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Designing in Layers

These 5 principles will help your garden get more depth and dimension

Fine Gardening – Issue 179

What do the best gardens all have in common? A focal point—yes. Great plant variety—yes. But more often than not, you’ll notice that a truly beautiful landscape also has distinctive layering. This helps give a garden dimension and also makes it look lush. Layering can be done in both large and small spaces as well if you follow a few key steps. First, you need to build a compelling backbone to the bed. Then, install a diverse and varied midsection before finally adding ground covers, which provide interest at toe level. But layering—without overcrowding—is tricky. There is far more to it than simply putting tall plants in the back and short plants in the front. The following are concepts I use in my designs to get a garden that is expertly layered and filled with depth and dimension.


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