There are lots of little tips, techniques and secrets to make any garden look its best, but one of the most important – and often overlooked - is underplanting. So, what exactly is it?
Underplanting is the technique of using a variety of plants to work their way in and around the base of shrubs and stand-out or feature flowers, such as roses, to give your garden a full, verdant and lush appearance. In short, underplanting is an attractive method of filling in the gaps between your “star” plants and shrubs, occupying the space which would otherwise be taken up by spare ground – or heaven forbid – weeds. In doing so, you can add not only an extra appealing element to your garden, but also protect your choice of plants and shrubs against disease and even frost.
When it comes to underplanting one of the most popular choices is the old standby, the geranium. In fact, the chances are if you pay close attention to the underplanting in many an established garden you will find at least one geranium lurking there among the lower limbs of shrubs and flowers. It owes its popularty to it’s abundance of flowers, as well as to it’s often ramshackle, sprawling shape which lends itself perfectly to the whole idea behind underplanting.
Other ideal candidates for use in underplanting include horned violets, which can easily climb their way up through taller plants and shrubs, bellflowers which are ideal used as underplanting for roses and hydrangeas and sweet rocket which is also perfect with roses and many early flowering plants.
So the next time you are planning some changes to your garden, remember the benefits of underplanting if you want to achieve a full, bountiful display.