Ask a Question forum: Help please!

Views: 150, Replies: 8 » Jump to the end
Maidenhead
pratt123
Jul 21, 2020 6:23 AM CST
Hey everyone - a total novice here when it comes to gardening and really struggling to see what we can do to brighten up our garden with some colour/flowers.

I'm attaching some pictures which may give an idea of the garden - looking for suggestions on what to plant in those planter boxes. There are three areas essentially - one long raised white box (as seen in the first pic with the box plants currently) then in the second picture, you can see the wooden one (floor level) and then the corner L shaped white raised box (which we were hoping to use as a herb corner but very much open to suggestions). The long white one in the first pic is around 3.5m long.

Please ignore the box plants and all the others you see now as we're very much open to discarding any starting afresh.

Many thanks in advance!
Thumb of 2020-07-21/pratt123/70d91e
Thumb of 2020-07-21/pratt123/7ea08d
Name: GERALD
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Hydroponics Greenhouse Region: Texas
Image
IntheHotofTexas
Jul 21, 2020 8:06 AM CST
What's your pleasure as to type and purpose? Flowers? Annuals, perennials. Bloom together or bloom all year. Or an ever-blooming type, like plumbago? Sweet smellers in the sitting areas? Want to be largely hands-off, or want to fiddle with it regularly?

Want to hide any of that wooden fence with tall plants or vines? Want to attract butterflies or hummingbirds? Want vegetables? Or herbs. Some large herbs next to seating, like rosemary, lets people sitting there brush a hand across the plant and release the aroma.

I think you may already have herbs, maybe rosemary and sage, in the L-shaped area, but they do not look healthy. Rosemary particularly can be a large, dense shrub that can be shaped. It may well be time to improve the soil. Nutrients leach out over time, and fertilizers can leave salts behind. It's not hard. There are many resources online about using good compost and amendments like perlite and virmiculite to create a robust, aerating and well-drained soil.

And how many hours of direct sun does each area get? That is critical to plant choices. I suspect many herbs will do fine in the light on L-shape, but some will get leggy with that much shade, as the sage has done. Is that Maidenhead, UK, or New Jersey?
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
Image
JBarstool
Jul 21, 2020 8:22 AM CST
Yup - answer the previous questions (especially sun) and people will be able to offer more informed advice.

That being said, if conditions allowed, I couldn't think of a better place to plant something like Clematis flammula Triternata Rubromarginata than the seating area on the fence. It's a genteel clematis with pretty, fairly long lasting flowers that smell lovely...almost marzipan-like. Doesn't grow rampantly and the foliage is fairly delicate.

I find myself most amusing.
Maidenhead
pratt123
Jul 21, 2020 8:40 AM CST
IntheHotofTexas said:What's your pleasure as to type and purpose? Flowers? Annuals, perennials. Bloom together or bloom all year. Or an ever-blooming type, like plumbago? Sweet smellers in the sitting areas? Want to be largely hands-off, or want to fiddle with it regularly?

Want to hide any of that wooden fence with tall plants or vines? Want to attract butterflies or hummingbirds? Want vegetables? Or herbs. Some large herbs next to seating, like rosemary, lets people sitting there brush a hand across the plant and release the aroma.

I think you may already have herbs, maybe rosemary and sage, in the L-shaped area, but they do not look healthy. Rosemary particularly can be a large, dense shrub that can be shaped. It may well be time to improve the soil. Nutrients leach out over time, and fertilizers can leave salts behind. It's not hard. There are many resources online about using good compost and amendments like perlite and virmiculite to create a robust, aerating and well-drained soil.

And how many hours of direct sun does each area get? That is critical to plant choices. I suspect many herbs will do fine in the light on L-shape, but some will get leggy with that much shade, as the sage has done. Is that Maidenhead, UK, or New Jersey?


Hey, thanks for taking the time our for a detailed response. It's Maidenhead UK, so at the liberty of the weather Gods for sun here in the UK!

