Garden Ideas

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

A simple, but effective ideas is shown in the first image : Santolina grouped around a stone. Santolina is an easy to grow small shrub which originates from the Mediterranean which means prefers a dry spot other than which Santolina is not fussy about the soil and 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  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

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

Grasses and late flower alliums

Planting Combinations

There are endless plant combinations depending on your preferences whether contrasting plants or colour themed. With plant combinations bear in mind, when putting ideas together, to check flowering times. Even between varieties of the same flower, the flowering time can greatly. For example, this image shows a combination of grasses with Allium. Generally, Allium are known as a spring flowering plant, but for this combination it is essential to pick a late summer flowering variety of Allium.

Take a look at these pages with various good planting combinations : Spring planting ideas  Summer planting ideas     Planting for Damp Shade and plants for Shade.

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 height 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.

Ideas for easy to grow climbing plants