Deep Borders Let You Have It All: Plant IDs

Fine Gardening – Issue 215
private garden plants

In Deep Borders Let You Have It All, Hans Hansen writes, “When I moved to Michigan 13 years ago, I was excited by the endless plant possibilities afforded by my new Zone 6 location. Compared to the secluded 5-acre garden I had left behind in southern Minnesota, however, my newly purchased corner lot surrounded by houses and neighbors felt like a fishbowl.

“To make the property feel more private, I encircled the house with sizable foundation plantings and laid out deep beds around the property’s perimeter, leaving a wide grass path in between. Filled with a carefully chosen mix of plants displaying a striking variety of heights and textures, these borders enclose the house without making it seem cut off from the rest of the neighborhood. Trees and shrubs are spaced to allow some views from the street into the garden, which feels much friendlier than a fence or hedge.”

See the plant IDs below to learn the names of some plants that provide friendly screening, year-round interest, and spectacular midsummer color in this beautiful Midwest garden.

BONUS: Watch this video to discover 4 of Hans’ favorite plants

Photo 1: A colorful plant palette with one-of-a-kind curb appeal

garden bed with yellow and pink flowers and bright foliage

  1. ‘Golden Spreader’ Caucasian fir (Abies nordmanniana ‘Golden Spreader’, Zones 5-8)
  2. ‘Glauca Pendula’ white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Glauca Pendula’, Zones 3-8)
  3. Ginkgo, male (Ginkgo biloba, Zones 4-9)
  4. ‘Carnival’ hedge maple (Acer campestre ‘Carnival’, Zones 5-9)
  5. ‘Cinderella’ swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ‘Cinderella’, Zones 3-9)
  6. ‘Galaxy Blue’ agapanthus (Agapanthus ‘Galaxy Blue’, Zones 6-10)
  7. ‘Yellow Power’ Asiatic lily (Lilium ‘Yellow Power’, Zones 3-8)
  8. Sunjoy Gold Pillar® barberry (Berberis thunbergii* ‘Maria’, Zones 4-7)
  9. ‘Conca d’Or’ orienpet lily (Lilium ‘Conca d’Or’, Zones 5-8)
  10. ‘Saybrook Gold’ juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Saybrook Gold’, Zones 4-9)
  11. ‘Pendula’ European larch (Larix decidua ‘Pendula’, Zones 2-6)
  12. ‘Karl Fuchs’ Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara ‘Karl Fuchs’, Zones 6-8)


Photo 2: Repetition need not be boring

long garden border with lots of shrubs

  1. ‘Drops of Jupiter’ ornamental oregano (Origanum ‘Drops of Jupiter’, Zones 4-9)
  2. Eucalyptus wild indigo (Baptisia perfoliata, Zones 4-9)
  3. ‘Wiggles’ Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Wiggles’, Zones 3-8)
  4. ‘Cats Meow’ catmint (Nepeta faassenii ‘Cat’s Meow’, Zones 3-8)
  5. A sucker from Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’, Zones 4-8)
  6. ‘Primal Scream’ daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Primal Scream’, Zones 3-9)
  7. Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’, Zones 4-8)
  8. ‘Degroot’s Spire’ arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’, Zones 3–8)


Photo 3: Making the most of every square inch

grass path cutting through dense garden beds

  1. ‘Glauca Pendula’ Colorado spruce (Picea pungens ‘Glauca Pendula’, Zones 3-7)
  2. ‘Dark Roast’ crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘Dark Roast’, Zones 6-9)
  3. Fir cultivar (Abies cv., Zones 3-8)
  4. ‘Aztec King’ mangave (Mangave ‘Aztec King’, Zones 9-11)
  5. ‘Sweet Macchiato’ crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘Sweet Macchiato’, Zones 6-9)
  6. ‘Nana Gracilis’ hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’, Zones 4-8)
  7. ‘Lilla’ smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Lilla’, Zones 5-8)
  8. ‘Kaveri’ orienpet lily (Lilium ‘Kaveri’, Zones 3-9)
  9. ‘Lemon Spire’ juniper (Juniperus communis ‘Lemon Spire’, Zones 3-8)


Photo 4: Pink flowers sparkle against brilliant foliage

close up of garden with lots of pink flowers

  1. ‘Snowy Lake’ hosta (Hosta ‘Snowy Lake’, Zones 3-9)
  2. ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ astilbe (Astilbe ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, Zones 4-9)
  3. ‘Golden Mop’ Sawara cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mop’, Zones 5-7)
  4. ‘Key West’ hosta (Hosta ‘Key West’, Zones 3-8)
  5. ‘Queen’s Promise’ OL hybrid lily (Lilium ‘Queen’s Promise’, Zones 4-10)
  6. ‘Crippsii’ hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsii’, Zones 4-8)
  7. ‘Aureum’ full moon maple (Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’, Zones 5-7)
  8. ‘Pendula’ Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’, Zones 3-8)


Photo 5: An artful assemblage of sun-loving plants

wide view of garden with many diverse foliage plants

  1. ‘Inca Warrior’ mangave (Mangave ‘Inca Warrior’, Zones 9-11)
  2. Turkish fir (Abies x bornmuelleriana, Zones 3-8)
  3. ‘Pendula Bruns’ Serbian spruce (Picea omorika ‘Pendula Bruns’, Zones 3-8)
  4. ‘Hans’ Easern white pine, tall graft (Pinus strobus ‘Hans’, Zones 3-8)
  5. ‘Echiniformis’ white spruce (Picea glauca ‘Echiniformis’, Zones 3-6)
  6. Fremont’s leather flower (Clematis fremontii, Zones 4-7)
  7. ‘Chub’ Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Chub’, Zones 3-8)
  8. ‘Robina’ OT hybrid lily (Lilium ‘Robina’, Zones 4-8)
  9. Japanese maple cultivar (Acer palmatum cv., Zones 5-8)
  10. ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’, Zones 5-9)
  11. ‘Pendula’ Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’, Zones 3-8)

* These plants are considered invasive in some areas. Please check or your state’s list of invasive plants for more information.

Photos: Carol Collins

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