Garden with textured edge effect.

How to Get a Textured Edge in Your Garden

A striking design such as this should be treated as a modern take on bedding. The perennials will last far longer than annual plants, but the formal effect will eventually lose its crispness as they grow.

When to plant: Autumn or spring.

At their best: Early summer.

Time to complete: 2 hours.

You will need: Sand or string, well-rotted organic matter – such as manure.

Selection of plants to use: Iris chrysographes ‘Black Knight’, Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’, Heuchera ‘Beauty Color’, Feather grass, Stipa tenuissima, Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’, Angelica archangelica.

Mark out your pattern

Chose a sunny site and improve the soil with organic matter before planting, then use sand or string to mark out lines to create the formal, parallel effect. Space out the plants to allow room for them to spread.

Plant out

Plant the tall Persicaria at the back, and the Heuchera and Salvia at the front to form a neat carpet. Use accent plants, such as Angelica, to add interest to the pattern.


You may have to lift and replant every few years to keep the pattern strong. Experiment with rows of different plants until you find a combination that is well suited to your conditions.