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DIY Mixborder: Rules and Ideas for Beginners

If you are not a supporter of strict forms and do not want to limit your imagination to the observance of the rules and principles for the construction of flower beds, then the best option for you would be a one-sided review composition. When you create a mixborder in the country with their own hands allowed the embodiment of the most daring ideas. You can make an original composition, where beautiful plants and various shrubs will be successfully combined.

At a certain stage, aroused our interest in one of its most common elements — the mixborder. Until now, the inhabitants of foggy Albion create in their gardens the most sophisticated and spectacular mixborders. To explain this phenomenon is simple.

The ability to create a harmonious garden composition is usually hampered by an excessive assortment of plants. The British are so passionate about botany (they use its motifs everywhere - from tableware to curtains) that there can be no talk of minimalism in the garden. The only solution - mixborders, combining collections of a wide variety of plants - of course, subject to the most careful selection of plants in color, size, timing of flowering.

Compared to the British, we are limited in the choice of plants, but we also have a problem with an excess of species is very relevant. Therefore, it makes sense to rely on their experience and take note of some elements of creating flower gardens.

Compositions of ornamental plants in the design of mixborders should not look like alien islands in the garden. They are part of a whole, imbued with a common idea.

On this page you will learn how to make a mixborder with your own hands and how pick plants for him.

What did miksborder for perennial flowers and ornamental shrubs (with photos)

What is a mixborder in landscape design?

Mixborder - This is a linear composition of a one-sided review, where plants are selected in height, color, seasonal variation, shape, and other characteristics. Mixborders are good at any time of the year.

No doubt, the hedge is beautiful, but as a background for the composition, and not by itself. In fact, the hedge is the same wall, only from branches and leaves. It can perform the functions of a sound insulator, a screen that covers an unpleasant appearance, an element that forms the structure of a garden. But to admire a fence is as ridiculous as looking at a wall.

Quite often in Russian gardens there are hedges of plants with different leaf color. Conceiving something like this, be careful. If a one-color hedge can be made interesting. For example, having broken a mixborder of ornamental shrubs and perennial flowers on its background, it is very difficult to fix a motley hedge.

Compositions of one-sided review are very important elements of the garden, since in most cases they are viewed from certain specific points. Their design must be taken seriously. Before buying and planting plants, outline the composition plan on paper. At least in general terms. Knowing what a mixborder is for flowers and shrubs, and how to create it correctly, simple preparation will save you from unnecessary work related to transplants, alterations and additional care measures.

See how beautiful the mixborders of the perennials in these photos:

Examples of decorative multi-year mixborder

The analogue of the wall of the house or the fence in nature is the wall of the forest. The height of the plants at the edge decreases with distance from the forest wall and turns into a meadow. Same in the garden. We plant large bushes (or even trees) near the wall of the house or at the fence, then - medium in height and end up with low grassy plants or shrubs that “flow” into the lawn plane.

Edge as an analogue allows you to discuss some of the errors that we make when creating compositions one-sided review. Indeed, in our work we are obliged to take into account the laws of this community.

Here is one example of a beautiful mixborder in a garden composition. In nature, you are unlikely to see a path that runs exactly along the perimeter of the edge. She then slips into the forest, then goes to the meadow.

And in gardens, the path almost always becomes the boundary element between the plane of the lawn and the linear composition of a one-sided view. This is perfectly acceptable, but not particularly interesting.

Being engaged in the creation of mixborders, try to play with the situation when the axis of the track and the border line of the lawn - mixborder do not match. Let the path then enter the composition, passing between perennials, then re-enter the lawn. Such a solution can be particularly effective in small areas.

The winding path that arouses curiosity fits much better into the Russian person’s idea of ​​what a garden should be. European “gardens in the palm of your hand”, which are easy to evaluate, looking around, usually seem boring to us.

As seen in the photo, mixborders in landscape design look very organic:

Creating garden flower mixborders in the country with their own hands (with photos)

Height. How to create a one-sided view when creating a mixborder with your own hands?

We select the height of its elements, taking into account that the line of the upper edge is beautiful. At the same time, we are not always able to appreciate the beauty created. The fact is that we see the composition not entirely, but partially (only the lower or upper part), because we are too close to it.

For a holistic perception of a beautiful mixborder, it is necessary that the distance from the point of view to the composition be at least two of its heights. Of course, you can use even very large trees, but note that they will “work” only as a background. Only the owner of the neighboring area, which is located at a greater distance from the composition, can see everything as a whole.

