Two examples of meadow mixborders
The first we will call “mountain meadow” and collect it from plants that do not exceed an average height of 80 cm. The second flower garden – “high-grass meadow” – will be formed by plants above 50 cm. One thing will be unified in these flower beds-beauty, continuity of flowering from early spring to autumn and availability in performance.
This mixborder is a fantasy that reflects our idea of what blooming mountain meadows should look like.
To give the mixborder the image of a mountain meadow, it is desirable, although not necessarily, to use a stone in the composition. To do this, stone blocks should be placed asymmetrically along the entire length of the flower garden singly or in groups. They should be partially sunk into the ground, and protruding from the ground, give the impression of washed-out rain stone exits.
Oversaturate the flower garden with stone should not be. A simpler and more natural method may be to place a flower garden along a path lined with a ragged “wild” stone, or to set up a two-line mixborder separated by such a path.
The composition of plants does not have strict regulations. The only thing to remember is their external similarity to the plants of mountain-meadow communities. Mixborder “mountain meadow” is characterized by continuous flowering.
Since early spring, it is filled with numerous ephemeroids, of which the best are those that have time to finish flowering and growth before the start of active growth of summer plants.
An undoubted decoration of the spring meadow will be Eranthis, small-flowered species of tulips, Crocus, Scilla sect. Chionodoxa, Muscari, Scilla, Iridodictyum. Very organic in the composition of small daisies, violets and Myosotis.
A mandatory component of our flower garden should be decorative herbs, and the most diverse, both low and relatively high-they should be placed evenly over the entire area of the mixborder.
All kinds of Festuca, Deschampsia cespitosa, Molinia, Carex, Koeleria are especially organic. It is quite logical to use low-growing annual cereals-Briza maxima, Lamarckia, Phalaris, Lagurus ovatus.
Late spring–early summer is the time of the reign of plants that can later become inconspicuous or hide under the foliage of perennials – Anemone sylvestris and Anemone narcissiflora, Paeonia tenuifolia, Pulmonaria, Primula, violets, trolius and similar species.
The summer floral ornament of the composition will consist of medium-sized herbaceous perennials-sage, Dictamnus, Achillea, bluebells, Viscaria vulgaris, poppies, Liatris, Aquilegia, geraniums, Hylotelephium spectabile, Gentiana septimfida.
Above them can rise single dominant ” krupnomerov – – Anthericum, Eryngium, Veratrum and Gentiana lutea.
The lower tier of our flower garden will be occupied by Alchemilla vulgaris, Carlina, Dianthus, Prunella, Pulsatilla, Leontopodium, asters and Gentiana.
The edges of the mixborder can be decorated with groundcover plants-thyme, Ajuga, Minuartia, Sedum, which are very important, because they will become living carpets. A special difference between “mountain meadow” and other types of meadow mixborders is the inclusion of Orchidaceae in them.
It is quite logical to plant a small number of woody plants, especially dwarf conifers, on the “mountain meadow”. They are not required for the composition, but if the mixborder is wide, their inclusion in it will bring it closer to the natural image. Especially noticeable is the effect of planting conifers in early spring, when other plants have not yet developed. It should be remembered, however, that in the summer, overgrown herbaceous perennials can constrain, or even drown out coniferous trees, which makes it possible to plant only low-growing and creeping species next to them.
Tall grass meadow
The composition, assembled from tall grassland plants, should resemble valley meadows and evoke a sense of delight in the richness and power of unspoilt wild nature. Such a flower garden must be spectacular so that no one, not for a moment, has an Association with blooming roadside thickets. However, it should be natural and in no way resemble a bright flower bed.
You can achieve this effect only in one way – by combining the most beautiful meadow and similar garden plants with decorative herbs in the composition. Large perennial grasses are of particular importance for the composition.
For temporary planting, cereals-annuals are very good. Decorative herbs should form the” backbone ” of our flower garden and become a natural background for flowering perennials.
It is quite natural that the planting of plants in a tall mixborder begins with tall grasses, which are placed in the background and in the center, but not tightly, but so that most of the area of the flower garden remains free for planting flowering plants.
Next in importance and order of planting are tall perennials with dense vertical stems and small leaves.
The rest of the area should be occupied by perennials of medium height.
In the foreground, cascading Alchemilla mollis, Prunella, Dianthus amurensis will be very effective, which, “falling” over the edges of the flower garden, will blur its borders.
It is very logical to use in small quantities varieties of familiar garden plants with small elegant flowers-narrow-leaved irises, Small Daylilies, elegant Astilbe.
Tall small-flowered Phlox look extremely effective against the background of cereals in a meadow flower garden. You can not do in our flower garden without such typical meadow plants as Gentiana. In the center – tall, and on the edges-low and cascading.
Flowering of the “high-grass meadow” is quite long, but its peak is mid-summer.
To maintain spring flowering, it is very appropriate to plant bulbous ephemeroids. The main criterion for selecting these plants should be the early death of foliage when leaving for summer rest, so the most suitable are a variety of “small-leaved”. Oversaturate the flower garden with spring flowers is not necessary, because they fill the places that could be occupied by plants blooming in early summer.
The set of these plants is very similar, and sometimes similar to those that decorate the composition “mountain meadow”. These are perennials that bloom for a short time and can successfully exist all summer under the cover of the foliage of large summer plants. Naturally, it is undesirable to plant such plants in an excessively shaded Central part of the flower garden.
Very noticeable in early summer can be a variety of tall onions, whose foliage dies very early, and purple globular inflorescences delight the eye for a long time.
Autumn is the time when the flowering of high-grass meadows is supported only by large Hylotelephium spectabile, late varieties of Phlox and various “timelessness” – Crocus and Colchicum. However, perhaps it is at this time that our meadow flower garden acquires a special charm, which is given to it by the magnificent ears of giant Miscanthus, pennisetum, Molinia and other cereals, after which we named it tallgrass.