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Suggestions for shrubs wanted

Annie1960
Annie1960 Posts: 3,003 Forumite
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I'd like to plant a few shrubs in a small raised bed on the front drive. The purpose is to screen the pipes and drain from the kitchen. Ideally they'll be about 3-4 ft tall. Evergreen would be good. Bonus points if they also have some flowers or berries or colour of some sort. South facing, Hertfordshire so fairly chalky soil.

Suggestions?

Comments

  • goldfinches
    goldfinches Posts: 2,091 Forumite
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    I had a look at this list of plants for chalky soil on the RHS website and there are some lovely possibilities there Chalky soils: plants for / RHS Gardening.
    Personally, as I love blue/purple flowers and blue/green or silver foliage I'd choose something like a dark blue flowered  ceanothus, a delphinium or two, lots of campanulas, a bay tree, ivy, honeysuckle, jasmine, agapanthus, potentillas, a cardoon for fun, iris, hyacinth, scillas, veronica, viola, foxgloves, lavender, and then the bed would probably burst at the seams.
    But, seriously, there are some lovely and easily obtainable plants, shrubs and trees on that list as well as some very special and probably expensive ones. Can you narrow it down a bit by giving a colour palette preference?

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  • Annie1960
    Annie1960 Posts: 3,003 Forumite
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    edited 13 August 2021 at 4:27PM
    Wow, what a list! I will definitely include a bay tree, I have one growing g in a pot at the moment and could use that.

    I hadn't thought about a colour palette. I'm open to suggestions.
  • Annie1960
    Annie1960 Posts: 3,003 Forumite
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    I've had a more detailed look at the bay tree, and it will grow much too big if I plant it in the ground. It's better staying in a pot. I'll take another look at some if your other suggestions to see if they will stop growing at 3 or 4 feet.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,515 Forumite
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    Bay trees can grow enormous if you don't confine the roots. If you're good at aftercare you can sink a pot in the soil. I indulged in a conical one that doubles up as an outdoor Christmas tree with lights in the winter. Much easier to prune.
    Just been looking at Abelia which flowers late. Takes a while to grow and needs trimming back.
    I doubt you'll find an evergreen shrub that just grows perfectly to size you want without some manipulation.
    You need to think how you can control the situation to suit your needs and maybe replace after a few years.

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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,925 Forumite
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    I would disagree with planting ivy - depending on the type perhaps but it can be a real thug which may quickly be heading in an upper window and rooting itself into your brick work.

    Lavender would be great - particularly if you are going to have an open window nearby.  The scent after rain is sensational and, added bonus, bees absolutely love it.

    That with some foxgloves and hollyhocks for some different colour and seasonal variation would be great.
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  • Annie1960
    Annie1960 Posts: 3,003 Forumite
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    Brie said:
    I would disagree with planting ivy - depending on the type perhaps but it can be a real thug which may quickly be heading in an upper window and rooting itself into your brick work.

    Lavender would be great - particularly if you are going to have an open window nearby.  The scent after rain is sensational and, added bonus, bees absolutely love it.

    That with some foxgloves and hollyhocks for some different colour and seasonal variation would be great.
    I certainly won't be planting ivy - there is more than enough of this coming from neighbour over back fence!

    I've just had the driveway done with a new bed, so won't be using pots. The purpose of the bed us to screen the pipes coming out of the kitchen.

    In a previous back garden I had Hyperium Hidcote St John's Wort, which was probably about the right size. It doesn't grow too big even after many years. I might try that again.

    The idea of planting separate plants for colour is a good one. I might try under planting with some bulbs. I will take another look through the list above, but am still open to ideas if anyone has done something similar.
  • Sky_
    Sky_ Posts: 605 Forumite
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    Ceanothus is gorgeous when in flower, is easy to grow and is usually evergreen.  They can be large shrubs, but the variety 'blue cushion', for example, grows to around 1m tall.

    There are lots of other 'large' shrubs that have new, smaller varieties, such as some of the new buddleia varieties, so it really depends on your personal preference

    Bulbs are a good idea too and would look lovely under the right shrubs.
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  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,553 Forumite
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    russian sage (perovska) , euonymous (assorted), lavender, rosemary, small buddleia 
  • I'd go for one of the shorter Pittosporum variety, evergreen, easily pruned, but foliage attraction more than flower and berry.
    Possibly one of the Hebe variety too.
    Maybe some of the dwarf conifers.
    Quite a lot of choice open to you but most not giving much flower attraction.


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