7 Design Tips For A Perfect Perennial Border


Published on July 20th, 2020

Perennial borders have evolved in many ways since ancient times. Now, even a free-standing island flower bed is a perennial border. Yet back in the day, flower beds along the borderline are what were known as perennial borders.

Although these borders fill the gardeners with a lot of anticipatory glee as they expect constant blooming from these flowering plants.

They are beneficial as they relieve the gardeners from the expense and work of planting annuals every spring as they wait for them to grow and fill in.

It is vital to know how best to select species that bloom various times of the year so that you have flowers from spring to autumn. Here you will learn how to best create an ideal perennial border with the following design tips.

1. Consider Texture And Shapes

Various perennials have different textures and shapes. Therefore, as you create your border, it is easy to add interest and color by mixing different types of these plants. As you do this, ensure that what you plant in the same bed have different bloom types.

For instance, choose the ones with upright stalks of two different colors, to add some vertical interest to your bed. Especially, if your bed is full of daisy-like shaped perennials like coneflower and sedum. Besides, those that are compact and sturdy will help support the tall ones.

2. Grow In Every Inch Available

Do you have space between a retaining wall and your private fence? If yes, this is a possible location to tuck away a beautiful border.

Plus, perennials easily grow anywhere. So why not use every available square inch? Fill such a bed with low maintenance plants, such as the pink gaura, as they are both drought and heat resistant.

In this way, you will not worry about how to keep the bed in top form due to the plants present. Plus, you will notice a lot of butterflies with the pink gaura as it has nectar-rich blooms.

3. Opt For Colorful Foliage

As you design your perennial border for your garden. You must choose colorful foliage that will provide you with a non-stop colorful space.

Thus, fill your bed with brightly color toned or variegated foliage. As many perennials are loved for the color of their leaves than for their blooms, use this to brighten the landscape of your border so that it stands out.

For instance, add Solomon seal tower plants for their green and white leaves, Japanese forest grass and you can also have the patterned leaves of the persicaria among other perennial plants.

Also, you can try others with beautiful flowers like sedum, black-eyed Susans, phlox to add color to your beds.

4. Choose Perfect Partners

It is important as you design your perennial bed, you choose the plants wisely. This is to ensure that they look bigger and better every year. So, to make your bed stand out from others. You shouldn’t have only perennials in your bed as they can’t do it all.

Make them look their best by pairing with other plants, such as annuals, shrubs, and even roses.

A good example that you can try is creating a bed with a variegated iris, an annual pink diascia, English roses, and boxwood shrubs. This combination will give you a stunning border design that stands out from the common borders.

5. Add Pollinators

As you create your new border, you must remember pollinators as you blend with your overall garden design.

Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies are essential as they play an important role in the environment. Through pollinating flowers, vegetables, and fruits in the garden space.

Therefore, when you add the nectar-rich perennials in your borders, beds, or containers, you invite these pollinators.

Keep the pollinators happy and fed by adding flowers such as spiderwort, penstemon, and red heuchera. Plus, these plants are sun-loving, and they bloom throughout during the summer season.

6. Plant In Drifts

Why not choose your favorite perennial and go wild with it as you design your bed? This design tip is one that suits specific gardeners who prefer planning in drifts instead of planting one or two of this and that in their beds.

In this way, you will create a bold effect as you will have mass perennials of a similar type in large clumps or drifts.

Also, it does not require a lot of worry or planning, and you create a spectacular border in your garden space.

More importantly, if you have to plant a long mixed border, ensure that you repeat the pattern after every 5 to 8 feet to have that constant flow of color. It has a beautiful visual effect that stands out in your garden.

7. Stage The Show

Create a perennial border that everyone who comes to your garden will admire. For this reason, ensure that you stage a show with the plants that you choose to have in your bed. Have the tall plants in the back, short ones in front, and those that stand out at the center and some in front.

So, you can choose the tall blooms of Agastache to stay in the back, and daylilies and sedum since they are short to be in the front. Then for the center area, have Shasta daisies and you have staged a show that is appealing to the eye.

To sum up, the above design tips are some that you can copy and try to create your beautiful perennial border. However, remember to blend well with the plantings already in your garden space. This will help you know whether to add a curved border, rectangular border, or an island bed.

Also, add small scale charmers that fit in limited garden spaces to add more plants into your border bed. Use shade-loving perennials to conquer the shaded area in your garden. Also, celebrate the sun with a festival of flowers in an exposed spot in your garden by adding sun-worshiping perennials.

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