Garden on a Roll Review: Is this Lazy Gardening?

Around 9 years ago I planted a Garden on a Roll and wrote the review below. At the time I was working a comprehensive garden makeover, and had worked with Homebase extensively using their products. One of them was the Garden on a Roll product, which was relatively new.

Since then, you can no longer buy through the DIY store, but direct from the Garden on a Roll company and website. In fact, at the time, I dealt direct with the company anyway – Homebase were almost a middle man to the service.

So, you can see what I wrote below, including the process of ordering, planting and maintenance of the product. I’ve updated the details to make them relevant to 2023, but if you find any errors please do let me know.

Courtesy of Garden on a Roll

Then go and take a look at the Garden on a Roll Update 1 Year On.

I would love to give you an update 9 years later but sadly we changed the garden again a few years ago and had to move many of the plants from their original position. Some of them do still exist in my garden though!


As you know I’m spending the summer working with Homebase on a makeover for my garden using their garden on a roll product.

After several years of neglect the garden was looking tired and unloved, and definitely needed an injection of new plants, colourful flowers and lots of hard work. I’ve written about the state of the garden, and also about my plans for a Mediterranean theme and so here’s where I start to show you how the garden transformation is taking shape.

Garden on a Roll Review 2014 – 2023

Lead by award winning designer Antony Henn the Garden on a Roll team of passionate horticulturists have been helping the first-time gardeners since 2010. Planting your dream, professionally designed garden border couldn’t be easier.

They have sold over 20,000 professionally designed borders, that include over 350,000 plants which is equivalent to 55 miles of continuous habitat supporting borders!

Homebase asked me if I would like to try out one of their newest products, the Garden on a Roll as part of the garden makeover.

Garden on a Roll is the ideal way to create the perfect border, and is a great way for novice or inexperienced gardeners like me to get a professional looking garden border.

Your chosen themed plants arrive in a box, along with a border layout map, some tools and a DVD with instructions. I couldn’t wait to give this a go.

How many different Garden on a Roll borders are there?

There are 8 different Garden on a Roll varieties to choose from including:

  1. Shady Garden
  2. Sunny Garden
  3. Wildlife Garden
  4. English Cottage Garden
  5. Evergreen Shady Garden
  6. Evergreen Sunny Garden
  7. Mediterranean Garden
  8. Sensory Garden

Which is the best Garden on a Roll border?

So this is going to depend on your border location. All of the border packs contain a great variety of plants all suited to your preferred location and style of garden.

If you have a sunny area, you can choose from:

  1. Sunny Garden Border
  2. Evergreen Sunny Border
  3. Mediterranean Garden Border
  4. Sensory Garden, and
  5. Wildlife Garden Border

If you have a shady border area, choose from:

  1. Shady Garden Border
  2. Evergreen Shady Garden

If you like a fragrant garden border, you should choose from:

  1. English Cottage Garden
  2. Sensory Garden

If you have a hot, dry border then choose:

  1. Mediterranean Garden Border

If you have a shady border that gets little sun, you’ll need to select:

  1. Shady Garden Border
  2. Evergreen Shady Garden Border

How to Order a Garden on a Roll border?

Firstly I needed to decide in which part of the garden I was going to create my border, and how big that area was. At the side of my gravelled ‘hot bed’ seemed the ideal spot, as it was nice and sunny and up against quite a bare fence that needed some covering.

The space was 5 metres long by 90cms wide which whilst being quite large, would provide some much needed interest in that part of the garden.

The Garden on a Roll product is available in many different types to suit your style of garden and the location of the border. For example you could choose from Shady, Sunny, Sensory, Evergreen Shady, Evergreen Sunny, Wildlife, English Cottage, and Mediterranean.

For me, of course the choice was straightforward and I went for the Mediterranean border to fit with the garden makeover theme.

How long does Garden on a Roll take to deliver?

Delivery of your Garden on a Roll border is within 7-10 days. The team creates your border and prints your plan after your order to ensure you have the most accurate details for planting.

