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Cottage Garden: 'Filler Plant' Suggestions?

17 years ago


These photos are an area on the south side of my house that I've been tinkering around with throughout this past year as I became interested in gardening and landscape design. In general, I'm striving for a 'cottage garden' look: warm, welcoming, abundant, full, colorful. The problem with this section of the landscaping is that although there's a strong foundation presence (bones) with the various shrubs, there's not enough color to get the area to really POP! When I look at the area, I see an ocean of green, but I don't think the colors are really SINGING yet. It's almost there - I just need advice on tweaking it a little. Right now the contents are the following: 3 spruces, 3 burning bushes, 1 spire-shapes shrub, 1 hosta, 3 peonies, 1 silver mound, 2 silver choral bells, yellow asiatic lillies, pink impatiens, and 2 dark purple clematis vines on the trellises. I added the vines to function as a vertical element, which they do - but the dark purple flowers don't really stand out against the already dark background of the plant's foliage. One of the problem areas are the 3 peonies on the right side, which I have labeled in the next to last photograph. They didn't put out a very impressive show of blooms this year, although they managed to put out a lot of buds, and the some really healthy looking, lush foliage. It's possible that they need to be planted a little higher or maybe need to be divided. I'll do these things in the fall, but I've already decided to move them to a different section of my house. Anyway, the tentative solution that I came up with is to replace the 3 peonies with lavender coneflower perennials. And to help add more color vertically, I'm thinking about planting some sunflower seeds that will produce a variety of height plants to get a staggered look. I this will help 'fill-out' the area much better. In the last photograph I put together a quick simulation of what the area could potentially look like with the new plants. I'd love to get the feedback from my fellow gardeners on other possible solutions to brighten up this section. Any advice that you could kindly share with this novice (but eager to learn) gardener would be greatly appreciated:)

thanks so much! ~bobby

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Here is a link that might be useful: Need More Color

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