I’m still mulling over the plan for our garden, it’s been a work in progress since we moved here in February, I’ve been distracted by other goings-on, but I’m almost there. The garden measures 20 x 12m, some areas just need a few extra plants but there are a couple of new borders to be made from scratch.
Deciding what to plant isn’t easy, there are so many tempting options that have to be narrowed down, so here’s my quick and easy guide to planting a border.
1. Choose shrubs to make a main frame-work for the border that’ll give substance all year round, include a few evergreens if possible. Hurrah if you already have mature shrubs, but if you’re planting new, young shrubs you can fill in the space around them with herbaceous plants, geraniums are good.
Neatly trimmed box balls make a good frame-work in small spaces, small evergreen Hebes work well too. At the back are lupins, iris and ma magus, the plant with pink flowers at the front is Persicaria affinis Superba, a pretty little plant that grows well in moist, well drained soil.
2. Fill in-between with herbaceous plants, these mostly die-back in winter but come back the following spring, so the scene is always changing.
3. Plant bulbs in between these to herald spring before the herbaceous plants grow back, crocus and narcissus tete a tete are perfect for small areas, plant tulips if you have more space. Allow enough space for the leaves, these can take up quite a bit of room.
5. Scale the number of plants up or down depending on how big the border is, and add some tall plants for height and contrast.
Keep it simple and don’t be tempted to use lots of different plants, groups of 3 or 5 look better than one of each.
That’s all pretty straightforward isn’t it, any tips you’d like to add?
Have a look at my article about Great Dixter garden for Into Gardens here, it’s one of the top gardens in the country.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos Jill Anderson