PART ONE: DRAWING UP A WISHLIST
In small urban gardens, you can often do without borders in favour of containers but, a garden really isn't a garden without borders to soften it. You can create a style for your garden by your choice of plants. Deep borders are best and you should introduce curves if possible.
This is the most common type of border and includes shrubs, herbaceous perennials, bulbs, annuals and even small trees. Mixed borders are designed so that they accomodate all seasons and there should be interest somewhere in the border at any time of the year.
As the name suggests, this type of border uses herbaceous perennial planting only and will be of interest from around May to October.
Gravel borders allow you to plant your plants further apart because you are mulching with gravel in between to block out weeds. This can really show off specimen plants.
Raised beds should be incorporated into your design if you find it difficult to bend down to ground level.
If you want to grow your own fruit,vegetables and herbs, you will need a decent-sized border for this and locate it in full sun if possible.
Rock gardens are great for sloping sites and, for the best results it is better to use the biggest rocks you can get hold of. Small to medium sized, spreading plants are more suited to rock gardens.
Bog gardens are usually found in the area immediately surrounding a pond. Plants grown here will like a poor-drained soil.
Alpine gardens recreate the conditions found on high mountain sides where the plants are low-growing and with shallow root systems.
Trees and shrubs add instant height and character to a garden but you will have to wait a few years for most trees and shrubs to get established.
Containers are great for decorating patios and decks and, if you have a small garden can allow you to make room for a lot more plants.
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