New border (2000)

In 2000, the New border was designed and planted following the German principle which is very different to traditional English borders like the Old experimental garden.

New border  -2000

In 2000, the New border was designed and planted following the German principle which is very different to traditional English borders  like the Old experimental garden.

Design and planting

The planting of the New border was the work of Beatrice Krehl, who was the gardener here from 1996 to 2005. She used the German principle of natural growth of the plant. Plants which by nature grow together and have the same requirements for type of soil and light are combined. The different sorts are not separated in groups as in a traditional English border. To a certain extent they are allowed to find their own space. Borders like this have a more natural form. The planting requires less upkeep but needs more knowledge of  growth and the circumstances required for the different sorts of plants. In 2012 part of this border was replanted.

In 2011 a fence was placed at the back of the border. The planks of wood were painted in the Swedish red colour. This colour is used a lot for wooden houses in Sweden, giving  a soft velvety effect.  The planks overlap each other by a few centimetres. Normally this type of overlap is used with horizontal planks to stop water seeping through. Vertical planks have been chosen here to match the vertical growth of the plants. The overlapping planks produce a repetitive shadow on the fence on sunny days.

On the southern edge of the New border there is a terrace with an Acer cappodocicum ‘Aureum’. The leaf of this elm is yellow in the Spring,  green in the Summer and turns yellow again in the Autumn.


Before the year 2000, this was a border of shrubs which stretched from the Gardens boundary in the west and continued on till the corner of the Mixed border. This border was approximately 40 metres long and 5 metres deep and included the terrace with the Acer cappadocicum ‘Aureum.’ The shrubs were chosen to flower one after the other; from Magnolia in the Spring to the winter flowering Viburnum bodnatense ‘Dawn’. Mien Ruys had learned a great deal about the combination of shrubs here. For example, she did not think the yellow green leaf of the Magnolia went well with the brown leaf of the Berberis and the pink flowers of the Viburnum did not go well with the red berries on the Cotoneaster.  In 2000, the shrub border made way for the New border. The only part that was kept was the part that lies to the south of the Acer.

From 1982 to 1993 the Blue border was also near the present New border in the central area of the Gardens. This border was round shaped like the Yellow garden and was inside a  slightly curved Larch hedge, the remains of the Blowing Bubbles experiment. Just like the Yellow garden, plants of one  single colour were chosen. The Blue border was filled with  perennials, a few shrubs, like Hydrangea and Hibiscus, annual plants and bulbs. In spite of these experiments Mien Ruys was not in favour of a  border with just one colour. The different shades of that colour did not always blend in well together. The choice of just one colour was also very limiting, particularly in a small garden.  She was then inclined to  overdo it a little in her borders with colours introducing a contrasting colour. However, In this large border she was happy to experiment with one colour. In 1993 the Blue border made way for a flowerbed with annual plants that adjoined the Grasses garden. When the Rose garden was changed in 1996 the annuals disappeared and this part of the garden became part of the central area.