Show me your country garden borders.

edited April 2018 in Garden design
I have been living in my home with a south faced garden for 4 years now and for 7 years previous I had lived in a flat with the most dullest of communal gardens in the city.
Now I live just on the border of the countryside and its lovely to be out of the busy city of bristol, I am blessed with a good sized garden which has enabled me to create a vegeable garden, planted a cherry tree, a plum tree and some fruit bushes.

Point of my post is every year I have tried to create a country style border but I just never quite get it right, plus a few hurdles, (neighbour with 10 cats that have constant kittens and the garden is a cat potty and two large dogs who think my garden is a free for all)
I have previously planted lavender, gladioli, ox eye daisy, cosmos, the works but never happy with the result.
I like layered looks with some tall flowers to catch your eye but the placing of them I can' get right, I love the country look of pinks whites and blues and will probably continue with this colour theme.

Could you show me your country garden borders and how you design them?
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Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,626
    See if you can find pics of Lyn's garden - she has a lovely border with just those pastel colours. 
    My 'design process' is to start with a rough layout

    Then formalise the shape and add a few cheapy flowers - bulbs, seed packet dog ends, self seeders and divisions, to get a rough shape

    Then buy a few specific larger plants to make a backdrop

    Then photograph it at different times of year and fidget with it for a while, moving things, discarding things, adding things


    Until eventually I reach a point where I decide I don't like it at all

    And the redesign begins. 

    The lawn just has to go. And don't even talk about the increasingly wonky washing line. That bench has almost completely disappeared into the shrubs. The perovskia are way past their best and need to come out. The neighbour's fence is not even approximately vertical any more - I think the rose may be the only thing holding it up. Has anyone seen the clematis? It's in there somewhere...... 
    Flying...
    Or am I falling?
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Visit a few Yellow Book gardens and take notes!
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 739
    edited April 2018
    Cant find a decent pic of a border in full flower, lesson for this year! Can see bits and bobs on these though. There is a little, slightly raised border that you can just see on some of these which Ive been really pleased with how its matured, its the one with the pink Peonies. Its main ingredients are Peony Bowl of Beauty, alchemilla mollis, geranium (cant remember what it is, endressi maybe)a rosemary and Stinking Hellebore (hellebore Foetidus) for winter interest, then I usually dot in foxgloves and Verbena Bonaris for verticals, a few cottagey annuals and biennials, sweet william etc, and some Tulips for early colour. A few sedums and I scatter some poppy seeds for late summer colour. Lots of nice pinks and purples, and looks great especially when the peonies are full flow.


    forgot to add in the before pic... Here it is shortly after first planted up in April 2013, looked ok in first year with a few annuals to fill it out, by second year it was in full flow.



    I also have a couple of other borders next tot the willow fence on these below which I need to rejig a bit, but its very cottagey, Lupins, Delphiniums, allium, nepeta six hills giant, erysimum bowles mauve, peonies, foxgloves, hiollyhocks, all in Blues, purples going through to purplish reds. Works very well in a traditional cottage style, but the border is way too narrow so I need to widen it really, it can look a bit sparse when the main summer flush is over


  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 739
    Great seeing the evolution of that Raisingirl, it looks fab now!
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,626
    Jellyfire said:
    Great seeing the evolution of that Raisingirl, it looks fab now!
    Thanks  :) I don't like it. Fed up with sloping grass.

    Love that peony, btw :love:

    The photos of the evolution are really the point, rather than their content. Photograph what you have and how it develops and at roughly monthly intervals throughout the year. Then in the depths of winter, sit down and go through them to pick out the moments you liked, why you liked those and see if you can extend the season to maintain that structure/shape/colour theme or whatever. Then make your lists and your plans for the next year. I think it's more or less impossible to create a paper plan from a blank sheet that will look fabulous unless you've a great deal of experience and know lots and lots of plants intimately to understand what shape and size they will become in your conditions.

    For amateurs and weekend hobby gardeners and novices, it's better to just jump in, try something with low cost plants and then replace annuals grown from seed with perennials that create a similar form or colour if you find you have a bit you like. That's how to get the layering. Happy accidents - works far better for me than anything I do on purpose.
    Flying...
    Or am I falling?
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 739
    great advice that, especially about replacing the annuals that work with a similar perennial
  • Lots of great advice! Thanks
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,724
    edited April 2018
    I started my garden in 2012, I sowed all the seeds in the previous year and planted out the Spring.
    i did and still do grow a few annuals to fill in spaces when the early flowers have gone but the basic structure is perennials,  every year I sow foxgloves, lupins and delphiniums just to get new colours or in case some die over winter.
    first year. The stone wall at the back are stones I dug out of the garden.  This is just a small part of the biggest border.


    Spring 2013
     

    Spring 15


    September 13 changes to hot colours.



    August 16, fast becoming a jungle😀


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,570
    This is how my Mediterranean cottage style border looked in May/June last year:


    It’s east facing but still gets a fair amount of sun. I put in far too much rosemary which took over, cotton covered scale insects ate the salvias (apart from the normal culinary sage), the pelargonium x didn’t reappear and despite the gritty planting medium the lavender really sulked so most of that went too. It wasn’t designed as such, I just set everything out, moved them all around a bit and bunged em in. The plants that thrived/behaved the best were verbena bonariensis and gaura whirling butterflies. The verbena b toward the back is the only real vertical accent - barely seen yet in this pic - but does make a difference when at full pelt

    This is how it looks today:

    The tulips violet beauty and snow crystal (the only ones that escaped tulip fire) interplanted with nepeta replaced the eaten salvias, thuggish rosemary and sulking lavender. I recently added a few more salvias (salvia nemorosa carradonna) echinacea magnus superior and achillea rose madder, all continuing the pink, white and blue/purple theme - non of the newest plants flowering yet.

    This is a pretty small example compared to the lovely stuff above, but is by way of saying you are not alone!! I expect to continue making mistakes and not quite getting it right for some time yet  :)
  • See if you can find pics of Lyn's garden - she has a lovely border with just those pastel colours. 
    My 'design process' is to start with a rough layout

    Then formalise the shape and add a few cheapy flowers - bulbs, seed packet dog ends, self seeders and divisions, to get a rough shape

    Then buy a few specific larger plants to make a backdrop

    Then photograph it at different times of year and fidget with it for a while, moving things, discarding things, adding things


    Until eventually I reach a point where I decide I don't like it at all

    And the redesign begins. 

    The lawn just has to go. And don't even talk about the increasingly wonky washing line. That bench has almost completely disappeared into the shrubs. The perovskia are way past their best and need to come out. The neighbour's fence is not even approximately vertical any more - I think the rose may be the only thing holding it up. Has anyone seen the clematis? It's in there somewhere...... 

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