Most gardens have more than one use - Sunbathing and dining, Views from the house and cutting flowers, Somewhere to store the bikes and hang the washing. But by far the biggest proportion of my clients gardens have - room for the children to play, as one of the options. When they are little that means climbing frames and swings in view of the house, when they are older that means dens and hiding places, and in my experience if there are teenage boys, it means making room for Cricket and football practice. So if you have to make a border that will stand up to the occasional "howzat" - what do you need to look for.
This was a large border that was created to give a flowering view from the house, but that wouldn't be destroyed by the balls that were bowled it's way by the ajoining pitch/lawn.
There were some plants in the border before we started, but because of the light sandy soil, and the Prunus hedge that was behind that had taken a lot of the moisture from the soil, a good percentage of the plants weren't thriving
We added lots of organic matter to the soil, and kept the healthy plants, - moving those that weren't in suitable locations. The plants that were added were divided into colour sections, - so that pale silvers and pinks near to the house went through stronger purples, yellows reds and oranges in the middle of the border, to blues at the far end
The perennials were clumps, not plants with individual stems, - Unfortunately tender bulbs were out in this border, and hardy shrubs and groundcover plants in different colours were the order of the day.
It was planted in May, which meant the ground had warmed up, and there was no risk of frost.
It filled out quickly and by the following April was flowering well
By July, it was preforming both duties of being a great garden backdrop, and protecting against cricket balls
By the end of august it was providing a great finale backdrop to a summer of cricket.