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Garden Design, Planting Ideas: Impressive Plants for Handsome Borders

Planting borders can be a daunting prospect. There are so many rules to follow and questions to ask before selecting the right plant for the right place. Even after that rigid selection process, it is possible that for only reasons known to nature your plant just won’t do well. Delphiniums and Lupins are famous for this!

Trawling the internet and looking through books give the reader some impressive pictures of billowing colourful borders where every plant appears to have a built-in stake and the ability to flower forever! These pictures are lovely to look at and dream over but remember they are only a snapshot in time. Often the low angle, slightly ‘out of focus’ background and the time at which the pictures are taken can make even an alchemilla mollis look two feet tall with untainted leaves!

When planting a border there needs to be a sense of realism and an understanding that not every plant will flower at the same time nor will every plant survive. That said you can still build impressive borders using the framework of stock plants and suggestions in this post and then fill in the gaps as and when you come across a plant you fall in love with.

Try not to be put off by all the rules, in my experience most plants will survive in most places and there are many plant rebels which survive quite happily breaking with tradition! Of course, there are always going to be areas of planting where you have pushed the boundaries a little too far but this will become quite obvious soon after planting by perhaps a slight yellowing of the leaves. You can whip the plant out and provide a more suitable home, perhaps in a pot situated in the border where you can control the planting environment.

Be brave and bold with your planting. Give the plants the best chance by killing surrounding weeds, digging a decent planting hole and backfilling with a good mix of bone meal and compost. Of course, most importantly give the plants a good watering in.

Cambe large herbaceous plants for borders

Crambe cordifolia: Flowers June to July

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big plant ideas for borders

Eupatorium: Flowers July to September

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large herbaceous plant ideas

Miscanthus zebrinus: Flowers August to September

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large plants for herbaceous beds

Veronica varieties: Flowers June to August

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big herbaceous plant

Thalictrum: Flowers June to July

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big plants

Inula magnifica: Flowers July to August

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