Garden borders

Bordure da giardino
Category: Archive Gardening


If you want to create borders in your garden, you must first delimit the area and to do this you can use different types of solutions. Here they are:

  • Wooden stakes : Easily found in gardening stores, these stakes can be driven into the ground next to each other, vertically, or spaced apart. In the latter case it is possible for example to connect them with a cord or a metal wire.
  • Old tyres : with these recycled materials you can create rustic and simple borders, even if it is not always easy to insert them into the ground. You can use old tires from bicycles or other vehicles.
  • Wire mesh : Inexpensive and available at any garden store, these wire mesh can be cut to fit the length of the border perfectly.
  • Stones or bricks : these materials also have a low cost and their use is quite versatile. Bricks, in particular, are ideal for creating "creative" borders by placing them side by side, vertically or horizontally, or obliquely.

The choice of one or the other type of material must be made based on the style that characterizes the garden. For example, for English gardens you can use metal nets, while for a more rustic green space we recommend rocks or wooden stakes.

How to create a border

After choosing which material to use to delimit the borders, you need to draw the edges on the ground. In the case of linear borders it is possible to use a wooden plank or to stretch a wire between two stakes stuck in the ground; if instead you want to indulge in more imaginative creations, you can use the water hose to draw curvilinear profiles. In this way, beautiful wavy borders will be created, decidedly original. It should also be remembered that similar borders have the ability to make the garden seem larger, unlike corners and straight lines which instead give the impression that the spaces are narrower. Once the profile of the border has been created, trace the outline with a little powdered chalk so as to have a guide on the ground for subsequent operations. At this point the excavation work begins, removing the superficial portion of the ground until reaching the depth necessary to place bricks, stones or other elements that will delimit the border. If only wooden stakes are used, these can be driven directly into the ground following the line drawn with chalk. The same goes for wire mesh, which generally does not require excavation for its installation.

Soil preparation

Once the border has been delimited with the appropriate materials, the soil inside must be prepared considering the type of plants we want to place there. For borders, evergreen perennials are usually widely used, which remain beautiful all year round; based on the species that will be planted, the suitable soil will be chosen, although generally a universal one is more than sufficient. Before placing a layer of this soil, it is advisable to carefully hoe the underlying soil. Alternatively, it is possible to plant typical rock garden species in the border. These plants are characterized by very low water requirements, therefore they are ideal when you don't have much time (or desire) to periodically water the borders in the garden once they have been created. However, rock garden plants have a great enemy: water stagnation, which can cause root rot, asphyxiation and in the most serious cases even death. To avoid problems for the species we will plant, we need to work the inside of the border by placing a layer of sand and covering it with a soil with excellent draining capabilities.

Plants to use

The choice of plants to place in borders undoubtedly varies based on personal tastes, but there are still plants that rank among the most beautiful and practical species to use. Here are some of the best flowering plants that can be planted in borders:

  • Mountain alyssum: dwarf plant that forms dense yellow flowering carpets.
  • Erigeron: they resemble small daisies and can be white, yellow or violet in color.
  • Wood anemone: this perennial herbaceous ground cover plant is ideal for borders in shaded areas. It produces white flowers with yellow pistils, very pretty.
  • Indian carnation: also known as marigold, this plant loves sunny areas and produces beautiful yellow and red flowers.
  • Broom: it is a plant that requires very little water and which, in spring, is covered with yellow flowers.

As regards ground cover species, we recommend:

  • Lysimachia nummularia: this perennial species has many small, round, light green leaves.
  • Tulbaghia: is characterized by a bushy appearance, produces fragrant violet flowers and is ideal for partial shade.
  • Ajuga: forms carpets of leaves with purple shades and, in summer, produces spikelets of blue flowers.
  • Dwarf lavender: this beautiful ground cover species produces highly scented flowers of the typical violet colour.
  • Ivy: classic ground cover plant ideal for partial shade and shade; its variegated leaves are very beautiful and decorative.

Arrangement of plants

For a border that remains beautiful all year round, it is possible to use evergreen plants, which often do not even require much watering. Alternatively, these plants can be interspersed with flowering species, which give a touch of color to the border during different periods of the year. The most passionate and expert gardeners will also be able to place, in the border, species that flower at different times of the year in such a way as to create a continuum of colors during the alternation of the seasons. The choice of colors must be made considering the chromatic effects that you intend to create in the border, for example opting for colors that are always different and contrasting with each other or for flowers of similar shades (all yellow-orange, red-fuchsia or violet-blue). When the border hosts perennial plants, it is best to plant them in groups of two or three specimens, avoiding creating large blocks of plants crowded together. It is also best to avoid overly geometric arrangements, such as plants all in a row: it is much better to have fun and create original and varied patterns.

Published: 2012-11-20From: Redazione

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