The Garden Border

For all you Gardeners out there, if you really want to bump up the appeal and dramatically improve your landscape, plant garden borders to accent your walkways, fences, lawns or paths. Garden borders can be a grounding element in the design that is relevant to the plants and grasses currently present in your yard. Not only are they pretty to look at, they anchor certain visual patterns and serve as a means for echoing color in the varieties of plants that are the highlights of your landscape.

The proper border should draw the eye across smaller plantings, gradually leading it across rhythmic patterns to taller grasses or plants; creating flow and visual interest.  An effective border can turn a merely lovely garden into one that is truly stunning.  

Below are some examples of different type of borders that you can incorporate into your own garden.

Add Visual Flavor

Herb borders are a popular choice for the home gardener. As a garden border, herbs are delicately pleasing to the eye and functional as well. Among the best performing plants in this capacity are thyme, lavender, sage, and oregano. Herbs do not grow to great heights, and they are extremely easy to maintain once they have established themselves making it easy for the not so serious gardener. Very little fertilizer is needed, and the majority of herbs do extremely well in moderate climates. With just a little watering, you have a definable border on the edge of your garden and a sumptuous selection of flavors to spice up dishes being prepared in your kitchen.


Sun-Loving Flair

For a much more bold approach to your garden border, consider using a plant that provides outstretching arms of color. Entire color schemes can be unified and complimented through creating borders with plants such as Gerbera Daisies and complimenting with the subtle pink and orange shades of the Nasturtium. The plants you choose are also ideal for repetition further back in the layout of the garden in order to provide consistency in the texture and palette of your design.


Soften Your Textures

Borders do not always have to be harsh and definitive lines that separate your plants from the grass surrounding them. It is often beautiful to have a type of subtle transition between the areas of your landscape or border. You can easily achieve this effect using warm colors when you plant a border composed of Fountain Grasses, Ogon grasses (Deschampsia), Aurea (flexuosa) and other ornamental grasses. Bright reds and oranges that can be found among these varieties allow the border to float in the visual plain while the colors resting in the center gently draw one into their various shades and delicate mixtures.


Ornamental Grasses, Image Source Better Homes and Gardens


Keep It Simple

Sometimes, the understated border (no more than three or four plantings) can be the one that is the most effective. Foliage and or color is a simple solution for defining certain areas of your landscape. The leaves and petals of larger flowering plants add depth to the appearance of your garden by creating multiple layers of visual intrigue. At its most effective, borders taking this approach allow each item of foliage to establish its own space along the garden’s edge. Gardeners should select their foliage based on subtle variation in texture, shape, and color.

So with a little bit of planning and patience.  You can dramatically turn up the appeal of your own landscape by simply adding a garden border.

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