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Plant suggestions?

Hi folks. I'm looking for any suggestions for a hardy perennial plant or plants (herbs would also be good, as would wild flowers if the seeds could be got) to create a narrow border around my lawn. The border is only around 8 inches wide. It may be asking for too much but the criteria is as follows; I'm looking for a plant which is long flowering, pretty to look at if at all possible, tolerant of wet conditions, hardy enough to survive a Scottish winter, not deep rooted and good for the Bees and Insects. To add to all of this I'm looking for something that doesn't grow too tall, 4-8 inches would be ideal as I'd rather not have to be climbing over a high border for access to the lawn. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


My bird photos HERE

  • HI Paul, some suggestions are old fashioned Pinks, they have a lovely scent and colour (deep wine), cornflower (blue), thrift (assorted), celosia (prince of Wales feathers) (assorted), gilia (lilac), dwarf red hot pokers (strawberry and cream), primulas (assorted), columbine (assorted). I went through my flower books. Just a thought, as you are getting into your garden, books by Dr. Hessayon are great. I have the flower arranger, flower and shrub, fruit and veg, tree, and container ones, They are easy to read and follow and are not very expensive. Quite hard to think of ones to fit all the criteria!! Hope this helps.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  •  Hi Paul, I've just added some saxifrage to our new border, and it could be ideal for a narrow space around your lawn, it forms such a cushion of colour, or maybe Phlox, that too is low and pretty sturdy, I'm sure you know both these plants but here is a quick photo anyway.

    Just took this quick photo, just ignore the uchera etc in the background!!

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Thanks ladies, your reply's are very much appreciated, I’ll have a more in depth look at all of your suggestions over the weekend. I hadn’t thought of those books Catlady, even though I have the one about rock gardens and water plants. Your border looks beautiful Gaynor, if mine turns out half as nice I’ll be very happy indeed.

    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to Paul A:

    Hi, Paul. I think you may have decided on the planting by now but I would go for a mixed border to get a good range of flowering options.

    If you feed your lawn or have a lot of birds feeding on the grass in the winter, then wildflowers and rock plants may not be the answer because they like low fertility in the soil. Having said that, some rock plants do stay neat and tidy for a long time, especially those suitable for troughs. I've just ordered a few for a container and Craigiehall Nursery in Lanarkshire has a good website with lots of advice.

    You might like to have a look at Shoot gardening website. You can use their search facility without joining. They may have changed it but I was able to use it for my last garden without having a paid membership.

    I think you might be better aiming for a successive flowering over a long season for the bees. I'd recommend Pulmonaria for early and prolonged flowering. I can't remember the variety I used but cutting back to the ground after flowering produced a silvery foliage during the summer. The bees love it. They stay neat for few years and are easily divided.

  • In reply to Grandmamac:

    If you want something to survive wet conditions than you don't really want rockery plants as they generally like free draining, unless you can dig out the soil & put some gravel in underneath. Some of the online garden suppliers (over here anyway) have a box ticking selection method where you can select soil type, conditions, size etc & they come up with a list of suitable plants. You could try that?

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Thanks ladies, as always, all advice is very much appreciated. We haven’t yet decided what plants are going to be used although I do realise that it’s probably a bit late this season for planting perennials to much effect. I’ll certainly try some of the online suppliers to see if they have a ‘whittling down’ process as you suggest Hazel. Our garden slopes a wee bit and at one particular part and can tend to flood slightly in heavy rain due to there being  a huge concrete slab around six inches or so under the surface. I can’t face the thought of finding out the extent of the slab, far less digging it out.!! I also didn’t know that there was a Nursery at Carnwath, Grandmamac. Carnwath is only around 20 minutes away from us.!! I’ve planted a few Phlox seeds in the greenhouse, and also a few Poached Egg plant seeds as well. It’s a start but I’ll keep on searching to see what else I can come up with. Thanks again for all of the advice, much appreciated.


    My bird photos HERE

  • Erigeron Karvinskianus is a superb, hardy little plant. Flowers prolifically for months on end, survives the wettest of weather and is loved by bees and beneficial insects. Very low growing and needs no maintenence.