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Create amazing Summer Borders in your Garden

For those of you wanting to frame your lawn or line the edge of your garden path with a border there are infinite possibilities. You can create a garden border for any type of garden and for any budget and get as creative as you like, but sometimes the sheer breadth of choice can be overwhelming, so here are some ideas to get you started.

Dry or Damp Border

Before you make any other decisions, it’s worth taking into account what the soil is like in the area of your garden where the border will be as well as how much sun it will (or won’t) receive. You can then narrow down the choice of plants to keep the border looking its best with the minimum of fuss. If it’s in a well drained area with plenty of sun then choose plants for a dry sunny area (for example you could opt for a Mediterranean themed gravel border to suit the conditions), but if the soil is always moist and in the shade then a damp border might be more appropriate.

Once you’ve decided what type of plants are best suited to the area, you can use some of the ideas that follow to create a border that is both easy to maintain and interesting to look at.

Colour Themed Border

Colour is one of the most obvious ways to create a theme in your garden border and is also a wonderful way to reflect your own personal style and taste.

For an elegant and sophisticated look you could choose varying shades of just one colour, adding interest with different textures, heights and shapes of plant. Alternatively, for something more theatrical, you could choose two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel for maximum contrast. Choosing colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel on the other hand will give a more co-ordinated look to your border and will look harmonious even if you have several colours in the border, avoiding it looking too chaotic. You could choose hot colours such as red, yellow and orange, or more calming, cooler colours like blues and mauves.

It’s also worth considering colour for autumn and winter. Choosing border plants that will have bright autumn leaves, colourful seeds, fruits or berries or year round colour will make your garden look as attractive in the cooler months as it does when flowering in the summer.

Scented or Herb Border

Another interesting theme for your garden borders is to choose plants for their scents. These can be based on perfumed flowers or alternatively choose a herb themed border to incorporate a lot of different scents without any one of them being too overwhelming.

When choosing scented plants, it’s worth considering how strongly perfumed they are when deciding where to position them. Stronger scents such as those from jasmine and honeysuckle will tend to perfume the whole garden, and though lovely can sometimes be overpowering, so don’t overdo it. The advantage is that these can be placed back against a wall without losing out on their scent. More subtle scents such as those from roses are often only appreciated when you’re close to them, so it’s worth keeping them toward the front of a border so you can enjoy the perfume.

Herb borders are a wonderful way to enjoy a scented garden while also having the added benefit of being able to use the plants in your cooking and home. These too should be placed where they are easily accessible for picking. There is such a wide variety of herbs available, some that flower, others that offer height and can be cultivated into hedges, that you could design a border entirely from herbs without sacrificing interest and colour.

Natural or Butterfly Borders

For those who love their gardens to look as natural as possible, a natural or butterfly border is ideal.

Who doesn’t love to see butterflies in the summer? Choosing bright and nectar rich flowering plants will add rich colour to your border while also attracting butterflies, moths and bees to your garden.

Natural borders have become very popular as their combination of early and late flowering plants will give you plenty of colour month after month. They have a lovely loose, casual feel to them, inspired by the way plants grow in nature, with plants growing through each other rather than looking too cultivated or landscaped.

Natural and butterfly borders (or a combination of the two) are ideal for those who love to see their garden bursting with colour and flowers and enjoy being outdoors in nature.

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