The Garden Sandwich

This must be one of the best times of year for any gardener because it’s  spring – a season to get planting. So out we rush, happy smiles on our faces . . . until we hit a major garden challenge – like the dreaded narrow garden bed.

Flower Carpet 'White' rose

The hedge behind these white Flower Carpet roses gives a small space depth.

You know the one; it typically runs between a fence and the paved or grassy area where you sit, so you’re forced to look at your boundary. Of course you could plant a row of bushes, something large enough to cover the fence, but it’s pretty blah, and often requires regular pruning. But if you plant a screen of attractive hedging plants along the fence, a low-growing series of edging plants along the edge of the paving or yard, and fill the bit in-between with something else lovely, you’ll feel like your side fence has taken a few steps backwards. It will also look a lot better. Instead of just a screening treatment you will have planted a garden – and that’s a big difference.


plants for driveways

Smack against the paving, Snow Storm agapanthus make a narrow border into a garden.


fragrant magnolias

Fairy Magnolia “White” in full bloom!

This approach works best when you use easy care, dependable plants. You need plants that will perform, look good, and need minimum maintenance. Here’s a combination to get you going: plant the white flowering Fairy Magnolia to cover the fence (it looks great even when not in bloom); set a row of Snow Storm agapanthus (warm climates) or low-growing AAS Winner Zinnia Crystal White (cooler climates) to run along the front edge of your garden bed and then fill the area in the middle with white Flower Carpet roses. This combination of green foliage and white flowers is especially lovely and the combination of these particular plants means almost zippo maintenance. The roses behave best if given a going over with the hedge clippers once a year, but will pretty much perform regardless.




blooming hedges

Fairy Magnolias look great even when not in bloom!


This sandwich approach is a simple planting model which you can play around with and get very satisfying results.

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