Border garden beds are wonderful additions to your landscape when you want to highlight an edge, such as a driveway, fence, walkway, front porch, or patio. They can be used to delineate visual boundaries or create physical compartments in your landscape.
When it comes to highlighting permanent features, such as a trellis or gazebo, or dividing spaces in your yard or vegetable garden, border gardens are just the thing. As they often follow an edge, they are usually rectangular in shape, but can also be designed to include gentle curves for less formal gardens.
Most gardeners plant taller annuals and perennials to the back of these beds, placing shorter items towards the front. Border beds can be created to spotlight long seasons of bloom on a continuum or focused around a one-season spectacular show. If you opt for the one-season showcase, be sure to plan the rest of your landscaping to balance out the seasons during which your border bed lies fallow.
Nearby shrubs, ground cover, and ornamental grasses can help your yard to that regard and can offer visual interest and texture year-round. I prefer to choose interesting foliage, such as hostas and alumroots, and long-lasting blooms like coreopsis. A good border, unless it is full of wild perennial plantings, should not be more than several feet in width; more than that, its width makes the bed difficult to tend, weed, and maintain.