Planning Your Planting

The plants you choose for your garden will depend on your taste and the style you want to achieve, but there are some basic rules about placing and grouping them that are relevant to all designs.

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bold groups of perennials add contrast and color
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Grouping Plants

Specimen trees and shrubs look great as individual statements, but bulbs and perennials have greater impact when planted en masse. Bulbs are best planted in large groups of 10 or more if you have space — weave them between later-flowering plants. Perennials work well in swathes of five or more. You can achieve a naturalistic design by interlocking sausage-shaped groups together, or for a modern look, plant in more regimental square or rectangular shapes. You can also add rhythm and continuity to your design by repeating the same plants throughout the garden, and try combining contrasting leaf shapes as well as flower colors for a rich, textured look.

Creative contrasts

Although the predominant color in this border is green, the bold groups of perennials with contrasting leaf shapes and forms more than compensate for the limited color palette.

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