How To Create a Herbaceous Border

We’ve asked this month's Modern Creative, garden designer Sam Ovens for his tips on creating an ever-changing work of art.


This month our prints draw on the work of Getrude Jekyll, a creative force of the Arts & Crafts movement, who brought an artist’s eye for colour to garden design.

In her signature herbaceous borders, Gertrude would cleverly group delicate flowers to create brushstrokes of bold colour on a canvas of soft greens.

Gertrude Dress in Alstroemeria, shot on location at Bonython Estate Gardens

Gertrude Dress in Alstroemeria, shot on location at Bonython Estate Gardens

Using contrast and colour to find the beauty in a space is also important to our Modern Creative for this month, garden designer Sam Ovens. We asked him to provide his top tips for anyone thinking about creating naturalistic herbaceous borders in their own garden:

Sam’s key points:

  • Be bold: choose a small palette of plants and use them in quantity to create large waves.
  • Use different textures and heights, so you’ve got contrasts within the border.
  • Consider how plants move. Sam suggests using something like an ornamental grass throughout, to link it all together and add movement.

We’d love to see your own beautiful gardens, show us yours on Instagram using #SeasaltArtsClub.

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