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Layered Gardens

Garden insets

Like in nature, a border of plants needs an ebb and flow – an inset – places where plants are set back like a cave as if the wall has crumbled a bit for a better peep inside.

(Pictured: the inset (center) has been created in this border and will be filled with ground covers and other plants to form a “low” peek inside that appears almost “cave like.”)

Like in nature, a border of plants needs an ebb and flow – an inset – places where plants are set back like a cave as if the wall has crumbled a bit for a better peep inside. This is how nature does it – nothing is a solid wall of anything … there are peeks – places where there is a space and a view into the thicket.

Garden borders can use insets as well to break up the “unnatural” look of a long border. Why do it?

  1. It creates a drama with the light and shadows.
  2. Unique or dainty plants get a chance to shine and be noticed.
  3. Depending on the lighting, you can have a place of shade within a long sunny border for more plant choices.
  4. It stops the viewer – a pause of sorts – a place to take a few moments to peep.
  5. It better mirrors the natural environment.

Insets are easy to do. If starting new, just plan the space. Or, during a time that you plan to divide plants, you can work in an inset or two.

Give it a try.

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