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Knoll Gardens

Step 4 – Choosing and buying your plants

This stage can be the most fun.

Knowing what you want to achieve and the physical properties of your soil and site, use the lists below to help choose the plants you will need.

The Shop pages contain complete descriptions of our plants, almost all with accompanying pictures, and are arranged in A –Z order for ease of searching.

You can browse between the plant descriptions and the lists on this page as much as you like to get a feel for what you need.

How many plants will I need gives the recommended number of plants per square metre for individual plants across our range.

Plants vary in height according to the conditions they find themselves growing in, so our online catalogue gives a height range that we have found best suits each plant.

Putting plants together

This is always the most interesting part as there are so many possible combinations – much depending on personal likes and growing conditions. Using the online catalogue and the lists below will help give an idea of what is possible in a given situation.

As a general rule;

  1. The taller plants will look best towards the back of an area but you can vary this by using ‘see through’ plants like Stipa gigantea, Molinias or Panicums towards the front. This helps give a sense of depth.
  2. Create a sense of drama wherever possible by contrasting different shapes next to each other, such as an upright Panicum behind a rounded Pennisetum; or a rounded bushy miscanthus next to a tall, flat headed perennial like eupatorium.
  3. Don’t over complicate – keep it simple. If your area for example requires 20 plants try to choose 5 each of 4 varieties rather than 1 each of 20. For larger areas it can be useful to work in square metres, with one type of plant for each square metre of border.
  4. Don’t be afraid of repeating the same plant twice or more along a length of border. Repetition can create a sense of unity.
  5. Planting design is not about perfection, its about practicality. Borders evolve over time as plants grow together, so don’t be afraid of experimenting and making improvements; its fun and can be endlessly satisfying.

Plants for specific places

The following lists are our suggestions for which plants might go with which conditions.

Plants, like us, have two names – sometimes three, but always with the family or surname given first. In these lists, where a plant appears only with its surname it means any plant beginning with that name in the A-Z listing will be suitable for the purpose given.

FULL LIST

or

GRASSES FOR HOT DRY CONDITIONS

GRASSES FOR DRY SHADE

GRASSES FOR MOIST SHADE

GRASSES FOR SEASIDE GARDENS

FRONT OF BORDER GRASSES

FRONT OF BORDER PERENNIALS

GRASSES FOR DAMP CONDITIONS

GRASSES FOR WATERSIDE OR MARGINAL CONDITIONS

GRASSES NATIVE TO THE UK

GRASSES FOR THE NATURALISTIC STYLE

PERENNIALS FOR THE NATURALISTIC STYLE

GRASSES FOR THE SMALLER GARDEN

TALL STATEMENT GRASSES

TALL STATEMENT PERENNIALS

GRASSES FOR GRAVEL AND ULTRA DRY

CONTAINER GRASSES

CHARISMATIC COMBINATIONS

Eupatorium variegatum
Eupatorium variegatum

Some more ideas;

If you like the idea of a Gravel Garden take a look at our Gallery pages to see how we made ours here at Knoll together with a suggested list of suitable grasses.

Knoll is well known for our style of naturalistic planting, which in our interpretation at least, means long lasting, easy to look after, informally arranged groups of grasses and perennials.
The Decennium border is planted in this style so take a look at our Gallery pages to see how it looks and what plants we used.

Go to Step 5.