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Using Flowers for a Garden Border:

Here is a list of a few simple suggestions to make planning an attractive border garden; that will add charm and beauty to your outdoor living space.

•  Always use fewer varieties in masses than a large number of s specific type of plant. Otherwise it will look like a hodge-podge or collection. The masses blooms of a few simple choices create a unified look, whereas many different varieties will make your setting look spotted. As in all forms of composition, the first and greatest rule is to consider the composition as a whole and let the details come later.
• Plants should be arranged with the tallest varieties in the background, medium growing varieties in the middle ground and the low growing varieties as edging in the foreground.
• We can achieve an interesting skyline in our planting by using plants of varying heights in the background and using the tall, narrow varieties for accent at desirable points.
• Plants should be selected for height, color and habit. Mixed borders of perennials, annuals and bulbs are usually more satisfactory than borders devoted only to one kind of plant.
• Plan for sequence of bloom and see that our plan provides for as many plants in bloom as possible from early spring until frost. Annuals best fill in the gaps between the periods of perennial bloom.
• Harmony of color is to be considered and when two plants side by side bloom at the same time they should complement each other instead of having their colors compete. There are many delightful blooming combinations that will provide bright spots in the border throughout the season if proper consideration is given to color. Individual tastes enter naturally, for probably nowhere do they make themselves so strongly felt as in garden planning.
• Physical and climatic conditions are similarly important to consider for soils, sun and shade also enter into the proper selection of flowers and care should be taken to select only the type of flowers that will grow in our climate and under the conditions present in our outdoor living room.

After you have used these hints to choose your flowers, you can begin to draw out a plan. Be sure to consider the shape of the masses and the distance apart they will need to be.
There are two basic systems for grouping masses of flowers. You can use a system of squares, meaning you plant in parallel rows and the masses are rectangular. Or you could implement a draft scheme, meaning informally shaped massed will merge into on another, avoiding formality. Either method if a good one, it just depends on the look you are trying to create.

The size of your mass will be determined by your own personal taste. You can choose how many to plant together, but keep in mind if you are using perennials, they will bloom for a certain period and then be done, especially if the mass is too large. You could also consider front line planting and using long blooming varieties of plant or annuals to achieve a pleasant look.

You will determine the distance between plant by the growing character of the plant and how much they will spread. One square foot is required for plants that are low to medium growers. Peonies will use all 9 square feet, while tulips require being five to six inches apart.

Drawing up a plan, with the plants need in mind will save you time, and allow you to create an order and arrangement that will turn out beautifully. It allows you to proceed with your planting in a systematic method, whether you plant all in one year, or spread it out over several. By creating this plan and understanding the flowers you add to the borders you will create a look that is totally you, and can be enjoyed for years to come.