Renovating Garden Borders

Are you a homeowner looking for information about renovating garden borders? Beginning with the design elements of the garden, you can quickly get a great list of perfect plants by determining the following factors:

  • What direction is the garden facing? North, South, East, West
  • How much light do you get on the garden? Full sun, Part-sun, Part-shade, Full shade
  • Do you like a formal or informal look for your garden?
  • What style of garden are you hoping for? Some examples that are popular in Vancouver include English country gardens, Japanese-West Coast fusion, formal garden with lots of evergreen plants, or a low-maintenance & drought tolerant mixed garden

Getting out into the garden to have a look and feel of the soil that exists in the garden beds will also help determine which of your perfect plant selections will survive once you’re done renovating garden borders. Is the soil dense and sticky? This is likely a clay soil, conditions that are perfect for roses. Is the soil light in colour and full of rocks or construction debris? Poor soil such as this is perfect for lavender and herbs. Is the soil moist, in the shade, and surrounded by cedars? This sounds like a humus-rich, acidic growing environment that hosta and other shade loving native plants thrive in.

Timing is everything when it comes to blooms in the garden. When do you spend time in your garden the most? Which windows look out on the garden, and would you like to see some flowering plants all year long? Sometimes if a garden is used primarily during barbecue season, it’s best to have a full show of plants that flower at similar times of the year. You could start with peonies, then have lady’s mantle fill the front of the border with a chartreuse flower, followed by hydrangeas, Echinacea, lavender and sedum. This will give you a landscape that flowers from late spring right into fall. Think about how you would like to the time the show of your beds before renovating garden borders.

Also important to consider are the functions of the garden. Do you have young children who like to play in the yard? Are ball sports a favorite game? Then having a border of boxwood hedges lining the lawn is probably something that will need to wait, as boxwoods tend to be quite brittle and prone to breakage. In this case, the workhorse plant of the broad leaf evergreen category is Himalayan sweetbox. It works in all light conditions, is drought tolerant and very hardy. What will you be using your space for? Is renovating the garden border something that needs more careful consideration, or is it primarily about beauty in the backyard?

Once you’ve considered some of the above points, then it’s a great time to contact your landscape contractor. If you would like more information like this, read the post: When selecting new plants for your garden, some questions to ask yourself.   It provides a comprehensive list of practical questions that will help you discover what it is you truly want to unfold in your yard as you’re renovating garden borders and transforming your outdoor space.

Thanks for reading!

About Jessica Salvador

Jessica has spent over ten years in the landscaping industry in nursery production, landscape maintenance and garden centre sales. She graduated in 2002 from the highly recognized horticulture program at Capilano University as a Certified Landscape Horticulturist. Higher Ground Gardens, your West Side Vancouver gardening and landscaping professionals for hedge trimming, pruning, bark mulch delivery, yard clean up, and on going gardening and landscaping maintenance. Gardening Vancouver, The Garden Pro's to call from Spring through Fall.
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