Every beautiful picture needs a frame. So what’s the perfect frame for your beautiful artificial grass lawn? A colorful pattern of plants around the perimeter. Pretty flowers or softly waving ornamental grasses can give your lawn definition. They can give your yard a distinctive look. And that’s just the beginning.
Flowers and shrubs can soften the look of hardscapes such as walls or walkways. Or the edge of your driveway. This design benefit is especially valuable where fencing or paths are constructed in long straight lines. To the human eye, rigid lines and perfect symmetry are actually off-putting. By using plants to make edges more irregular, visually speaking, your garden space becomes more appealing. Using patterned borders to create curves can lead the eye from one spot to another in your garden, too.
If you have a swimming pool, you’ve already figured out that artificial grass makes the best “decking.” So much prettier, safer, and barefoot-friendly than concrete coping or pavers. Just like the rest of your lawn, the faux grass around your pool will look even better if you edge it with patterned plants. Choose carefully, though, because poolside plantings have special needs.
Ideas for creating a patterned plant border
Some plants are naturally patterned – that is, they have variegated leaves or multi-colored blossoms. Mostly, though, it will be up to you as the garden designer to create pattern within your borders. You can do that any way you want – with bright blocks of a single color or contrasting colors, undulating waves of complimentary colors, or a friendly mix-up of multiple colors.
Want to make a bold statement? Choose warm-hot reds, yellow, and oranges. Want to create a sight that is more restful and soothing? Choose cool colors such as purples and blues, or pale pastels. Pick a thematic color and use a range of shades to create your pattern. Use plants of varying heights to create a different kind of pattern.
If you don’t want a riotous pattern of flower colors, design your border with patterning based on leaf sizes, textures, and shades of green or gray. You can achieve an entirely different type of visual – and an entirely different feeling. In other words, whatever the theme in your garden, you can design a living, patterned border that blends in beautifully.
Change it up
The rule of thumb for borders is “tallest in back, graduated to shortest in front.” That seems obvious, since you want to see everything, but graduating plant heights also leads the eye around your landscape, just as curved lines do. And, besides, rules are made to be broken. Placing a larger plant at the front of the border here and there makes your space even more interesting. Your pattern is unexpected.
Along the same line, garden art – sculpture, a fountain or birdbath, a found item of some kind – can also provide an unexpected pattern change within your border.
Hardy herbs make beautiful borders, plus you can snip off whatever you need for tonight’s dinner. Lavender comes in various shades of gray, with flower colors that include white, pink, and blue as well as, well, lavender. Different types of thyme, culinary sage, and oregano have lovely yellow or variegated leaves.
As you’re designing your edging, remember to account for seasonal changes. Clever positioning of early and late season bulbs and flowers that appear in spring, summer, or fall will keep your border enticingly patterned year round. Just remember to consider the sun vs. shade situation, too. Many plants combine nicely from a visual standpoint, but they won’t work well in the end because they have very different sunlight or water needs.