You need to mix it right: a mixborder in landscape design

Mixborder is a popular type of flowerbed in landscape design. To create it, you can use almost any plant: undersized coniferous shrubs, flowering annuals and biennials, climbing plants and even trees. When designing, it is important to consider the color scheme, shape and borders, so that the mixborder is well-groomed, fits into the style of the site.

What is a mixborder

Mixborder - a popular element of landscape design

In translation from English, the mixborder means “mixed border”. This is a complex flower garden, which is created from plants planted in multi-row and multi-tier ways. The flowerbed always consists of many cultures that differ in appearance and period of budding. A distinctive feature of this element of the plot is its asymmetric shape, as well as continuous and continuous flowering.

Mixborder is widely used in landscape design. This type of flowerbed can be used to decorate fences and structures, as well as for zoning the garden. Creating a mixed flower garden is not an easy task. It is required to know well the peculiarities of the vegetation of the plants used, to select the varieties correctly and to form the overall composition so that it looks advantageous from any angle.

The total width of the mixborder is determined by the tallest plant in it. It should not exceed its height more than 2 times.


There are different types of mixborders. In landscape design, there are no universal solutions, each element in the garden is selected taking into account the general style of the site, the characteristics of the soil and climate, geographical subtleties.


Shrubs mixed flower garden needs regular formation

Recommended for decorating fences and buildings on the site. The emphasis in this composition are shrubs with different flowering periods, as well as tall flowering crops. Within this species, coniferous mixborders are isolated separately. Their advantage is ease of care, unpretentiousness to external conditions.


Mixer, made in the English style - this is the beauty and sharpness of smooth lines

It features simple plants and austerity in design. The decorativeness of such a flower garden is achieved by clear lines, restraint of the color scheme. Suitable for decorating garden paths, decorating terraces and gazebos.


A rustic flowerbed will decorate any garden

The specificity of this species is the lush flowering of plants characteristic of the local climate. High-quality and regular care is required, otherwise the village mixborder quickly becomes groomed. For this reason, herbaceous crops should be planted with great care.

Vegetable, or garden

A flowerbed can even be created from seasonal vegetables and herbs.

The most practical type of mixborder. As plants, various seasonal vegetable crops with different growing periods are used. Harvest can be removed as it ripens. It is important to monitor the correct formation, preventing the growth and reduction of green mass. This is the best solution for a summer residence where functionality and beauty are important.

Which plants to use

To create a beautiful and well-kept mixborder, you should carefully approach the choice of primary and secondary plants. They should be in harmony with each other in terms of color, height and timing of flowering. Landing order and popular views:

  • Shrubs and dwarf trees act as the basis (skeleton) of the mixborder. It is around them that the entire volume of the composition will be formed. It is recommended to choose crops that lend themselves well to pruning and bloom for a long time. Examples: mock up, barberry, spirea, elderberry, decorative plum and Japanese hydrangea, rhododendron.

    Rhododendron is a popular shrub for mixed flower beds.

  • Perennials are the main part of the mixborder. Usually these are flowering crops of various heights, differing in the shape and shade of the petals. Perennials are planted in the center to fill the main volume. Examples: daylilies, echinacea, garden geranium, lavater, aquilegia, astilbe. As decorative and deciduous plants used hosta, geyhera, fern and others.

    Garden geranium decorate mixborder in English and rustic style

  • Annuals. They have a short flowering period, act only as an additional element for filling voids in the mixborder. The following types are suitable: zinnia, marigolds, cosmea, gazania.

    Gazania - a bright element of any flower garden

  • Conifers. They are a real decoration of any mixed flower garden. Low-growing and dwarf shrubs are combined with flowering plants, and they are also indispensable for single-compound coniferous compositions. Examples: juniper, thuja, Korean fir, Serbian spruce, Canadian tsuga.

    To form a mixborder, only creeping and dwarf juniper varieties should be selected

Climbing plants in mixborders are used infrequently. They require the installation of a support, and also grow rapidly, which is inconvenient for the formation of strict lines of the flower garden. Tiers and levels are created using the height of the crops, so the variety should be selected at the planning stage of the general scheme.

