Great Garden Plants – A Quickstart Guide

Is your garden feeling a bit lacklustre and in need of some interesting and colourful new focal points? A simple, effective and satisfying way of giving your garden an instant makeover is to introduce some new garden plants!

With so many to choose from, it can be daunting to know where to begin. Which is why we thought we\’d cover some of the most popular garden plants. Giving you a lowdown on their various benefits.


Rhododendrons come in a vast array of eye-arresting hues and are sure to put on an excellent display of flowers at the onset of summer. Deciduous types of rhododendrons are great also for adding colour and beauty to your garden during the autumnal months of the year.

Rhododendrons fare well in neutral to acidic soil and will also benefit from being placed in a sheltered area with either full sun or some shade. You should try to rely on rainwater as much as possible for hydration; tap water carries the risk of carrying too much calcium.


Whilst being similar to rhododendrons and indeed belonging to the same genus, there are some crucial differences between azaleas and rhododendrons that you should be aware of. Azaleas are all evergreen whilst rhododendrons can be deciduous. The leaves of azalea plants are thinner, have more stems, and the flowers have less stamen when compared to rhododendrons.

There are plenty of colours to choose from, and azaleas will thrive in beds, pots, and woodland borders. In terms of soil, azaleas like neutral to acidic moist soil and, similar to rhododendrons, prefer rainwater to tap water. It won\’t really be necessary to prune your azalea but deadheading will definitely enhance appearance and encourage sustained blooming.


Looking to introduce some hedging to your outdoor space? Creating a hedge using laurel is a great way to introduce some privacy whilst retaining a natural aesthetic that a fence just wouldn\’t have. Laurel is versatile, it grows well in both sunny and shaded conditions making it ideal for different locations in all types of gardens.

This type of hedging plant has a preference for well-drained soil and, whilst resilient to drought, Laurel may require a spot of watering during dryer spells.


Available in a variety of types of colours, potentillas are vibrant, visually arresting plants that are perfect for decorating garden borders. Potentillas flower from spring to autumn, hitting their peak during the summer months.

This type of plant will enjoy being in full sun or light shade, and requires moist soil. You can prune them to keep them at the desired size but, other than that, very little maintenance is required.


Hydrangeas come in an assortment of shapes, colours and sizes, affording you plenty of choice depending on your specific requirements and aesthetic desires. Some types of hydrangea have aromatic flowers, adding new sensory delights to your outdoor space. With so many options, hydrangeas are versatile plants suited to classical cottage settings and modern garden spaces alike.

Location wise, hydrangeas are suited to something in between sun and shade; too much of either should be avoided. Both alkaline and acidic soil types are suitable for growing hydrangeas but do be aware that soil pH can affect flower hue for some varieties.

Garden Plants at Hedgehogs Nursery

These are just a few of the most popular varieties of garden plants we\’ve covered here, to give you a brief primer for starting out. Leave a comment below if there\’s any types you\’d like us to cover in future blog posts. Check out our perfect selections for gardens as your quick start guide for a colourful garden.

Locally grown plants are the best for our gardens, and our nursery growing specialist ensures that only the very best quality plants are provided. Including bedding plants, garden shrubs, along with hedging, compost and various sundries / supplies.

For more information, or to contact us with any questions or queries, please head over to our garden plants page!