Are you planting up a new garden and don’t know where to start? I would recommend garden shrubs as a starting point. By selecting more compact varieties, and those which are easier to prune and tame, you can make life easier for yourself! A garden which only includes bedding plants is a blaze of colour, yet is so much more difficult to maintain, and needs re-planting every year, whereas shrubs will last for 20 years or more.
It’s so easy to build a new garden, or fill gaps in an existing garden, when you buy small shrubs online! Thompson & Morgan are also offering an ‘instant garden’ range this year which offers large, chunky plants (and same size as garden centres) which will begin to fill borders from the moment they’re planted.
There are some fantastic evergreen shrubs for small gardens in this range, and those which offer something a little bit different in colour, form and fragrance!
I’d like to show off to you, Buddleja ‘Buzz’; the very first garden-friendly Buddleja! Buddleja are well-known as being easy to grow shrubs which attracts birds, bees and butterflies to the garden and now they will stay restrained; growing no more than 1.2m and without self-seeding everywhere they shouldn’t!
Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ is similar in that it’s a well-known shrub in miniature! Powerfully perfumed blooms, on rounded plants, which sit well at the front of the border or in decorative pots. An extremely long-lasting shrub too, plants will last well over 20 years! Cut some sprigs fort indoor winter vases too!
But, let’s not forget the fuchsia family, especially the hardy varieties which are little mini shrubs all of their own! Super hardy, branching and dripping with jewelled blooms throughout the summer. There’s almost a hardy fuchsia for every position too; from creeping ground cover to mid-sized bush or even robust hedging!
Why not try a new shrub in your garden this year and let us know how you get on?
I have recently moved to PenArth Marina, Cardiff and have a courtyard – by the river but reasonably sheltered. I have always gardened … But much larger.
I expect I will be container gardening now but do t know where to start.
I need some fruit and also perennials plants … Quite excited with the plants above …
Would be so grateful if you could advise
I will use large containers, and need the area to look attractive both from ground level and balcony.
I have also requested a catalogue … Not received yet
Hi Anne, thank you for your comment. Courtyards can make fabulous gardens as they tend to offer lovely sheltered conditions. There are so many plants that you can grow in containers – the choice is endless so you certainly won’t get bored.
As a starting point, I would suggest that you consider a few evergreen specimen shrubs to give you some winter colour and provide year round structure. Box topiary balls https://www.thompson-morgan.com/flowers/all-other-seeds-and-plants/shrubs-and-roses/buxus-sempervirens-large-plant/t57623TM and pyramids are superb for this, and look particularly effective in courtyards to give a touch of formality. Lavenders also make lovely courtyard specimens (if you have a hot sunny garden) and add some fragrance too.
Once you have this structure in place, you can really go wild! Opt for colourful annuals – petunias, begonias, fuchsias and pelargoniums are your new best friends. There are so many different cultivars of these plants that you can change your theme/ colours year on year.
There are plenty of fruit trees that you can grow in containers – our family apple trees are ideal https://www.thompson-morgan.com/fruit/fruit-trees/apple-and-pear-trees/family-apple-tree/dww3680TM . How about strawberries cascading from window boxes and flower pouches? And don’t forget that Blueberries are perfect for growing in containers too.
The great thing to remember with a courtyard garden is to maximise your vertical space. Cover your walls with window boxes, hanging baskets and flower pouches to create cascades of colour that will look fabulous from ground level or from your balcony.
I hope that this gives you a few ideas.
Best wishes and happy gardening
Hi. I just wanted to ask if you will b appearing on ideal world this year. I purchased lots of plants last year from Thompson & Morgan via them. Also enjoyed Michael’s advice and tips. Thank u
Hi Paula, thank you for your comment. We cannot confirm at the moment but We have lots of plans coming up so watch this space 🙂