Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about walkways and pathways through your landscape. Walkways and pathways are hardscape elements that we, at Peer Landscaping, love to build because we want you to be able to walk through your Southwest Florida landscape easily and enjoyably. A garden border at the edge of your walkway, driveway or path offers a functional and striking feature to your yard. Here are some of the reasons we recommend having us design and add a beautiful border to your walkways.
- It enlivens the senses. Choosing bright flowers or colorful bromeliads invite you to walk your pathway daily to see the beauty. Planting fragrant plants like Gardenia or Almond Verbena or Ylang-Ylang provide a delicious scent that adds the sensory experience of walking through your garden. This is especially true on warm evenings.
- Aesthetically it integrates the hardscape into the landscape. The starkness of a walkway or pathway merely going through grass before ending at either a door or patio is nowhere near as attractive as one in which flowers or plants have added texture and color to it. Hardscapes definitely look manmade, so by softening the edges of walkways, they are better integrated into your landscape and feel more naturally like a part of the environment.
- It invites pollinators and local fauna. By choosing plants that naturally attract butterflies, birds and bees, your flower border can provide a habitat and create a diverse ecosystem in your yard.
- Decrease your yard maintenance. The more flowers and plants you have in your yard, the less grass. Grass demands more water, more fertilizer and more weed and pest control than a well-planted garden. Best of all, less mowing!
- Variety is the spice of life. While the most common choice for a garden border for a walkway is low lying flowering plants, the truth is, we can use flowers, small trees, hedges, herbs, and many different sizes of plants to create your border.
Border Design Considerations
When we design the borders for your walkways, we will gather ideas from you on the colors, textures and types of plants you love most here in Southwest Florida. But there are many more design considerations we must keep in mind to be sure you can enjoy your border without worrying about it.
- The right plants for the right locations for the right reasons. We will take into consideration the amount of sunlight and shade the planting location gets, the soil conditions and the water needs of the plants you desire.
Low maintenance for maximum pleasure. We will do our best to choose low-maintenance plants so that you can enjoy your border garden without working too hard on it.
- Balance and shape of the border plants. Our design will consider the different sizes, heights and shapes of the various plants you like. We will arrange them to enhance the shape of the walkway, while giving you a view of your landscape, staggering plants in different height formations to enhance them.
- Enhancing the design of your home. You may live in a Spanish revival two story, or a traditional Florida ranch, and each of these has a very different style profile. As such, we want to enhance the look of your home with the types of plants and the design of them to match the style and design of it.
- Color, scent and plant types. Whether you are looking for a border of soft green herbs, or a resort style tropical plant border of bromeliads, we can provide you with the design plan of your dreams. We can complement the color of your home, or contrast the plants to it, whichever you prefer.
- The size and shape of your walkway should be enhanced by the border garden. We want to be sure not to plant so many plants that it overwhelms the walkway, but neither should they be so small and sparse that they get lost in your landscape. The walkway and border garden should have a natural flow and feel.
Different Styles of Garden Borders to Consider
Depending on your individual style, the size and shape of your yard, and your walkway, there are many different possibilities for, our Peer Landscaping designer to create a visually striking garden border that’s functional and easy to maintain. Here are some style ideas for your consideration.
A Mediterranean Herb Border
In the gardens of Southern European Countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain, the sandy soil and year round sun (much like Southwest Florida) is the perfect growing environment for fragrant herbs. Homeowners in these countries often use parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, lemon grass, and lavender as borders to their garden paths as they are not only pretty, they are useful for those who love the culinary arts! Many of these plants are also mosquito inhibitors due to their fragrance.
Blocks of Color Design
If you love lots of different kinds of flower, the color block design may be just what you want. There are two main ways to design this way. We can group several different kinds of plants in the same color or shade along the walkway, or perhaps in specific spots along the path. Or we can plant a flower variety that comes in many different shades and group the specific shades together. For example Lantana grows well in Southwest Florida and comes in shades of red, orange, pink and yellow. By creating blocks of the individual colors it creates a pretty patchwork quilt look that goes well with a cottage style house.
A Foliage Only Border
We have plenty of tropical plants that provide color without flowers. Bromeliads come in a variety of colors and sizes that work well. Coleus comes in many variegated varieties of red and green and even purple. Caladium comes in pink, white, purple, red and green. Mixing and matching these types of colorful foliage gives the border a beautiful look without having to worry about constantly deadheading flowers.
A Low Hedge Border
Hedges like Calusa or Cocoa Plum can be clipped into a neat square or rounded off hedge to border each side or just one side of your walkway. This type of design goes well with more formal looking homes and gardens.
Smaller bushes like Almond Verbena, Popcorn Cassia, and Plumbago are the types of flowering shrubs that look great planted at intervals along with low lying ground hugging flowers or flowering groundcover.
Born and raised in Southwest Florida, Peer Landscaping owners Bailey and Katie Peer bring a passion for beauty, as well as Christian values to their love of landscaping. Based in Fort Myers, FL, the Peer Landscaping team uses innovative 3-D design techniques that allow you to see how a new landscape design will truly look on your property, before any work is done. Check out our portfolio of the beautiful tropical landscapes we’ve completed at https://peerlandscaping.com/ and then give us a call to start designing your gorgeous new landscape! 239-645-6455