Garden Design & Inspiration

The articles here on concepts, borders, containers, and seasons are reprinted with permission from The Gardener magazine. Like the garden plans, they are in PDF format, which requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®. Please click here to download a free copy of Reader® if you don't already have it.

 

CONCEPTS | BORDERS | SEASONS | PLANS

   
CONCEPTS  

A Garden for all Seasons

A Garden for all Seasons 

Stephen Anderton

There's an old saying about pets: A pet is not just for Christmas -- it's for a lifetime. It's rather the same with gardens. 

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A Sense of Enclosure

A Sense of Enclosure 

Stephen Anderton

How to create spaces that are intimate and personal without being claustrophobic. 

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Balance and Mass

Balance and Mass 

Stephen Anderton

How to create spaces that are easy on the eye.

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Bending the Rules

Bending the Rules 

Stephen Anderton

Just because a line isn't straight doesn't mean it can't be formal. 

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Lighting & Water

Lighting & Water 

Anthony Neal

It is hard to imagine a beautiful garden without water. The very heartbeat is missing. 

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Sizing Up A Property

Sizing Up A Property 

Stephen Anderton

The first step in planning a garden is to understand the landscape with which you’re working. 

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Space

Space 

Stephen Anderton

Why your garden needs it and how to deal with this difficult but essential element. 

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Strong Bones

Strong Bones 

Stephen Anderton

A clear, coherent frame is essential to creating beautiful pictures. 

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Symmetry vs. Asymmetry

Symmetry vs. Asymmetry 

Stephen Anderton

When designing or redesigning a garden, there is always one huge decision waiting for you at the outset. 

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The House Makes the Garden

The House Makes the Garden 

Stephen Anderton

A house is a massive three-dimensional anchor for the space that surrounds it. 

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BORDERS [back to top]

Border Design 101

Joe Eck

An expert shares his list of simple concepts for making complex gardens. 

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Building the Bones

Building the Bones of a Border

Fergus Garrett

The first step to a great garden is creating a framework that is practical. 

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Flatheads & Tiers

Flatheads & Tiers  

Christopher Lloyd

From the flowers of yarrows to the layered branches of dogwoods, these shapes give the border strong contrast and a sense of stability.

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Fountains & Weepers

Fountains & Weepers

Christopher Lloyd

Plants with a cascading element are invaluable in the garden. 

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Globes & Domes

Globes & Domes

Christopher Lloyd

Globes and domes are among the most natural shapes to see in a garden. 

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Hands-on Design

Anna Pavord

Forget the graph paper but remember to start your plan from the center. 

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Making a Mixed Border

Making a Mixed Border

Fergus Garrett

How do you go about building a new garden from scratch? 

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Shapes make the Garden

Shapes Make the Garden

Christopher Lloyd

The author introduces the broad range of shapes that can be used to create exciting and lasting pictures.

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Spikes & Spires

Spikes & Spires

Christopher Lloyd

A strong, upward thrust is essential in our gardens at every level, and never more so than in a mixed border setting. 

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SEASONS [back to top]

Autumn Chores

John Emmanuel

In the midst of fall’s beauty, preparations are under way for next year’s displays. 

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A Fall Sampler

A Fall Sampler: Salvia, Corydalis, Ceratostigma, Acer, Kirengeshoma

Five experts extol their favorite plant for autumn display. 

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First Flowers

First Flowers

Graham Stuart Thomas

A master plantsman's picks for late-winter garden interest. 

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Winter Attractions

Winter Attractions

Christopher Lloyd

Skeletons, barks, and berries usher out one season and bring in another. 

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PLANS [back to top]

A Medley of Groundcovers

A Medley of Groundcovers for Shade 

Ken Rawson

Turn a shady corner of your garden into an oasis of lush foliage and calming colors. 

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A Sunny Border in Cool Colors

A Sunny Border in Cool Colors 

Ken Rawson

Thirteen plants in a border to help take the heat out of a long summer day. 

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Cool Lights Shade Garden

Cool Lights Shade Garden 

Shrubs and perennials that provide colorful flowers and foliage in partial shade. 

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Deer-Resistant Garden

Deer-Resistant Garden for Sun 

Plants with a long season of interest and foliage that deer generally avoid. 

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Making a Mixed Border

Making a Mixed Border 

Ken Rawson

Just ten different plants, with flowers in shades of purple, blue, and rose can create a lively, three-season show. 

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Shady Lane Garden

Shady Lane Garden 

Hostas combine well with Virginia Bluebells, variegated Solomon's Seal, and old-fashioned Bleeding Heart. 

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Sultry Delights Garden

Sultry Delights Garden for Sun 

Shrubs and perennials for a long season of bloom in full sun. 

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