By planting evergreen conifers with long-lasting grasses, and then throwing in a smattering of perennials, you can have a garden that looks good all year round, with a few highlights in summer.
When to plant: Autumn.
At their best: All year round.
Time to complete: 1-2 days.
You will need: Spade and fork, well-rotted organic matter.
Selection of plants to use: Abies concolor ‘Wintergold’, Pinus heldreichii ‘Smidtii’, Erica carnea f. aureifolia ‘Foxhollow’, Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’, Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’, Pinus mugo ‘Ophir’, Stipa gigantean, Kniphofia ‘Percy’s Pride’.
Prepare the site
In the autumn before planting, thoroughly remove all weeds from the border. Dig it over deeply and then incorporate plenty of organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or garden compost.
Set out the planting pattern
Buy the plants in spring and set them out before planting them. The dwarf conifers provide the backbone, with a ribbon of Imperata and Erica running between them. Use the Stipa as an accent plant, and fill gaps with the Pennisetum.
Plant and feed
Plant the conifers and Erica first, then add the grasses and Kniphofia. Water the plants in well. Keep them watered throughout their first full growing season, and feed them each spring with an all-purpose granular fertilizer.