Transform your backyard fence from a boring, blank space into a backdrop for a gorgeous flower bed, bursting with long-lasting color, fragrance, and texture.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated January 22, 2021
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Backyard fences are functional, but not always the prettiest thing to look at. This garden plan will help draw attention away from the harsh lines of fence posts and slats with a mix of favorite flowers in shades of pink and purple, set off by foliage with complementary hues and textures. Most of the plants in this design are perennials, with a few bulbs and small shrubs mixed in for added interest. The result is a long-lasting garden that will require minimal maintenance year after year. Though the few annuals included in this plan will need to be refreshed every growing season, they'll help spice up the bed's look without having to totally replant.

Lush Border Garden Plan Illustration
Credit: Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants to Create the Garden Plan to Soften a Fence

  • 1 Maidengrass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’): Zones 4-9
  • 8 Allium ‘Lucy Ball’: Zones 6-10
  • 1 Coralbells (Heuchera spp.): Zones 3-10, depending on species
  • 1 Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Wintergreen’): Zones 5-8
  • 6 Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus): Zones 5-7
  • 3 Pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria): Zones 4-9
  • 3 Lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina): Zones 4-8
  • 1 Purple-leaf plantain (Plantago major ‘Atropurpurea’): Annual
  • 2 Blue fescue (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’): Zones 4-8
  • 3 Sea holly (Eryngium spp.): Zones 4-9
  • 5 Verbena hybrid: Annual
  • 3 Cosmos bipinnatus: Annual
  • 1 Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum superbum): Zones 5-8
  • 1 Cranesbill (Geranium spp.): Zones 5-9
  • 3 Pink (Dianthus ‘Bath’s Pink’): Zones 4-9
  • 1 Clematis cultivar: Zones 4-9
  • 3 Sedum sieboldii ‘Etoil Rose’: Zones 6-9
  • 3 Bouvardia ternifolia: Annual
  • 1 False indigo (Baptisia australis): Zones 3-9
  • 1 Meadow rue (Thalictrum delavayi): Zones 5-9
  • 12 Iris hybrids: Zones 5-9
  • 4 Osteospermum ‘Nairobi Purple’: Annual
  • 1 Alternanthera ficoidea var. amoena ‘Versicolor’: Annual
  • 4 Allium giganteum: Zones 6-10
  • 1 Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus): Zones 7-9

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting. For example, Miscanthus can become weedy in some areas of the country, but this is usually less problematic when planting a cultivar such as 'Gracillimus' listed in this plan.

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