The Long Border

A Long Border from the Edwardian era painted by George Elgood

Public Domain picture

The Long Border is dedicated to Gertrude Jekyll. Her own famous flower border measured over 200 feet (60m) and had a special colour scheme starting with cool colours at both ends and gradually changing to a hot prominent red in the middle. The flower border in Viller has only half of the lenght but has flowers and shrubs on both sides.

Use of color in the border

The vista of the border points exactly to the funnel of an old factory building (Viller Mühle) which dates from about 1870 and placed in an idyllic setting. You can have a nice view from a garden bench to the opposite side. The colour scheme of the Viller border differs from that of Jekyll. Near the bench I mixed prominent and intensive colours like carmine red, purple, and magenta (a colour Jekyll actually hated:-).

“Near the bench, I mixed prominent and intensive colours like carmine red, purple, and magenta.”


In the middle, you will find different pastel colours with some colour accents in order to get ready for the cool colours at the far end like grey, white and blue. The existing cherry tree (Prunus avium) gives the opportunity to grow perennials who prefer shade or dappled shade.

Lush planting on a shady spot

On this dry and shady place, we were able to create a lush planting scheme where many different kinds of leaves contribute to make this an interesting and visually satisfying scene. Here you will find the bold lemon green leaves of Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ along the tiny dark green one of the Berberis. The fountain shaped green fronds of the ferns contribute to this scene even in winter.

Structure in the coldest months

Shrubs are playing an important role in creating architectural elements like vista’s and in creating places of refuge. Shrubs with its rich variety of shapes and accents provide structure in wintertime when most of the perennials are gone.