Give Your Landscape Some Edge – Use a Border

Brad Wier

Your lawn is a blank canvas waiting to be filled with color and charm. Now that the weather allows for constructive planning and planting, consider adding or expanding the borders within your landscape.

If you’re looking for inspiration, the mixed border is an English tradition that maximizes space for colorful shrubs and perennials, herbs, annuals and wildflowers. And, it takes into consideration our hot, dry weather and rocky clay soils.

When the lawn is buttressed with healthy borders, the resulting landscape will be both prettier and hardier than grass alone. To get started:

  • First, define your borders. Use hoses or other markers to form enclosures all the way around your turf areas, like picture frames. Leave the hoses out for a few days so you can view all angles and make adjustments.
  • Next, consider edging materials. You have a variety of options ranging from metal and plastic to wood and brick. They all serve the same function – to keep grass and mulch from creeping into their respective territories.
  • Then there’s plant selection. A healthy border should look good in summertime without needing a lot of extra water and life support from you. Also, repeat a variety of textured evergreen shrubs to provide form and interest through winter, when many summer perennials are bare.

Think about how you want to use the remaining grass areas. Small children, pets and sports may require larger lawn spaces, so shape your borders accordingly.

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