In addition, with the device mixborders in the country is not always taken into account the height of the fence or the wall in front of which the composition is built. If the upper edge of the wall does not fall into the angle of view, you can build a composition of any height, but if it is visible, then the edge (for example, the upper edge of the fence) must be taken into account.

Before you make a mixborder, to facilitate the design, take pictures of the garden from those points where you are going to admire the composition of a one-sided view. In this case, use the function of approximation or deletion of the image is not necessary. Shooting is best done when there are no leaves on the trees: you can immediately see what happens if you remove a plant.

Let us consider the case when a person creates a mixborder from shrubs, trees and perennials on the background of a long fence. Often this is done with the sole purpose of getting rid of monotony. But the monotony in most cases is preserved, because the plants and other elements of the composition do not cross the upper edge of the fence anywhere. At the same time, it is necessary for any plant to cross the edge, as the feeling of monotony will disappear, since we will see not one long line, but two short ones.

It's importantso that the upper edge of the one-sided view when creating a mixborder of ornamental shrubs is not straight. Remember again what the forest edge looks like.

The tops of the plants are located at different heights, they form a beautiful line. In garden compositions with a small depth, it is difficult to play with changes in height from the fence to the front edge of the composition.

Therefore, selecting plants for mixborders should work linearly, that is, create a graphically interesting contour on a specific background.

Remember about the rule of creating mixborders: the smaller the depth, the more obvious the height variations along the wall should be. Otherwise, the result will be a “brick”, that is, the eye will have nothing to catch on, nothing to isolate. In other words, we will not beat the wall, but create another one parallel to it, only from plants, and the same monotonous one.

Depth. It is clear that the height of the elements of the composition should decrease as it approaches the observer. But many gardeners are calculating heights mathematically. Planted plants in piles: high, medium, low. Then alternately planted these heaps along the fence: high row, middle row, low row. This is the wrong approach.

As can be seen in the photo, in a mixborder of shrubs and perennials, the composition will look more natural and effective if some plants of the background fall into the middle one, and the middle one comes to the fore:

It is quite good when some low plants are among the ground cover plants that translate the composition into the plane of the lawn.

Another rule: rows of plants should not be parallel. After all, there are no straight lines in nature. Even in the case when a one-sided view composition is built between a fence and a track parallel to each other, it should not repeat these lines. It is also important to avoid parallels within the composition itself.

By the way, there is also a dependency between the width of the lines and the height of the decorative mixborder composition. With an increase in the width of the strip, the height of the plants should also increase (and vice versa). In nature, this dependence is visible to the naked eye, it is absolutely natural. But when designing flower beds, this condition is not always met. But when tall plants are planted in the narrow part of the composition, and low plants in the broad part, it looks unnatural.

Width. The width of the one-way view can be small and fit into the horizontal angle of view 30 °. But more often it has a greater length. It’s hard to imagine, for example, a mixborder that would completely fit into an 30-degree angle of view. After all, a mixborder is a composition consisting of a series of consecutive pictures.

The problem is that many too literally relate to the theory of building a multi-year mixborder. But it’s not about creating several compositions and sticking them together. No, we build one linear composition, but depending on what part of the person is looking at, it has several, let's say, persons — several finished, well-balanced parts. Please note that when reviewing accents may shift. For example, in one part of the composition a certain element plays a subordinate role, and in the next - becomes an accent.

It is very important for both experienced flower growers and beginners to create a hierarchy of elements when creating a mixborder. Always one must dominate, the other must obey. The absence in the composition of the main and subordinate elements is a gross mistake, negating all efforts to build a mixborder.

In the presence of the main and subordinate elements, a person sitting on a bench turns his gaze right-left, up and down, isolates pictures (corresponding to the horizontal angle of view 30 °) and admires them.

Well, when the accents, and accordingly the pictures change from season to season.

Look at the photo - in the mixborder in the garden in spring, blooming bulbous attract attention:

In autumn, the emphasis is on the bright coloring of the bushes, in winter - on the expressive pattern of the bark of the trees. Nature itself tells us that we need to make the most of the opportunity to change something, rather than create static, for example, purely coniferous, compositions that are “in winter and summer in one color”.

