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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – December 15

Narrow Beds

Whoever coined the saying that “you can’t be too rich or too thin” isn’t a gardener. Gardens are certainly better if they are full and abounding…almost impossible if the beds are too skinny. In the landscape, more is more.

Many people create beds and borders that are a foot to eighteen inches wide. These are often placed on the perimeters of lawns or walkways. What most folks find is that plants placed in such emaciated beds grow quickly over these boundaries.

A line of single impatiens, begonias or geraniums might work in a thin band but that’s about it. A narrow area automatically dictates that you plant in lines not groups, so you’re limited to a formal look as well as a restricted plant selection.

When you’re laying out a border, place a garden hose down along where you imagine the edge should be. Now double the depth. Look pretty wide? You’re not done…kick it out a few more inches. Remember that anything you plant here will grow, in all directions.

In gardening as in life, always plan on things expanding.

Even a line of dwarf boxwood (how boring!) would overgrow this bed in five years.


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