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

This member-only article is part of our All Access subscription.

Member only

Plants to Build a Bed Around

Here are eight options to give your garden structure

Fine Gardening - Issue 137

Not every plant in a garden can take center stage. A landscape needs an assortment of trees, shrubs, and grasses that will fade into the background during the growing season while maintaining the garden’s structure in winter. Plantings that fulfill this role are commonly called “anchor plants.” When strategically placed, they give a landscape balance, form, and continuity. In essence, they’re the backbone of a garden.

When shopping for anchor plants, buy ones that you want around for the long haul, and use them to create the framework of your design. Look for plants with year-round appeal that are large enough to effectively anchor—but not overpower—surrounding perennials when they mature. Here are eight of my favorites, along with some guidelines on how to use them.


This article is only available to All Access members

This article is available online for the first time ever exclusively for All Access members. Sign up for a free trial to access our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.

Start Free Trial

View Comments


Log in or become a member to post a comment on this article.

Related Articles

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."


View All