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English Garden

December 29, 2013

The form of individual plants is very important to the overall effect – some, such s hardy geraniums, have a dense and spreading shape, others such as del-phiniu s or kniphofia (red hot po ers) have silhouettes that is the out as key notes in the mased planting. Astilbes contrib to feathery plumes of flow -r and fern-like leaves whilst the sword-shaped leaves .f crocosmia or ornamental grasses make them excelle t contrast plants and the green, deeply serrated lea es of acanthus look strikin at the back of a border, you can see more information here.

 

The texture of foliage can vary fr i m the velvety leaves of alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle) to shiny, leathery bergenia leaves; from spiky ornamental thistles to furry lychnis coronaria or ribbed hostas.

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Flower color is an obvious consideration: whether your personal taste is for vivid reds and yellows, or for softer whites, pinks and lilac shades, bear in mind the relationship between adjoin-ing plants. Color of foliage is sometimes forgotten but can make a very useful con-tribution throughout the sea-son. There are bronze and purple leaved plants such as ajuga reptans or heuchera `Palace Purple’, grey foliaged specimens such as stachys lanata and of course many variegated leaves such as the silver and white leaves of lamium (deadnettle) or the white spotted leaves of pul-monaria, whilst hostas pro-vide a wide variety of interesting foliage.

 

A key objective is to have color well distributed through the herbaceous border for as much of the year as possible, from early flowering plants such as bergenia and pulmonaria, through the burst of color of the mid-summer months and on until the autumn frosts with plants such as sedum spectabile. Because of the very nature of herbaceous plants, the winter border tends to lack interest, but even so, with careful planning there can be some-thing to see – sedum heads can be left for much of the winter; bergenias are ever-green as are some euphorbias and then there are the winter flowering hellebores such as the Christmas rose and the Lenten rose.You can find very beautiful winter flowers in France gardens too, if you want to learn more check this┬ácompare lille hotels website.

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When planning the planting out, allow room for plants to spread and remember that it is worth trying to mass several plants of the same variety together, preferably in odd numbers such as three or five, for a more dramatic impact. A formal border can be created by planting solid blocks of color, whilst a softer effect will be obtained by letting adjoining plantings drift into each other. Tempting as it is to try to include a little bit of every-thing, simplicity is more elegant.

 

There is certainly a lot to consider but there is help available – read plant encyclopedias, visit garden centres and gardens open to the public and above all remember one of the best things about herbaceous borders: if you don’t get it right the first time, take a few photo-graphs to remind you what went wrong and do a bit of re-arranging in the autumn or spring . . . because there is always next year to get it right.