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Liven Up Your Long Border

For unity without monotony, use these three techniques

Fine Gardening - Issue 131

Gertrude Jekyll, the doyenne of early-20th-century British gardening and mother of the modern mixed border, was ever the optimist. On at least one occasion in her later years, however, she admitted that building a garden takes up about a third of one’s time on earth—in learning and putting that knowledge into practice.

After a third of a century of creating, tweaking, and fine tuning, my garden of mixed borders is no exception. It con­tinues to evolve and change. One of the biggest changes occurred after a trip to England to visit Great Dixter, the world-class garden and manor house of Christopher Lloyd, built in 1460. After our trip overseas, I announced to my wife, Peggy, that I wanted to tear up our (then) 18-year-old garden and reinvent it to mimic the idyllic English garden feel of Great Dixter.

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  1. bkristl 05/21/2019

    These are all such lovely ideas and I'd love to incorporate them into my rather pizazz-less border, but there's one obstacle. Money. The conifers I can afford will not contribute much in the near future. A stone wall would be lovely, and I'm digging them up as fast as I can, but I'm not sure the one I build will be so nice. I do repeat elements, all of them, because my primary means of obtaining new plants is dividing the old ones.

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