Garden Ideas

Plants always look good in the garden centres, but  more difficult is how to combine them to good effect in your own garden.  On this page and the linked pages are planting ideas and suggestions.  

Image left is simple but effective: Santolina grouped around a stone. Santolina easy to grow small shrub which originates from the mediterranean  which means it is only really happy in a dry spot with the advantage of not being fussy about the soil and it will grow on poor soil. Although a simple idea it looks great when just planted up with a large stone.

It can also be very effective to group the same plants together as in the centre image with ferns on mass.

In the image far right shows the effect of combining plants together. This is a lovely bright spring combination of Euonymus fortuneri 'Emerald 'n' Gold'  an easy to grow evergreen shrub which is combined with Aquilegia 'swan lavender',  a spring flowering herbaceous perennial. Front of the image and adding to the bright spring combination is a yellow rhododendron luteum, which is also scented . All are easy to grow plants which will really brighten up the border. 

In some gardens, repetition of the same plant can create a strong theme as in the middle image. Steps and paths can be softened by planting, Obelisks  can provide extra height. Gardening is all about personal preferences in terms of plant types and colour combination.  Roses are beautiful, but few of us have the time to devote to growing them and more practical solutions are needed. Below are further images and ideas with links to additional pages to help you pick what suits you and your garden best.

If you are interested in attracting wildlife into your garden check out the wildlife friendly page and also creating a sensory garden. 

Gardening along our shoreline presents some particular challenges in terms of plant selection and  this link will show ideas for plants suitable for a sea side garden

See also Spring planting ideas  Summer planting ideas Planting for Damp Shade and plants for Shade.

Lavender path

How to create a lavender path

Lavender is lovely along a path. It softens the hard landscaping and the Lavender plant will naturally release it's scent when brushed against making it idea for paths.  There are many varieties of lavender with varying shades and in the right conditions it is easy to grow. Tips on how grow Lavender and create a lavender path

Ivy leaved toad flax on steps

Planting Combinations

There are endless plant combinations depending on your preferences whether contrasting plants or colour themed. These links are to pages with plant combinations ideas and the only matter to bear in mind when putting together ideas is to check flowering times. Even between varieties the flowering time can vary greatly. For example this link to Grasses shows some great combination of grasses with Allium. Generally Allium are known as a spring floweringplant but for this combination it is essential to pick a summer flowering variety of Allium.

Ivy leaved toad flax on steps

Plants for steps, and crevices

Steps and stones can look good with plants growing in crevices. If you have dry conditions, Erigeron ( below right) is ideal and once established self seeds wildly. In wetter. more shaded condition. the ivy leaves toad flax (image top right)  which is a common wild flower will establish itself in crevices and look very attractive.

This is also true of Thymus (image below) which being a  mediterranean  herb love it dry and stoney. Thyme is a traditional plant for growing in paths.


Climbing plants are ideal to cover fences, and to add hight trained up an obelisk and extra colour in the border. The image left is Passiflora caerulea an easy to grow climber. There are many " patio" Clematis suitable for growing up shorter a obelisk and I have several permanent obelisk set in the borders to add in climbing plants . For ideas on easy to grow climbing plants