Ideas for a Garden Design: Glades, Paths, Flower Beds and Borders


A suggestion for the far section of the garden is a pleasant, peaceful glade — a feature that is easy to make and to maintain. What is more, glades may be made on level or sloping ground, and may be small or large.

The glade will consist of a lawn, bordered with shrubs and trees planted well apart so that the form and beauty of each subject can be seen and appreciated.

It is a question of keeping all the subjects you plant in proportion. Choose only trees and shrubs which are entirely suited for medium-sized gardens.


Having established the general format of the garden, now is the time to think of backgrounds.

The list of trees and shrubs, ornamental and flowering varieties, is endless, and it really is somewhat pointless recommending any specific type for an unspecified situation. But the general principle is to add height and depth to the perimeter of your garden without shutting off natural landscapes and this can be achieved even if it is necessary to instal fencing or hedging, by careful and imaginative planting. It could be of a continuous line of one particular type of tree, with lower decks of bushy shrubs, banking down to the low-growing plants of the border.

Elsewhere in the garden — space permitting — you will want an assortment of trees and shrubs, but one has to be careful in siting trees. The charms of young weeping willows may turn into trouble in years to come as the trees reach maturity.

You may wish to plant trees or shrubs close together as windbreaks, or as a screen for outbuildings, and in this case you will probably find that slim columnar conifers planted in groups of three or four are most suitable. One other word of caution: quick-growing trees remain quick growing — and again could cause embarrassment as the trees mature.

The technique of repetition with tree planting is widely used. This means planting a columnar conifer, say, on each side of steps leading from one garden section to another. Or on opposite sides of the lawn.

Before you do any planting in the general run of the garden, take a look out from the windows of your house to ensure that vistas are not being spoiled and that unwanted shadows will not be cast — in future years — over the garden or house.

Permanent Features

The introduction of stone into any part of the garden scheme should serve a definite purpose, to raise or break levels, add a weather break, or make a wall leading to steps. Above all, it should fit in with the general character of the garden. Flagstone paving, terraces with balustrades, flights of steps, dry-stone walling, stone pillared pergolas are delightful features of gardens where they fit in with the environment.

But one must guard against losing beauty and aesthetic charm by the indiscreet use of stone. Try to give it an atmosphere of age.

Stone can also be used effectively for raised beds which can be real eye-catchers. And there are numerous possibilities for low walls, alpine gardens and surrounds to pools.


The construction of ’service’ paths — ie. those that lead from house to outbuildings, the greenhouse and so on — should, of course, be carried out at an early stage of the new garden, probably at the time the house was built.

The paths which take you around your garden can be left until later, but naturally it is best to get as much of the messy, construction work over with before the garden begins to take shape.

Paths can be effectively used to help in the creation of vistas. They can lead in curves or straight lines to your inner gardens and special features. They can turn unexpectedly to reveal a rockery screened from the general view.

There should be as few main paths as possible; try to avoid them giving your garden a formal look.

Borders and Beds

The extent of your borders and beds will depend on personal choice. Some gardeners will want large areas for specialist interest plants like chrysanthemums, dahlias, roses, delphiniums and so on; others will want to restrict their floral displays to perennial borders backed up by a profusion of colourful annuals.

Certainly there will be the space to accommodate all requirements, and you should remember, when selecting and designing your floral displays, that formalised beds can act as a striking contrast to the ragged look if you have the facility for a divided garden.

Rose gardens should in general be designed on a formal or geometrical plan, such as a circle or rectangle, and there are numerous other plants which lend themselves to this sort of treatment.

Peonies for instance could be given a border or bed to themselves. Asters, in all the many shades, also make good single-subject beds.

Another unusual clement in the design of beds and borders can be achieved by massing flowering plants of a single colour together so that you have whites, blues, reds, oranges and so on — all in separate beds.

To help cut the amount of work involved, a number of shrubs can be included in flower borders. They can also be used to create a sense of depth in borders by building up a bank of flowers, from tiny dot plants to tallish shrubs, interspersed with lupins, hollyhocks and delphiniums.

Try to choose summer flowering shrubs to blend with the flowering times of your herbaceous plants lower clown.

As with trees, the repetition of particularly outstanding plants in a herbaceous border helps with the overall design effect.

04. September 2011 by admin
Categories: Gardening Ideas, Landscape Design | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Ideas for a Garden Design: Glades, Paths, Flower Beds and Borders


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