Simple mixborders options: colors and rhythm

Color. The vast majority of modern flower gardens sins excessive variegation. A huge number of small strokes, which do not add up to color spots, ruin the composition. In fact, because of this, we perceive it as one big color spot. There is no rhythm, no mutual subordination, the eye has nothing to catch on.

When you carefully examine the paintings, it is clear that they consist of small color strokes. But the strokes are not scattered on the canvas, but clearly interact with each other, forming larger color spots, color transitions, contrasts. Try using a similar principle in a flower garden, working with plants as with paints.

Another common mistake is excessive color intensity in a mixborder composition. Imagine a bright flower garden at the subway. After the working day, in the context of gray urban development, it is so impressive that I want to create something similar on the site. Not worth it. Russian people are not so temperamental to feel comfortable in such an environment. Therefore, one should take into account the duration of perception of a particular composition.

It’s one thing to walk past a bright flower garden in a city square, and it’s quite another to contemplate it month after month in your own plot. However, if there is already a similar composition on the plot and it is difficult to part with it, try lowering the color contrast by introducing elements with a light achromatic color (white, light gray) into the composition.

By the way, silver plants in landscape design mixborders are often underestimated. Perhaps they really are not always good in themselves, but as elements in a composition of bright plants are irreplaceable.

The list of silver plants is not as small as it may seem at first glance. And if herbaceous plants are more or less familiar, then we often forget about woody plants.

Pay attention to the photo - in the design of mixborders, the silver and narrow-leaved suckers look very organically, the sea buckthorn, Shepherdia, many willows, willow pears and a cholee, rowan aria and intermediate:

Rhythm. Imagine: you have planted a plant, sat down on a bench, admiring the labors of your hands, and suddenly you know: everything is fine, but you would have to plant the same plant right over there, to the right. This is nothing more than the desire to organize the space, give the composition a rhythm.

What can be set rhythm in mixborders of perennials and ornamental shrubs?

Partly by changing the height of the top edge of the composition. Also, rhythm is created by openings between plants when fragments of a fence or wall are visible in the openings. The rhythm can be set and the shape of the crown, color, texture of the surface. It is not necessary to use the same types of plants, it is enough that they were somewhat similar. For example, planting plants at a certain distance with high, medium and low spike-shaped inflorescences will set the rhythm not only with the shape (ears), but also with the height.

In order for the rhythm to be noticeable, the composition must have at least two or three repeating elements. A steady sense of rhythm arises with the repetition of four or five elements.

On the other hand, the monotonous repetition of the elements (a series of vertical conifers along the fence) is tiring, making the composition boring. It is possible to level monotony with the help of various inclusions that will weaken the rhythm and make it not so obtrusive.

On these photos - the best mixborders, created by yourself:

Making beautiful mixborders in country gardens (with photos)

When the device mixborder little to create a composition. It is important that it fits into the garden environment both stylistically and structurally.

The composition of a one-sided review has its own specifics - it is almost always built against the background of the fence, the walls of the house, the hedge. And before the composition is usually the plane of the lawn, lawn.

If you want, for example, to set up a bench for admiring a mixborder, you need to think carefully about how to arrange it. Sitting facing the wall, having an open space behind, is extremely uncomfortable. It is necessary that the back was protected. Of course, it is best when the bench stands back to the wall of the house, but if this option is not possible, plant a bush behind the bench or establish a support with climbing plants.

Imagine: you are standing in a clearing and looking around. The edge that is on the right is very beautiful, and the frontal looks flat and inconspicuous. The plants are the same, the structure of the arrangement is similar, but the effect is different.

It turns out that perception changes depending on how the object is oriented to the cardinal points. It is very important to take into account when designing mixborders with one-sided view compositions. Of course, wanting to break a flower garden against a wall of a house or a fence, we will be limited by circumstances, because we will not transfer a wall or fence. However, given the nature of light, you can adjust even the simplest mixborder, make it more expressive.

There is a lawn behind the bench, but in this case, a person who admires the pond and landings will not experience discomfort, because there is also an open space in front of him.

As can be seen in the photo, compositions looking to the east or west look best in beautiful mixborders:

The relief of both individual plants and the composition as a whole is extremely beautiful.

The southern exposure is dangerous in that the flower garden can turn out to be flat, similar to an appliqué. Pastel colors look inexpressive, but bright red and orange, on the contrary, are extremely effective. Making a bet on the texture of the leaves or the relief of the crown, it is difficult to succeed, but you can successfully work with the color of the plants and beat the openwork crown.

