See Through Plants

Verbena and Comma WebBorders are usually arranged with tall plants at the back and shorter plants towards the front. If you want to see all your plants that makes sense. Shrubby plants often create a solid mass of foliage as they grow which acts as a good screen or windbreak behind other plants. But sometimes it’s more interesting to have taller plants at the front…

teasels verbena FeatureAt this time of year many light and airy grasses and other whispy delicate plants are at their best. Garden designers often refer to these as See Through Plants. Two of my favourites for growing right in front of other plants are Verbena and Teasels. (Verbena bonariensis and Dipsacus fullonum) They both grow to about 1.5 to 1.8 metres tall (5 – 6 feet) yet their fine stems are widely spaced and their leaves are small and sparse. It’s easy to see other plants through them and in fact the contrast in colour and texture adds to the design of any border.

See Through Plants WebBoth of these plants are brilliant for wildlife. They have hundreds of tiny lilac nectar rich flowers which bees, hoverflies and butterflies love. They provide hiding places for tiny insects to shelter in and Teasels produce millions of seeds for hungry birds in winter.

Verbena with BeeThere are many other See Through Plants that can be used in this way including herbs such as fennel and dill, grasses and perennials.
Do you grow tall plants at the front of your flower beds?

Hope you have a lovely day.         Gillian 😉

3 thoughts on “See Through Plants

  1. Hi Gillian, I grew verbena for the first time this year and yes I put it in the middle of the beds rather than at the back. It grew to a good eight feet! Someone suggested it might be the long days we have here in the summer. I think it might be going at the back next year so it can lean on the fence if it needs to. A brilliant plant though and as you say the butterflies love it.

      1. To be honest they were a bit too tall and tended to lurch drunkenly. I bet next year I will put them at the back and they will be the normal size. I am hoping they will seed around as they are supposed to but I don’t usually find things do that here – apart from the wild primroses.

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