With regards to the number of hours, I'd say an average of 5 hours/day over the summer. The L shaped bit gets the least sun in a day though, so perhaps 2/3.

The herbs we've got there currently are mint and rosemary - you're right, they don't look particularly healthy, so will probably get rid of them and plant something else.

Looking ideally for something low maintenance, so hands off, and main aim is to try and infuse some colour and life into the garden. Got a little 2 year old girl, so would love for her to get involved, smell the flowers etc., so something vibrant and aromatic would be ideal, especially around the seating areas.

With regards to the rest (i.e. herbs/vegetables/attract butterflies etc.), pretty neutral in all honesty. Preference is low maintenance, colourful flowers/vibrant, aromatic, and anything else from the above would be a bonus.

Sorry if I sound too naive!

Appreciate the help.

Name: GERALD
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Hydroponics Greenhouse Region: Texas
Image
IntheHotofTexas
Jul 21, 2020 1:45 PM CST
My rosemary grows as large dense bushes, and it's definitely in the partial sun situation. It gets no sun until the sun tops a hug old oak tree to the east late in the morning, and there's a garage twelve feet to the west that shades it mid afternoon. Mint definitely handles partial shade. You're zone 8, as we are, although we get much hotter. You can probably grow just about anything that doesn't rigidly require full sun.

I make use of plumbago which does nicely and survives brief freezes. It's evergreen and blooms continuously in a beautiful blue.

We use crossvine and confederate jasmine (neither confederate nor actual jasmine, but Asian) to climb on wall and fences. Both are evergreen, and jasmine obviously smells nice. Both grow vigorously and do very will in Zone 8 and in part shade.

There are a lot of pretty roses suited to shade gardens. Note that the very popular Knockout roses have no real fragrance, if that matters. Gardenia will take mixed sun and shade days and do have real fragrance. For perennials in a shaded cutting garden, lilium, hibiscus, yellow foxglove, and ferns all come in infinite variety. Kids love to touch Woolly Lambs Ear. They're so tactile and will grow in part shade. It's an annual. There's no end of annuals available.

Probably nothing with berries, with a two-year-old around for a while.
Falls Church, VA
Irises Region: Mid-Atlantic Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator
Bookworm Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hellebores Peonies Roses
tantefrancine
Jul 24, 2020 11:36 AM CST
I would suggest one plant. Scented geraniums. Better plant it in a pot, so you can move it inside in Winter. The Rose Scented Geranium is wonderful, when you touch the leaves, they smell wonderful, they are even edible, so hit will not harm your daughter if she puts it in her mouth. It has flowers, but nothing to shout about. It is the scent that is very special about it. They have a lot of different scents, even chocolate sceented, but my favorite is the rose scented one.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Clematis Garden Photography
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies
Image
Calif_Sue
Jul 24, 2020 12:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

Here is our database for Pelargoniums which are often commonly called geraniums even though they are not true geraniums.
My gardening Blog!
Handmade quilts, face masks, new & vintage fabrics in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Instagram Sewing posts
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Butterflies Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Region: Mid-Atlantic Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Dog Lover
Image
sallyg
Jul 25, 2020 6:00 AM CST
Scented geranium (Pelargonium) is a nice idea.
Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) is really fun for kids, very soft and furry, perennial, but prone to mildew when the leaves stay wet too much.
Plectranthus amboinicus aka Mexican mint, is another furry leaf thing with scent, not so easy to mildew, can be green or variegated.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Maidenhead
pratt123
Jul 25, 2020 6:38 AM CST
Thanks all. Much appreciated. Any suggestions on what to put in the long raised bed as in this pic. With people say on the bench , this will be behind and ideally would like some scent and colour. Would the geraniums work there?
Thumb of 2020-07-25/pratt123/9fcc8b

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by skopjecollection and is called "Telekia speciosa"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.