The Big Brown Fence
August 2, 2009
Allan in Achillea, Anthemis, Garden Design, Gardening Tips & Advice, Lychnis, Nepata, Perennial Plants, garden design, perennial flower compositions

I removed a row of honeysuckle shrubs that ran along my property line and discovered that my neighbor had discreetly installed a brown mesh fence complete with privacy strips. Brown is not my preferred color. It clashes with the main color scheme of my garden. But that fence is a reality that I have to deal with it. What a great excuse to introduce new colors into my garden.

The photo above demonstrates how I have come to terms with a color that is not of my choosing. As you can see, the perennials have begun to camouflage parts of the fence and appear to neutralize whatever it is about the color brown that I dislike. In the picture from left to right, I have planted the scarlet red Lychnis chalcedonea, Anthemis tinctoria “Wargrave” with Nepata "Walker's Low" cascading in front over the rocks, followed by Lychnis coronaria, Achillea yellow something and Anthemis tinctoria “Kelwayi”.

This photo was shot prior to staking all of the yellow perennials. While they look rather elegant as they spread in all directions to bask in the sun, they are actually taking up valuable space that I need for my southern-exposure test garden. Now that I have digitally frozen the new color composition, I will begin to tidy up this part of the garden. There are new varieties of Gaillardia, Coreopsis, Helenium, Echinacea and Eupatorium that are waiting for their spot in the sun in order to grow.

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (
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