The garden at our new house is smaller than the garden we left behind. There's a patio area, a grassed area and one small border. When we moved here the border was well stocked, however, on looking at the plants closer, they weren't what we wanted to remain in the border. There was a bamboo, known for being invasive, so that was hoicked out at the first opportunity, and there were various plants which are highly toxic to dogs. Archie's quite good and doesn't tend to nibble anything but grass, but we didn't want to take any chances so they were pulled up too. To be honest, I think that some of the plants, including the bamboo, had been grown in containers and perhaps planted out just before the previous owners moved out, as they came up really easily, and the rhizomes hadn't spread at all, thank goodness. It would have been a much harder job to make sure we'd got it all out if it were a mature plant.
So now we're planning a new border. It won't take many plants to fill it, especially leaving room for them to grow, but it's fun deciding what we want to plant anyway.
There's already a lovely hydrangea, not shown at its best here. It's a really deep pink, suggesting that our soil is alkaline. Hydrangeas actually change colour according to the pH level of the soil. The more alkaline the soil, the more pinker the flowers will be and the more acidic the soil, the bluer the flowers. White varieties of hydrangea don't change colour.
I gave up growing hostas in my old garden as they just ended up as slug fodder, even when I planted them in containers. Unfortunately, this one in my new garden looks to be going the same way, time will tell whether I keep it in the border or not but they're not very attractive with decimated leaves.
This wiegela was beautiful at the beginning of summer, it was covered in pink flowers, but it's not much to look at now. Is it worth keeping it for the short time it flowers, I'm not sure.
Of course, as well as growing plants in the border, we can fill some containers. I didn't bring very much with me from my old garden, even the blueberry bushes, which I grew in containers, were rehomed with Eleanor. The only things I brought with me were three rose bushes and a skimmia japonica. I used to have a cordyline quite a few years ago but it died, I suspect it had something to do with the fact that Eleanor tore all its leaves in half, longways! It ended up with twice the number of leaves it started with. Little monkey, she was only young then. I always liked it so I decided I'd get another to grow in a pot. When I saw some young specimens for sale in B&M I picked one up.
The garden is south-west facing and the border faces the house with a fence behind it. It gets a fair amount of sun and a fair amount of shade. If you have any suggestions of plants which might do well in these conditions, which work well in a mixed border and give plenty of colour I'd love to know. I'd like plants of different heights and some climbers to cover the fence too. Any ideas?