ones e'g. flowering current, forsythia, lilac, weigelia, deutzia, buddleia, cotinus. Some of these have different varieties.
  • Happy_Sloth
    Happy_Sloth Posts: 316
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    sheramber said:
    What type pf soil do you have?
    Acid, neutral, alkaline
    Heavy clay, sandy, light freedraining .
    Are there any gardens that open to the public in your area? A visit to them could give you ideas.
    Your local garden centre can also help by advising what grows  well in your area.
    Depending on the above you could look at some common ones e'g. flowering current, forsythia, lilac, weigelia, deutzia, buddleia, cotinus. Some of these have different varieties.
    i have no idea what type of soil in terms of acidity,  however the soil is free draining and it's been well fertilised, i've been told my a gardener who helped me initially get it under control that the soil is exceptional quality it's clearly been loved.   We have peony's and roses that do very well. 
    • May 2021 Grocery Challenge :  £198.72 spent / £300 Budget
    • June 2021 Grocery challenge : £354.19 spent / £300 Budget
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,221
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    A few others to look at : hebe, cotoneaster, berberis (not sure if prickles + dog are good or bad), dogwood
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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,287
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    You want mostly things that will retain their leaves in winter and different colours/shades of foliage to give you year round colour.
    I've just started a new garden and the Ceanothus £3 from Morrisons is not 6ft and covered in flower. You can trim it as it grows to get the shape and size you want.  Same goes for Tree Heathers, the one Exeter has fragrant flowers. Broom gives great flowering.
    Smaller for the front or in between Heuchra comes in lots of leaf colours and grows quickly into mounds.
    I've found Lemon Balm to grow quickly, along with some other herbs like Chives and Garlic Chives which bloom at differnt times.
    Shrub roses need very little maintenance, get good ones. Supermarket ones don't spring into action fast.
    Both this garden and my last were largely plants grown close so there is minium weeding.
    Right now the prices are high because everyone is gardening. Keep your eye out for roadside stalls, quite a few springing up, and plants in cheaper shops.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,608
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    you can buy a soil testing kit quite cheaply.
     Unless you stick to plants that are not fussy about soil type then you need to know what you have. There  is no point in growing plants that need an acid soil in an alkaline soil as they will not thrive and probably will die.
    Similarly plants that need an alkaline soil will not do well in an acid soil.
    The plant label will tell you what soil type they need.
    Have a wander round a garden centre ot two or three and see what appeals to you.

     

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