Garden Design for a Deck

A garden design featuring easy-to-grow shrubs and perennials enhances this deck and helps it blend into the garden.


Enlarge Image Brick edging helps prevent grass from invading the beds.

When it comes to integrating a deck into the landscape, most of us settle for a few low-growing evergreens or a line of small shrubs. This mixed border shows that year-round interest and low-maintenance can come together to truly enhance the beauty of a deck.

The free-form beds include plants in a range of heights and foliage colors that helps maintain interest even when the flowers are not in bloom. Most of the plants are suited to a wide range of growing conditions from USDA growing zones 4 to 8.

Planning the Perfect Deck

How the Garden Was Created
Enlarge Image West border.

The edges of the bed were laid out with hoses to ensure smooth curves. Next, potted plants were set out to determine the ideal positioning. Once the planting plan was set, the sod was removed and organic matter tilled into the soil.

Along the west side of the deck, ornamental grasses like blue sedge and blue lyme grass get a starring role.

Enlarge Image South border.

After the soil was prepared, the bed was planted. Then came the installation of brick edging, and finally, a 3-inch layer of shredded cedar mulch. Limestone pavers were added at the bottom of the deck stairs to keep this high-traffic area looking fresh.

Plants along the south side of the deck include Russian sage, 'Goldsturm' black-eyed Susan, and variegated wintercreeper.

Easy Perennials To Grow

Legend
Enlarge Image West border.

(A) Variegated eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'); 5 ft. Zones 5-8. (B) Blue lyme grass (Elymus glaucus); 2 ft. Zones 4-9. (C) 'Vera Jameson' stonecrop (Sedum 'Vera Jameson'); 9 in. Zones 4-9. (D) Wine and Roses weigela (Weigela florida 'Alexandra'); 6 ft. Zones 5-8. (E) 'Ivory Jade' wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei 'Ivory Jade'); 3 ft. Zones 4-9. (F) 'Monch' aster (Aster x frikartii 'Monch'); 3 ft. Zones 5-8. (G) Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicfolia); 4 ft. Zones 4-9. (H) 'Goldsturm' black-eyed Susan (Rudbecia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'); 2 ft. Zones 3-9. (I) Fernleaf alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula 'Aspelendifoila'); 10 ft. Zones 3-8. (J) Eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis); 3 ft. Zones 5-9. (K) 'Prairie Sun' rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun'); 3 ft. Annual. (L) Blue sedge (Carex glauca); 1 ft. Zones 5-9. (M) Alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula); 15 ft. Zones 3-8. (N) Potted annuals on pedestals. (O) 'Blue Chip' creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Chip'); 1 ft. Zones 3-9.

Legend
Enlarge Image South border.

(L) Blue sedge (Carex glauca); 1 ft. Zones 5-9. (Q) Angel's Blush hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Ruby'); 8 ft. Zones 4-8. (P) 'Bumalda' Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica 'Bumalda'); 4 ft. Zones 4-9. (R) 'Eichholz' cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri); 1 ft. Zones 5-8. (S) 'Ivory Halo' redtwig dogwood (Cornus alba 'Ivory Halo'); 5 ft. Zones 2-8. (T) 'Ruby Spice' summersweet (Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice'); 8 ft. Zones 4-9. (V) Ravennagrass (Erianthus ravennae); 8 ft. Zones 4-10. (U) 'Purple Dome' New England aster (Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'); 18 in. Zones 3-7. (D) Wine and Roses weigela (Weigela florida 'Alexandra'); 6 ft. Zones 5-8. (H) 'Goldsturm' black-eyed Susan (Rudbecia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'); 2 ft. Zones 3-9. (G) Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicfolia); 4 ft. Zones 4-9. (W) 'Emerald Fountain' Canada hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Emerald Fountain'); 8 ft. Zones 4-8. (E) 'Ivory Jade' wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei 'Ivory Jade'); 3 ft. Zones 4-9. (A) Variegated eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'); 5 ft. Zones 5-8.

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