Mix Master: Designing a Mixed Planting Garden

Landscaping ideas and strategies for turning your yard into a mixed garden marvel.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Creative Composition

To create a unified mixed planting plan that offers year-round color and interest, start with a balance of different types of plants. Use both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, along with herbaceous perennials, and a few bulbs.

Neat Structure

Conifers are useful in small gardens because they offer structure. Many are neat and compact, but some become giants, so check the label carefully before planting. In this garden, they are punctuating the start of the path.

Colorful Garden

The plantings in this family garden is designed to provide year-round interest and color. Evergreen herbs, like purple-leaf sage and lavender, are mixed with shrubs, including low-growing ceanothus, azaleas, and a yellow-flowered hypericum.

Exotic Accents

Large trees in this Australian garden act as a backdrop for the spiky cordylines, while Melianthus major, planted in mass, and blue echiums provide infill.

Mixed Planting Garden

Mixed borders, or mixed planting beds, are those that combine shrubs and perennials. They are more visually appealing, more varied, more interesting. The cottage garden style is frequently applied to mixed plantings.