Mixborder layouts

When creating a mixed flower garden scheme, it is important to take into account the arrangement of plants. At the first level there should be low-growing (border) cultures, which are required only to emphasize the general style. The second row is always the most dense and voluminous plantations, giving a lot of greenery and buds. Shrubs and stunted trees are best suited for the last row and framing.

Choosing a color scheme is the most difficult step in forming a mixborder. It is important not to overdo it, to achieve a harmonious balance of all shades. It is recommended to use no more than 4–5 colors; when choosing contrast and compatibility, use a chromatic circle.

Mixborder schemes in the photo

Round flower garden - the best solution for the central part of the plot

Elongated mixborder suitable for zoning the garden

An example of a simple rustic mixer

Complex flower garden from different types of plants

Mixborder for large areas

DIY layout and layout mixborder

Mixed flower garden suitable for decorating garden paths

A mixed flower garden can be created almost anywhere in the garden. Mixborders are most often formed near the borders of the site, along the paths or walls of the house. For landscaping fences and structures, tall plants are better suited, and for location in the center of the garden - stunted, as they are clearly visible from all sides. To give clear lines, paths, borders, stone elements and garden sculptures are used. They make the flowerbed finished and well-groomed.

It is important to consider the compatibility of plants. All crops for planting on one flower bed should equally transmit light and shadow, this allows to achieve a high growth rate and flowering uniformity. It is recommended to choose varieties adapted to the climate in the region in order to avoid problems amid lower temperatures. In addition, it is required to take into account the period of vegetation and flowering. All plants should pick up buds in rows or bloom at the same time, and wither at the same speed.

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Useful care tips

Mixborder needs regular watering, top dressing and pruning

With a competent approach to the selection of plants for the mixborder and its location on the site, there are no problems with care. The main task is to maintain decorativeness throughout the season. This requires:

  • observe regular watering, spray the leaves during a drought;
  • at least 2 times during the summer to make mineral fertilizing to enhance flowering and growth;
  • remove weeds, loosen the soil;
  • cut off all overgrown, dry and deformed shoots, as well as shape shrubs in autumn and spring.

The use of fungicides and insecticides is required only if characteristic signs of infection are detected. For preventive purposes, treatment is usually not carried out.

Reviews and advice of experienced gardeners

Mixborder easily becomes the main composition of the garden in any style

In Russia, mixborders are still becoming popular, and it is not so easy for beginners to master this element of landscape design. Experienced flower growers when creating mixed flower beds are advised to carefully approach the choice of plants and not to forget about the style as a whole. It should be combined with the overall design of the site. For example, a flowerbed decorated with simple rustic flowers is not suitable for an ascetic Japanese garden. You don’t need to be afraid to experiment: this is the only way to make a mixborder that you like.

There are no strict rules when creating a composition. It is important to rely on the color scheme and connect imagination in order to achieve visual volume and harmony of the flower garden.

My husband and I are big fans of the English style, including mixborders. At the site we have laid them so far 4. Here is the main one. Laid down in 2013. During its existence, many flowers left. The soil there turned out to be unsuitable for crops such as sage. He is soaked. But the astilbe, hosts and daylilies really like the neighborhood of viburnum, spireas, skumpiya and cherries. ... Now I come to the conclusion that it is necessary to plan and draw! Whatever the whim it may seem. This will save you from many, many transplants.

According to the agrotechnics of the mixborder, I can say that 1) weeding is easier, because the plants are tightly closed and the weeds have a very hard time; 2) the soil is very much re-compacted, again due to the density of planting; 3) great dryness of the soil, because many plants are many and evaporate; 4) in the spring I step on the same rake: I plant a bunch of everything, because it seems that there is still a place, then everything opens up, and half of the landings are in a dead shadow, completely jammed. For myself, I conclude that you need to add medium and low flowering. Including annuals.


And I really like the hosts. They do not create problems for me and look great all summer. And I saw a diagram of how beautifully planted. Now I want to do the same.


In my mixborder hosts can be called the backbone, beautiful until the fall. Only it is necessary to plant a distance between them at least a meter, well, or periodically reduce their diameter with a spade.


Video: Useful tips for creating a mixborder

Mixborder is a real decoration of the garden. It allows zoning of the territory and decorate structures or fences. When choosing plants, you should focus on your own taste, the specifics of the site and the climate in the region.


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