Creating a garden border can transform your outdoor space, plus it doesn’t have to be labour intensive!  In this step-by-step guide, Envar will show you how to easily create a lovely garden border. From design to maintenance, we’ve got you covered.


Choosing The Right Location

Finding the perfect spot in your garden is the first crucial step. What area did you want to visually improve? What are the sunlight levels like? Will the plants you have in mind cope well here? If you have your heart set on a particular location, ensure you understand before planting what kind of plants will be suitable for those conditions. 

Also bear in mind the quality of the soil in your chosen spot, what condition is it in? Does your soil require new compost or does the drainage need improving? We go more into this later. 


Designing Your Garden Border: Key Elements

Your garden border design should reflect your personal style while complementing your overall garden aesthetic. Here are the key elements to consider:

  • Plant Selection: Choose a mix of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and small trees that thrive in your climate. Incorporate native plants for low-maintenance options.
  • Colour and Texture: Create visual interest by selecting plants with varying colours and textures. Group similar plants together for a cohesive look.
  • Height Variation: Add depth and dimension to your garden border by arranging plants in a way that varies their heights. Place taller species toward the back and shorter ones in the front.


Preparing The Soil

Often, preparing the soil is the most labour intensive part of the process, however, we have a few top tips to make this as easy as possible! Firstly, plan out the size and shape of your border by using poles, logs or garden edging, before covering the chosen area with cardboard.

The cardboard acts as a light barrier, preventing the growth of grass and weeds. Over time, it gradually decomposes, enriching the soil’s quality. By the end of this period, the majority of the grass and weeds will have naturally withered away. Not only does this add organic matter to the soil, but is a sustainably friendly way to reuse your used packaging. We recommend using cardboard that does not have a polyethylene lining. Following the cardboard, it is recommended to apply a mixture of topsoil and compost. To nurture plants that thrive in alkaline conditions, such as Polemoniums and lavender, we suggest using spent mushroom compost. This remarkable compost is a valuable by-product of the mushroom growing industry, boasting a rich blend of essential nutrients including phosphate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

We can also recommended a 2:1 mix of standard topsoil and Envar’s compost soil improver. This compost helps with the slow release of essential nutrients, helps reduce soil compaction, is an ideal source of organic matter and is 100% peat free! 


Planting Your Garden Border

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and start planting! Follow the planting instructions for each plant species, ensuring proper spacing to allow for growth. Arrange them according to your design plan.

Give your newly planted garden border a good soak to help the plants establish their roots. Water regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.


Maintenance Tips for a Thriving Garden Border

Maintenance is key to ensure your border remains a vibrant focal point in your garden. Keep an eye out for weeds and remove them promptly to prevent competition for nutrients and sunlight. Applying a layer of mulch will also help prevent weeds, as well as retain soil moisture and improve the overall appearance of your garden border. For your mulch layer, leftover compost from the soil preparation stage would be excellent. Alternatively, take a look at Envar’s selection of garden mulches.

We also recommend trimming of overgrown or dead foliage to encourage new growth, maintain the border’s shape and improve the appearance of the border as a whole.

In Summary…

Creating a garden border is a rewarding project that can elevate the beauty of your outdoor space. With careful planning, thoughtful design, and regular maintenance, your garden border will flourish and become a stunning centrepiece to your garden. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a stunning garden border in no time. Happy gardening!