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What makes a plant garden worthy?

Squirrel Avatar
Squirrel 16 471 7 England
18 Nov 2018 7:47PM
Evening everyone especially if you have a garden or have a love of gardening.
I am currently doing a project on trees, shrubs and perennial plants and I need your help.

What inspires you to put a certain plant in your garden?

When I am choosing plants for clients I have to consider site, soil and aspect. Along with any likes or dislikes they may have. I have one client who does not like the colour yellow. For some - the choice of plant may be an emotional connection "my grandmother had a honeysuckle by the back door and I could smell it from the bedroom window where I used to sleep when I stayed with her"

So when you are choosing for your patch of earth - What makes that plant deserving of a space in your border?
Let me know

regards Squirrel
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
18 Nov 2018 7:54PM
I see something i like at the garden centre and stick it in. If it lives, great. If it doesn't, I'll try something else next year.
sherlob Avatar
sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2018 8:16PM
For me its usually if I like it and its reasonably priced I'll give it a go. For the wife, the choosing seems more complex: likes/dislikes, memories, hardiness etc all play a role. We are both pretty hopeless gardeners so the plants need to be low maintenance!
JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2018 9:27PM
"deserving of a space in your border" - lots - flowers/scent/size(and time it takes to get there)/evergreen/hardyness/maintenance.
Along with what Chris say's, if it does well - result. Otherwise back to the drawing board.

I love gardening, spent 3-4 hours out there today. But for 'clients' i guess they want plant that look good in the fair weather.
KevinEllison Avatar
18 Nov 2018 9:29PM
Out of my juristiction, but I believe she goes for colour and potential scent primarily...Smile
Tianshi_angie Avatar
18 Nov 2018 10:29PM
I try to find plants that will give colour or interest year round, so at the moment there is winter flowering jasmine full of yellow flowers, grasses which have gone to seed and blow beautifully in the wind together with a pink Pampas grass which stands tall with a silver sheen to the bushy 'tails'. The hydrangeas are now going wonderful shades of mauve and rust, the berries on the holly are beginning to turn red and the 'fans' of the mahonia are beginning to burst into yellow. There is a winter flowering clematis full of buds waiting to burst. In the early spring there are crocus,daffodils, snowdrops, grape hyacinth, then the slightly later alliums. Wisteria and weigelia follow, and dainty lily of the valley. Aquilegia, Chincherinchee, Anemone, euphorbia, tree ferns, tree paeony, roses, tree lilies, pyracantha, poppies, more clematis - all follow giving what should be a great year of colour and interest - but it rains and snows and the wind blows and then there is a drought. So sometimes it works well!
brian1208 Avatar
brian1208 20 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2018 8:28AM
For us there are only a few criteria, mainly that it will thrive on neglect and provide colour + food for bees and attract other wildlife

We have a N and S aspect which adds another constraint but the major factor is that we never water our plants after they are established (15+ years now), we don't dig the garden (20+ years now) and they don't get fertilised or sprayed.

The few roses we have have to be blackspot resistant and other plants have to cope with close company without getting mildew or other diseases..

They are free to roam about the garden so often end up doing better when left to find their preferred slot after planting

Seems to work Smile

rear N facing plot


front S facing garden

keith selmes Avatar
keith selmes 19 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2018 12:33PM
There is indeed an emotional and personal connection with some plants, which were given to me.

Apart from that, I mainly like plants that like my garden. That is, ones that will grow easily there and not need too much attention. For example, a few wild picked bluebell seeds did very well and established themselves a couple of healthy patches. A handful of geraniums, the wild pink sort, from a friend's garden would take over everywhere if allowed. I noticed Montbretia "escapees" growing happily in country lanes, so bought some bulbs, and they have done very well.

Also it's good to have plants that are well liked by bees etc. There's the pleasant humming activity in the summer, and photo ops.

Not too pleased with annuals, unless they can reseed themselves.
JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2018 12:41PM
A hassle free small evergreen shrub that seems to be doing rather well in tricky places for us is is winter box - an amazing scent from tiny white flowers in the winter, gradually growing into a tidy little shrub.
Squirrel Avatar
Squirrel 16 471 7 England
20 Nov 2018 8:48AM
Thank you all for your comments they are really interesting. Love the images too.
So another question

If you could only have one tree in your garden what would it be and why.

For me it would be a Prunus 'Amanagowa' - the flagpole cherry. A tall thin tulip shaped tree, with double pink flowers in spring with wonderful red and gold autumn colour.

regards Squirrel
JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2018 9:44AM
Tough question,
The spring beauty of a large tulip shaped flower on a magnolia and it large lush leaves afterwards.
Or the classical elegance and amazing reds in spring and autumn of an Acer.
Or the summer 'flowers' of a dogwood such as Miss Satomi.
Or the Autumn Berrys of a mature Mulberry tree - Not forgetting apples and crab apples.
Or the solid light trunk & winter green of a Eucalyptus with its rustling leaves

But i choose an Olive tree for its evergreen colour, open frame, its historic symbolism and potential for fruit.
keith selmes Avatar
keith selmes 19 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2018 10:01AM
In my small garden trees are difficult. But Holly self seeds and makes an excellent evergreen hedge and windbreak, and it gives you free Christmas decorations.
brian1208 Avatar
brian1208 20 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2018 4:02PM
If I had to pick one tree it would have to be my Acer palmatum dissectum 'Viridis' which is now over 50 years old. First grown as a small bonsai when we lived in Chester it travelled down with us to Dorset when I retired 20 years ago.

It was "liberated" in the garden and is now a wonderful miniature tree with a lovely mossy trunk and performs its magic rebirth every Spring (its the small green one on the left bottom between the purple acer and the Euonymus Fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’

User_Removed Avatar
User_Removed 18 4.3k 2 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2018 8:15PM
Any plant in my garden has to earn its place. I can't be doing with these showy but fleeting things, I'm thinking Iris here, beautiful for about two weeks in a year then they a tangle of floppy spikes that are just annoying.

I love the different Rowan (Sorbus) and am getting great pleasure from the Sorbus 'Pink Pagoda' I planted this year, a new and empty plot of a garden.
It has spring flowers, beautiful spring foliage, masses of pink berries and the most amazing autumn colour.
Crab Apples are another big favourite, a small tree, so great for a garden, but with great value and the Fieldfares love the Crab Apples.

I photograph wildlife so most of my plants are bee/butterfly/bird friendly, my Hostas are slug magnets but that's fine because they feed the Hedgehog and the Thrushes.

Squirrel Avatar
Squirrel 16 471 7 England
21 Nov 2018 8:58AM
Morning everyone.
Last question for you all.

If you were only allowed one climber and one shrub what would you choose and why?

regards Squirrel


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