Unusual Borders For Adventurous Landscape Designs

Many gardens have a regular uniformity to their design. You know the format – a patio area on one side, timber fencing to the other three forming a rectangle. In the middle is a grass lawn with some flower and shrub borders in front of the fence panels to break up the look

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But gardens don’t need to follow these tried and test patterns. After all, the architecture of the home can often deliver something original. The trouble is that most of us simply like having a bit of central lawn in our garden to enjoy on a summer’s day. Equally, fenced perimeters remain popular because of the privacy they provide.

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So, how can you be a little bit more adventurous with the design of your garden whilst not doing away with the important elements? The answer is to have some fun making the borders of your garden a little more unusual. A little originality in the borders will go a long way to improving the entire garden design.

Low Level Fencing.

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A high, six feet, fence may be the standard to enclose a garden’s borders but growing plants in front of it can be a challenge if much of the light is stolen by the barrier.

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Tall, wispy plants are all you can grow if your bed runs along the front with insufficient depth. For a fuller look, opt for a low level fence that you plants can grow against and in front of. For an unusual rustic look, go for a natural or reclaimed timber fence set on top of a stone wall. Low level fences don’t need to be solid wood.

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A few gaps will help creepers grow up through them, like a supporting trellis. And if you have a picket fence, who says it needs to be white? Try something more colorful instead.

Border Shapes.

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Borders that sit a foot or two in front of your perimeter fence in a straight line rarely offer inspiration, no matter what amount you spend on plants. Create unusual border shapes with criss-crossing pathways, edged with stones set into the ground to add some definition.

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Curved pathways will make even a square area of your garden get away from regularly shaped borders. And if your borders must follow the straight line of a wall or a fence, the disguise the look with some diagonal shapes, for instance, with decking.

Exotic Planting.

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Nothing makes a more unusual border than some exotic planting. Break up the look of a high fence with some tropical planting. A raised bed, with some large rocks, will help delicate plants cope with cold weather.

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If you have a sun trap, succulent plants like aloe vera will make for an unusual borer choice. Use a variety of plants with different heights, colors and textures to interrupt the monotone nature of a brick wall. Exotic planting can also be the way to integrate your garden with any unusual architectural features of your home, such as mural.

Mesh Trellises.

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A good way of creating a division within your landscape design is to use a trellis. These are available in wood, usually, but for a more original look, go for mesh instead. Mesh works equally well with either metal or wooden frames, making a great alternative to conventional timber fencing. Mesh can allow you to grow planting up the outside of a building without damaging the cladding, too.


Steel fenceView in gallery

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Another unusual material to consider in your landscape design is steel. Oxidized steel will go a pleasant reddish brown color that can compliment many planting schemes. Steel gates and fences can create a great background texture for a planted bed. Why not complete the look with some steel sculpture? It is also a highly underused and unusual material for planters and earth-retainers in terraced gardens.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.