Sustainable Garden – Choosing and Marking Borders

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,921
    Expert gardener Susan Harris demonstrates how to choose and mark borders in your sustainable garden.

    Susan Harris

    Master Gardener Susan Harris is a gardening coach and writer. Visit her website for plant recommendations, guides to composting and mulching, Tips with Teeth, embellishments on her Monkey See videos, and much more.  Susan writes the award-winning team blog GardenRant.com with her three partners, her own blog, Takoma Gardener, and a gardening column in two Maryland newspapers. In her spare time she's an activist for urban and suburban greening in the Washington, D.C. area.

    Hi! I am Susan Harris and I am talking about sustainable gardening and in this clip, I am going to show you how to decide on the shape of your flower borders. What you see on the screen right now is an example of a perfect geometrical shape. It's an oval and it works well because it's in a small garden, it's also flat and it's seen up against the backdrop of the house, so it's a more formal space. In most situations what looks best are curves because they are natural and large curves too. They are very easy then to mow along; you don't have to edge afterwards. Now what I use to mark borders is called marking paint. It is spray paint that's designed to be used upside down and you can find it at any hardware store and this is how it works. Alright, now after I mark it like that I stand back and see if I really like this look. In the case of this garden, the gardener could stand up on her deck and observe it from a distance which would be perfect because thats probably how she is going to be seeing this line and believe it or not, the most dominant feature in this entire garden from that distance will be the line between the lawn and her border, more prominent than any single plant. So, this paint will last a couple of weeks. You might just observe it over time and tweak it as you change your mind a little bit and I will just mention another way to mark a border that's frequently recommended is to lay out a garden hose. I have tried this, but you know I have never gotten a hose to be supple enough. It always has little -- it's cricked here and there. So, I don't get that to work. So, if I run out of the marking paint, I have been known to use colored rocks or sticks, or logs just anything. In the next clip, I am going to cover how to prepare the borders of the sustainable garden for planting.