A garden that lacks borders is like a roast dinner without gravy or Penn without Teller. It just doesn’t work. You have to include them to manage the chaos, arrange everything into neat sections, and create a visually-appealing space that looks great year-round.
Making borders is something anyone can do. But if you want to create stunning boundaries, you need to follow the advice of gardening pros. Here’s what to do.
Create A Garden Plan
The first step is to create a plan for the layout of your garden. You want to make sure that you place your plants in the right place. Some shrubs love areas that get a lot of sunshine. Others are better suited to the shade. You need to think carefully about where the sun shines throughout the day, and how intensely. Compare that with the type of plant you plan on using, and then adjust your arrangements accordingly.
Make Your Borders A Pleasing Shape
Creating haphazard borders make your garden look messier than if you had none at all. Ideally, you want your edges to have a pleasing shape. Some people choose straight or geometric borders. Others go with the flow and make theirs look organic and natural. Before you start digging up turf and planting Thuja Occidentalis, place markers on the floor to give you a sense of how it will eventually appear. Think carefully about whether the new arrangement gives you a pleasing setup. Think critically about the flow of your garden, and if the shape of your borders makes sense.
Rip Up The Turf
Once you’re done with planning, it’s time to take up the turf. This process can be a little unnerving when you first do it. You need to be sure that you’ve got the position of your borders right. Otherwise, you’ll have a big job to repair it.
Use an edging knife to prevent the remaining lawn from invading the bed and taking it over. Ensure that the trench at the end of the grass is at least four inches deep, as this will prevent the grass from spilling over.
Plan The Placement Of Your Shrubs
The next step is to plan the position of your shrubs in the bed. Get this right, and you’ll wind up with something that looks absolutely stunning. Get it wrong, and your beds will look sparse.
Placing your shrubs is both an art and a science. You want to create a thicket of complimentary species that support and nourish each other. Make sure that you place plants the correct distance apart to avoid overcrowding. It is normal for a bed to look sparse after you first plant it. Usually, it takes a couple of seasons for everything to grow to the optimal size before you need to start pruning.
Feed The Soil
Finally, you need to generously feed the soil to ensure that each plant has enough nutrients to thrive. Avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to sickly plants in the long-term.