If you design a garden from scratch, you don't often put in long thin borders, - Deep flowing borders are easier to fill with plants and shrubs. Small borders often hark back to the patch of earth either side of the the lawn in a 1970's semi in suburbia. BUT - if you have a lovely garden that doesn't need a complete redisign, you want to make the most of your long thin borders, here's what I did for a client last year.
This is a fantastic garden wrapping around a cottage. The owners, my clients, are keen gardeners, and have fruit and veg as well as wonderful flower borders. Like most people, they are a busy family, and can't be in the garden all the time. They've also got a great maintenance gardener, so lawns and hedges are kept under control, but the borders are large, and have got rather over grown. This is where I came in to help out with planting ideas for this long thin border.
It is just outside the kitchen window, and is next to the patio where summer entertaining takes place. Originally it had herbs in it, but they were now overgrown, so we aimed to replant with a herb theme, and easy to look after plants.
When the border was cleared of the wayward mint and geranium, plus the conifers that were breaking up the border, we placed the chosen plants. They included, fennel, echinacea, agapanthus and thymes. sedum, and left pots to indicate where any missing plants were.
The silver foliage of the Artemesia was chosen as a repeater plant,(one that is planted all along the border to tie it together) and in late May they were fairly small when we planted them.
But by September, they were providing a great foliage backdrop for the stunning flowers
There are lots of bulbs hiding underneath the foliage, for spring colour, but this border is designed to look its best in the summer.