How do Garden on a Roll Plants Arrive?

So the box of plants arrived on the day we arranged, ready to be planted over the next few days.

Garden on a roll review of a Mediterranean garden border selection of plants in a box

What’s included in Garden on a Roll?

Here’s what was included in my Mediterranean Garden on a Roll border:

  • 23 plants (a selection of Hebes, Phormiums, Lavender, Bottle Brush, Cordelines and lots more)
  • Biodegradable garden plan and pegs
  • Gardening trowel
  • Instructional DVD
  • Packets of veg and flowers seeds
  • Selection of plant food
  • Written instructions and guide

And so we created and prepared the border area, digging it over really well, adding some edging and some topsoil too to enrich the soil. That was the hard bit to be honest and now we were ready to put in the plants.

Garden on a Roll border in a garden dug and empty
Garden on a Roll review selection of plants placed on a patio against a brick wall

 

How to Plant a Garden on a Roll Border

So it’s really simple to create the border once the area is prepared.

  1. Layout the biodegradable paper plan and put in the pegs to secure it.
  2. Take the labelled plants and place them in their correct spot according to the key
  3. For each plant, cut a hole in the paper
  4. Add some water and fertiliser and plant
  5. Once all the plants are in, cover the paper with a layer of topsoil
  6. Water well.

This video shows you in more detail how it all works:

YouTube video

And this is how it looked when we did it:

Garden on a roll border prepared with the planting scheme near a fence and behind some gravel
Garden on a Roll plants laid out on the planting scheme paper before being planted
Garden on a Roll lavendar plants close up shot
Garden on a Roll preparing the biodegradable planting plan

What’s the best time to plant Garden on a Roll?

You’ll need to plant your Garden on a Roll plants as quickly as possible after delivery to ensure great results, so ensure you have time once you’ve arranged a delivery date.

Once they’re planted, water really well for a few weeks and then at least 3 times a week after that. It’s been really hot here so some days I’ve watered twice to keep the plants looking healthy.

Fingers crossed they all seem to be doing really well and many are now flowering and have grown lots.

Garden on a roll mediterranean border plants just after planting on a sunny day, next to a fence
Garden on a Roll

Garden on a Roll plant lists:

Shady Garden:

The Shady Garden o a Roll selection includes a selection of plants from the following list-

  1. Anemone
  2. Aucuba
  3. Bergenia
  4. Campanula
  5. Chiosya
  6. Cotoneaster
  7. Euonymus
  8. Fatsia
  9. Fern
  10. Fuchsia
  11. Helleborus
  12. Heuchera
  13. Hydrangea
  14. Leycesteria
  15. Lonicera
  16. Mahonia
  17. Skimmia
  18. Spiraea
  19. Viburnum

Sunny Garden:

A selection of pretty plants from the Garden on a Roll sunny plant scheme
Courtesy of Garden on a Roll

The Sunny Garden on a Roll border can include some or many of the following plants-

  1. Agapanthus
  2. Ceanothus
  3. Choisya
  4. Cistus
  5. Coreopsis
  6. Deutzia
  7. Erysimum
  8. Escallonia
  9. Hebe
  10. Helenium
  11. Heuchera
  12. Lavender
  13. Nepeta
  14. Penstemon
  15. Philadelphus
  16. Phormuim
  17. Potentilla,
  18. Rudbeckia

Evergreen Shady:

An Evergreen Shady Garden on a Roll border may include some of the following:

  1. Anemone
  2. Aucuba
  3. Bergenia
  4. Carex
  5. Choisya
  6. Cotoneaster
  7. Erica
  8. Escallonia
  9. Euonymus
  10. Fatsia
  11. Geum
  12. Hebe
  13. Heuchera
  14. Penstemon
  15. Phormium
  16. Photinia
  17. Viburnum

Evergreen Sunny:

