Heads, shoulders, knees and toes

Small Garden Design: Don’t start at the bottom!

soldier 1

He’s a bit dapper and makes quite an impression, but what part are you looking at, all of him?


just this bit….soldier waist..or only this little bit?soldier knees

OK, just so you don’t think I have completely lost the plot, there is a point to this.


I’ll bet you are more impressed by the whole rather than just his shiny boots. 

So why then, when we garden, do so many gardens do this..


foot high gardens



The gardening equivalent of ‘look at my nice shoes’!  


There are some gardens that do venture ‘up to the knees’.. but you don’t stop at knees when you look at someone do you.


knee height borders 


Your eyeline looks straight ahead, it pays more attention to what is in front of  your face NOT your feet , so let’s do the same in your garden.  


As the title says ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ – and head is first on the list.  So when planning a garden border you need something to look good at head height. That will catch your eye the most, then you add interest further down


So turn your garden on it’s head and stop putting little things in at the bottom and adding a few taller bits because you will end up with a ‘torso-less’ border, instead start with a taller plant and work down, that way the whole design has better structure, is more interesting and you have a better looking ‘soldier’!



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