Choose a range of marginals with different leaf shapes, such as these irises and astilbes, for a balanced poolside display.
In this naturalistic planting, drought-tolerant succulents and alpines, which require free-draining conditions, are planted in a bed of gravel and pebbles.
Consider the Seasons
Make the most of the available light and moist ground in late winter and spring when planting under deciduous trees.
Fill the Gaps
Bulbs provide seasonal color and can be squeezed between permanent plantings. Spring bulbs will perk up your border before most perennials appear; allium bulbs in early summer are followed by colorful gladiolas and nerines.
Flower color is often a transient feature, but foliage has long-term impact throughout different seasons.
Winter flowers are a treat, so make sure you can see them from a path or the house. Several witch-hazels have the bonus of scent.
Scented plants are best planted and enjoyed in warm sheltered areas of the garden where strong winds won't dissipate their perfume.