The Evergreen Sunny Garden on a Roll includes a selection from the following-

  1. Anemone
  2. Aucuba
  3. Bergenia
  4. Carex
  5. Choisya
  6. Cotoneaster
  7. Erica
  8. Escallonia
  9. Euonymus
  10. Fatsia
  11. Geum
  12. Hebe
  13. Heuchera
  14. Penstemon
  15. Phormium
  16. Photinia
  17. Viburnum

Mediterranean:

The Mediterranean Garden on a Roll includes plants from the following list-

  1. Artemisia
  2. Callistemon
  3. Carex
  4. Ceanothus
  5. Cistus
  6. Cordyline
  7. Cytisus
  8. Festuca
  9. Gallardia
  10. Helianthemum
  11. Kniphofia
  12. Lavender
  13. leptospermum
  14. Olearia
  15. Phormium
  16. Rosemary
  17. Uncinia
  18. Verbena

Wildlife Garden:

The Wildlife Garden on a Roll (the one I’d choose tomorrow if I could!) includes some of the following plants:

  1. Aste
  2. Buddleja
  3. Campanula
  4. Ceanothus
  5. Coreopsis
  6. Erysimum
  7. Escallonia
  8. Geranium
  9. Hebe
  10. Helenium
  11. Hellebores
  12. Lavender
  13. Ligustrum
  14. Nepeta
  15. Penstemon
  16. Rosemary
  17. Salvia
  18. Scabiousa
  19. Weigela

English Country:

The English Country Garden on a Roll contains some or all from this selection of plants:

  1. Achillea
  2. Buddleja
  3. Ceanothus
  4. Cistus
  5. Cotoneaster
  6. Echinacea
  7. Hebe
  8. Helenium
  9. Lavatera
  10. Lavender
  11. Lychnis
  12. Penstemon
  13. Perovskia
  14. Potentilla
  15. Rosemary
  16. Rudbeckia
  17. Salvia
  18. Stachys
  19. Verbena

Sensory Garden:

Image from Garden on a Roll

The Sensory Garden on a Roll includes a selection of plants from the following list-

  1. Achillea
  2. Bay
  3. Buddleja
  4. Choisya
  5. Fennel
  6. Gallardia
  7. Grasses
  8. Lavender
  9. Marjoram
  10. Rosemary
  11. Sage
  12. Santolina
  13. Thymes

Is Garden on a Roll Worth it?

I can’t tell you how great a product this is. What a fantastic idea and why has it taken so long for me to discover the garden on a roll!

For a novice or inexperienced gardener like me this is the ideal way to create a lovely, professional looking border.

Like many people I can choose a plant, based on the plant information and what I like the look of, but laying them out in the right way so those at the back have height and those at the front are smaller takes skill and experience which I just don’t have.

I love that the DVD is included with lots more information on how to plant and look after the border. The seeds were a bonus for the children and we’re using them in another part of the garden.

If I was going to add anything to the product I would love a detailed list of the provided plants and a care guide, particularly telling me when to prune them would be fantastic. I think this is something I’m going to put together myself for ongoing care.

How much does Garden on a Roll cost?

A Garden on a Roll border starts at £75 for 2m x 40cms border of plants. The cost increases as per the size of your border. The larger the border the more plants are required.

Garden on a roll

All of the details in this post are correct at the time of updating – April 2023. Our Garden on a Roll survived beautifully in the garden for several years until a more recent makeover, when many of the plants were redistributed. The sunny position meant the plants thrived and grew well for many years.


If you enjoy this post, why not look at the others in this series:

Garden on a Roll 1 Year Update


Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

Find me on: Web

23 Comments

  1. Amanda
    August 21, 2013 / 12:22 pm

    I can’t tell how impressed I am with this system, such a clever idea. The plants do you look good value for money, can’t wait to see what it looks like now after a few weeks…. Are you covering it with gravel, or mulch?

    • Jen
      Author
      August 21, 2013 / 1:24 pm

      Thanks Amanda, it’s really come on since I took these photos actually. At the moment we’ve left it as is, but may consider gravel to ensure the weeds don’t come through.

