Whilst I am a huge advocate for growing flowers from seed, there are simply some plants that you must not live without. A lot of the below can be grown for free from cuttings, or can be purchased from your local garden centre.
These are my top 5 recommended plants to include in a small garden:
1. Shrub Rose
As you can probably tell from the name of my business- I absolutely love roses. So I couldn't not have a rose in prime position. I highly recommend any rose from David Austin or Peter Beales. Roses have lovely scent and incredible flowers. They're easier to look after than you think- however, if you have a small space ensure you choose a shrub rose rather than a climbing or rambling rose (which are generally for climbing up houses, pergolas or structures. Shrub roses are compact and can be grown in borders, or in containers or pots.
Hydrangeas are brilliant for slightly shadier parts of the garden. Whilst they will grow in full sun, there is often that so much that will fill that space that its actually the shadier areas of the garden which are harder to find plants to thrive. There are lots of varieties of Hydrangea. I absolutely love growing Hydrangea Limelight which has the most gorgeous petals. Remember to leave the foliage heads on over Winter and cut back to new growth in Spring as the flower head protects the new growth from frost.
3. Box balls
I'm obsessed with Box balls- they add structure and have a deep intense green which is sometimes hard to find on foliage. However, plant with caution- these are expensive to buy fully sized and often succumb to box blight which can rapidly spread. I only bought small box balls in case they ever needed to go.
I love Philadelphus for its gorgeous white flowers in Spring. It looks wonderful with the tulips and daffodils. Philadelphus can grow quite large in the long run, but adding one to your garden is a good idea if you are starting from scratch.
I have a Weigela that is pink and pale yellow on the flower- it's super pretty and the bees and pollinators love it. It's important to have a range of annuals, perennials and shrubs and I'd recommend a Weigela if you're heading to the garden centre soon. They flower in late Spring into early Summer and are super easy to look after- bonus!
Feeling inspired? Before you rush out and buy plants:
- Do you have the right location? Enough sun? Too sunny?
-Is the soil well prepared before planting? It's not thick clay, or dry sand? Add organic matter to the soil (e.g compost) to break up the soil and to retain water and nutrients.
- When buying the plant check the roots before you buy. All good garden centres will be happy for you to take the pot off the base of the plant to check the roots. You don't want to roots to be rootbound (aka the roots have been growing and searching for food and nutrients but get 'pot bound' because they end up going round and round in circles.
Investing in good quality plants that you love is important, and I hope you have fun choosing!