Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Design

3 Ways to Use Short Plants

Fine Gardening - Issue 190

When it comes to creating cohesion and a sense of harmony in your garden design, bigger is not necessarily better. While short plants can serve a variety of functions in your garden, too often gardeners underestimate the important role they play in deepening the landscape, hiding the visually unappealing, or giving the eye a place to rest between shifts in landscape. In 10 Short Plants to Grow Now, Fine Gardening editor Steve Aitken shows which plants of diminutive size but extraordinary quality we should have our eye on. Below you’ll see a few ways you can use short plants to great effect in your yard.

As I began amassing countless short varieties, only some of which worked in my front bed, I started planting shorter plants all over my garden. I would take notice of them, too, in all the gardens I visited, residential and botanical. I made mental notes of how others used small plants: the roles they could play and how essential they are to completing the look of a garden, a bed, or a vignette.

—From “10 Short Plants to Grow Now”

1. Blur the boundaries

The right angle where the garden meets the ground plane (be it lawn or walkway) can come off as stark and harsh, but when your low-growers creep over that edge, they soften its appearance.

 2. Add depth

Taller plants stop the eye and block the view. Letting shorter plants run into the bed draws the eye in.

3. Cover the legs

Many plants want your eyes up at their tops, not at their bare or scraggly stems and stalks. A short plant can hide these shortcomings, providing something else to look at.

Illustrations: Elara Tanguy

View Comments

Comments

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

Member Exclusives

Fine Gardening All-Access

Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.

Start Free Trial

Learn More

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."

Video

View All