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  3. becky
    August 21, 2013 / 3:28 pm

    What an anmazingly useful product!

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 10:43 am

      Thanks Becky, I agree, so useful!

  4. Patricia Smith
    August 21, 2013 / 7:30 pm

    What a clever idea. Good selection of plants. Can’t wait to see the finished make-over.

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 5:14 pm

      Thanks! Yes, I’ve been really impressed with the variety of the plants.

  5. Mammasaurus
    August 22, 2013 / 9:59 am

    Oh I love this idea of having plants and being told where to plant them – my weakness is knowing where to put things. Garden on a roll is fab!

    Thanks for sharing Jen x

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 10:42 am

      Thanks Annie, and thanks for sharing too. It’s great isn’t it?!

  6. jane at the flight platform
    August 22, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    oh i hear you! asa novice gardener i am about to completly dig out what i thought was a finished bed as plants have grown too big in a year and tall plants dwarf smaller ones and ….its endless the mistakes i have made! But i have to say i kind of like my own learning curve and love the journey…although i am impressed with the idea i don’t think it would be for me as i would feel the journey had been taken from me! Does that sound mad…like i am wanting extra work! But i suppose in a way i am saying that! The top of my garden that’s been a huge project is getting almost past stage 1 now (leveliing,clearing, building walls) and i had a real moment of panic about ‘getting there’ almost as if if it were done what then? having said all that i cant wait to see it develop!! Lovely to find you via the linkup…now following xx

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Jane, I totally get where you’re coming from and I think I’ve been there too. I spent years selecting plants that I loved, learning about them and watching them grow. if they were in the wrong place it didn’t matter. I guess this product is ideal for those that don’t want to do that, and after years of getting it wrong I’m excited to see how this turns out. I’ll need to do a follow up next summer 😉 Thanks for the follow.

  7. Jean (notsupermum)
    August 22, 2013 / 1:24 pm

    What a brilliant idea! I love that garden on a roll, ingenious!

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks Jean, couldn’t agree more!

  8. Faded Seaside Mama
    August 22, 2013 / 1:35 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Even in their immature state, it looks so professional already. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this either – I have no idea when it comes to plants and just coo over ones I like the look of but never have the courage to buy them. I look forward to seeing the finished results of your garden.

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 5:18 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I’m really excited to see how it looks when everything fills out a bit. Thanks for popping over 🙂

  9. Heather
    August 22, 2013 / 2:28 pm

    looks great 🙂 I love garden and house plans on paper – could marvel at them for hours. Love the mix of spikey grasses and softer textures in the herbs too, will be beautiful when they take off and start to reach out to one another.

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 5:19 pm

      Thanks Heather, yes it looks like a really good mix – hope they all survive the winter!

  10. Claudia
    August 22, 2013 / 5:03 pm

    this is impressive!! you are on a mission and it is looking great already!

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks Claudia, I must say, mission almost complete 😉

  11. KarenAnita
    August 22, 2013 / 5:19 pm

    What an incredible idea!
    I have absolutely no clue as to what makes a good garden so something like this would be ideal! Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely going to look into this when it comes to re-vamping mine! x

    • Jen
      Author
      August 22, 2013 / 6:22 pm

      Good luck for your revamping! I’ve loved doing mine 🙂

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  13. Alexander Residence
    August 29, 2013 / 8:42 am

    How amazing is this!! I rely on my Dad for this stuff but we always end up a little lop sided. I am really thinking about using this for the border I am planning for the empty side of my garden. Great review!

    • Jen
      Author
      August 29, 2013 / 10:14 am

      Thanks Penny. It’s a great product and has really changed in the short time it’s been in. Can’t wait to see how it develops next summer!

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  16. michelle
    April 15, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    hiya this looks amazing.dont suppose you could tell me the names of the flowes you got in this pack could you? 🙂

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