The north-oriented composition is in the shadows all the time. Usually such places are afraid. Nevertheless, there are a lot of plants that feel perfectly near the northern wall. In this mixborder great options - herbaceous perennials (kupeny, ferns, black cohosh, rogers, hosts) and some woody plants (Mahonia, hydrangea, pahizandra and others). Interestingly, many plants in the shaded areas look even better than in the sun.

Remember that the groups located in the shade should certainly be “highlighted” by plants with white or cream leaves. Do not believe the stories that in the shade all variegated plants turn green. Derain, dream, hosts do not change color.

Also note that the flowers of many plants are facing the rising sun. The same applies to some fruit plants. For example, in the Everest apple tree, the fruit is much more decorative from the lighted side. On young shoots of some shrubs, say, certain varieties of turf, the color of the bark on the illuminated side is also much brighter. To admire such a bush is better when the sun shines in your back.

The most beautiful mixborders in the country are shown in these photos:

Often we forget that the nightlife of the garden is no less interesting than the daytime. However, it can be fully enjoyed only after artificial lighting has been installed.

Further, it will be described in detail what role small architectural forms, lanterns and other accessories play in the style decision of the composition.

In the meantime, it should be noted that it is necessary to use all the above elements in a mixborder composition with caution. As for the lanterns, they are more "influential" during the day than at night.

At night, the space is organized by the light that they spread, and by day the lights themselves. Do not rush to immediately buy your favorite lights. Think over the composition well, try to imagine how the lighting devices will fit into it.

As shown in the photo, when designing a mixborder, it is very important to correctly position the lights:

Agree, a row of lanterns along the path separating the lawn and mixborder, looks sad. Whether it is hidden lighting or spotlights with turning lights.

You can select several vertical elements and illuminate several planes - and the night garden, full of secrets and mysteries, is ready. Are you fed up with the picture? Just unfold the ceiling and you are in a new garden.

How to create a mixborder and arrange the composition (with video)

It should be noted that the one-sided composition and flower mixborder as its special case can be stylized, perhaps better than any other element of the garden.

  • First, the mixborder rarely gets into one angle of view with the house. Namely, the house most often limits us in our ability to stylize any part of the garden.
  • Secondly, the wall or fence, along which the mixborders are most often broken, can be successfully decorated, setting the tone for the chosen style. Any stylization, in fact, is nothing but a game of associations.

How to create mixborders in different styles? If you want to show Japan, choose an alternative to bamboo, Japanese maples, mosses. Want to show Italy - look for plants that look like cypress, olives, pine.

The same with walls: Embody associations with a wall of country, a wall in a Japanese garden or a wall against which the English mixborder is made.

However, do not forget that, while engaged in styling when creating a garden mixborder, it is easy to play and slip into kitsch. When plastic geese supplement the “village” composition, and wheels and hooks are hung on the fence, like on a fire shield, it looks vulgar.

Perhaps the listed accessories would be perfectly suited for the decoration of the patio cafe, but for a small garden, they are unlikely to fit. Of course, we can use small architectural forms - sculpture, lanterns, etc. - but with extreme caution. It is still better when the natural component prevails in the stylized landscape, and architecture obeys it.

It is very important to take into account the context in which the composition is built. Pay attention to the environment, see what grows behind the fence, right, left. Whatever one may say, the spruce forest under the Mediterranean cannot be styled, and a romantic white garden will not work in the hot sun.

We can not ignore either the conditions of our site, or what is located outside of it. For example, behind the fence - a neighbor's orchard with tall old apples or the outskirts, and behind it a forest. The fence is solid, and at its foot you begin to create a one-sided view composition without connecting it with the species on the other side of the fence. Even if the view is completely hidden, the virtual border between compositions that are polar in their aesthetics before and after the fence does not disappear.

This is not about planting trees in the garden from a forest or an apple tree, like that of a neighbor. But a smooth transition is necessary, and it can be ensured through simple actions.

A great idea when creating a mixborder is to divide grassy and woody plants into groups according to physiognomic type. Some can be safely attributed to the "village", others - to the "forest", others - to the "exotic", etc.

To make your mixborder as harmonious as possible, use this advice. If you want to create an exotic flower garden against the background of a neutral Central Russian forest, use shrubs or trees that fall in their physiognomic type into the “forest” group.

Take not species, but exotic varieties, such as slit-leaf or golden-leaf. Unusual "forest" plant smooths the contrast.

