10 inspiring plant ideas for a successful garden
It’s time to start writing down your plant ideas.
As the summer ends, make a note of things you’ve loved in your garden and other people’s. Use your notes and pictures to steer you through the autumn seed and bulb catalogues.
I find that scrolling through the photos on my phone is a good way to remind myself of gardening details. All my pro gardening friends tell me that keeping a record is the best way to make sure your garden looks its best next year.
These are some of my favourite plant ideas and combinations from 2016.
Grasses used in different ways
Grasses have been big for many years now. Designers are beginning to turn back to shrubs again. But grasses are a valuable part of the planting palette. In these pictures, they provide sculptural shape for the mid to late summer garden. They work well in pots, too.
I particularly loved the use of grasses at Heale Gardens in Wiltshire.
In the pictures above and below, grasses have been used in quite a formal way. Instead of clipped box around the tree, there are waving grasses, set in a neat square.
Using colour to link the house and garden
Some of the most inspiring plant ideas I’ve seen this year have been in front gardens. The owners have used the background of the house as part of the garden colour palette.
For more front garden ideas, see this post on ‘The best front garden ideas.’
Grow vibrant plants from seed
If you’re limited in how much space you have to grow from seed, then grow just one or two really striking plants to pop in the gaps. This year I grew red amaranth (love-lies-bleeding) and Cleome ‘Violet Queen’. They have both added a punch to the garden for a total outlay of less than £5.
Use self-seeders and spreaders
If you have neglected corners of the garden, fill them with self-seeders and spreaders. I’ve been given a few scraps of Phlomis russeliana by a friend and it has clumped up beautifully within one season. Sisyrinchium and crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ fill ups the gaps in my garden without any help from me.
This is a corner of Tom Croft’s garden. It’s being renovated gently and slowly, so self-seeders and spreaders are allowed to take over the wilder areas. See here for more about how this garden is being restored.
Many gardeners find fennel too invasive, but it has a wonderful structure and texture. I photographed this at Parham Gardens in Sussex. See here for more about the beautiful gardens at Parham.
Veg gardens in containers
I’ve seen some wonderful vegetables in containers this year.
For more about the Skip Garden, read the Doddington Place Gardens post here.
When I spotted some candy-pink echinacea at the Madrona Nursery, I thought they might be just too much. But they’ve attracted so many compliments and have added zing to the garden for months on end.
So what are your favourite plants and plant ideas? Do share them, and if you’ve enjoyed this, do share it using the buttons below – thank you!