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Create a Garden with Cohesiveness

This approach to pairing plants yields a garden that’s harmonious yet dynamic

Fine Gardening - Issue 157

Have you ever noticed that the best gardens have a seamless continuity? These spaces, which are often featured in gardening books and magazines, always seem to flow together beautifully because of the similarities that the plants in the various beds and borders share. Focusing on similarities, however, is contrary to some design principles that tell you to use contrasting colors, shapes, and texture to create interest. So what are gardeners to do if they want a cohesive yet enthralling space? For Pam Frost, an avid gardener from Vancouver, British Columbia, the answer came when she focused first on creating harmony and then randomly added dashes of contrast. The end result, much to her delight, was a truly well-designed space.

To achieve a perfectly blended look that’s not boring, Pam creates repetition in a unique way: using a big brother/little brother design technique. She selects a favorite plant that is on…

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