Naturally, in this case, the fence will not go anywhere. But he will no longer share two alien environments.

The impression will be that the fence cuts a piece of forest to the site, which is visible behind it, and the flower beds are a natural continuation of the edge. As a rule, such a picture is natural and harmonious.

Watch the video “Creating Mixborders”, where the best design ideas for such flower beds are shown:

What to plant in mixborder: selection of plants (with photo)

When deciding what to plant in a mixborder, and choosing plants for a one-sided garden composition, remember that you can combine a huge number of species.

But this does not in any way relieve us of the need to select plants taking into account the laws of color and proportion, seasonal variation and stylistics, biology and ecology. Taking into account all these factors, you can place full garden collections in the mixborder.

It is often said that a collector’s garden cannot be beautiful. Show the plant in its entirety can be only in the landscape, but not in the garden.

It is clear that the garden of the collector is not without beds: it is a quarantine, and reproduction, and the cultivation of some rare specimen. But there is what is called a depository, and there is an exposition part.

And in this exposition part everything should be aesthetically and thoughtfully. The word "collection" is not always correctly interpreted. For example, no one says that he collects things at home. You can collect paintings, coasters, books, but not things. So, probably, in the garden.

Is it possible to collect plants at all? Of course not, they collect ferns or succulents, dwarf coniferous or alpine rarities, but not plants in principle. On the other hand, not all of the groups of plants can create a complete composition. In many cases, you still have to resort to using species that are not in the collection group.

How to find out whether it is possible to create a composition for a mixborder from a certain group of plants? First of all, determine if there are species or varieties in this group capable of playing dominant and subordinate roles, as well as neutral, background plants.

Good composition will come from barberry. Accents - barberry Ottawa or Thunberg ('Erecta'), medium view - umbrella-shaped barberry varieties Thunberg and common, foreground - creeping forms of barberry Thunberg ('Green Carpet').

A similar situation with spireas, where the diversity of species is also great. Perhaps it is with vines. For example, a collection of clematis, which does not have a variable crown shape, is easy to diversify by changing the shape of the support.

But can we do the same with dereni, lapchatka, hosts with all their enormous diversity? Most likely no. Agree, in the mass of the same hosts will be exactly the mass. In such cases, in Europe they often hold two or three collection groups that perfectly complement each other.

As can be seen in the photo, when selecting plants for a mixborder, representatives of one collection act as accents, another play a subordinate role, and the third one “works” as a background:

However, everything is much simpler if you do not set yourself the task of beating a particular group of plants. In this case, we simply choose the species that meet the environmental conditions of the site, of them - those that suit us in size, and from the rest - suitable for the style and color.

From the selected species we build the composition, taking into account the seasonal variability of the plants, we determine the accents and subordinate elements, look for the rhythm, work with the background.

Capricious, requiring serious care plants should not claim to be dominant. The basis of the composition can only be stably decorative, winter-hardy, species meeting the ecology of the site.

Garden is another matter, in which special conditions are created for the maintenance of a particular collection. Such a garden requires constant attention. This is a great work, as nature always seeks to return everything to its place.

Very often in the compositions of a one-sided review. Lianas are used, because these compositions are usually placed against the background of the wall of a house or fence. Creepers are extremely diverse. They differ in their requirements for growing conditions, style (physiognomic type), and stability.

Some types of shade-tolerant, but demanding to soil fertility and moisture (aristolohiya), others light-requiring and drought-resistant (honeysuckle). As regards the physiognomic type, among the lianas there are also “village” (hsmel) and aristocratic (clematis, lagenarii) plants.

Many Creepers, for example, a wood pliers are very stable, literally “impenetrable”, while others, such as acute actinidia, are delicate and demanding. With proper selection and planting, you can visually break the upper edge of the fence in the same way as with the help of trees or tall grassy plants.

Properly picked vines perfectly combine the landscape on the other side of the fence with the composition in front of it.

And finally, once again enjoy the charm of the most beautiful mixborders in the country gardens on these photos:

Scheme: 1 - bamboo-thorn; 2 - hybrids of bearded iris; 3 - Lobelia; 4 - creeping tentacle; 5 - Bell Poskharsky; 6 - obriety hybrids; 7 - bruner krupnolistnaya; 8 - Schilolithus bratum; 9 - creeping red-leafed tentacle; 10 - reed arundo

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