Thinking about Backgrounds in the Garden

Like a beautiful photograph or painting, gardens have backgrounds and foregrounds, points of emphasis and the scene in which the accents reside. In our recent St. Cloud/Sartell Garden Tour, there were many gardens that used backgrounds effectively.

ninebark gardenTake a look at this photo from an urban lot in Sauk Rapids. The deep-purple colored ninebark screens the view of the street. Its color is picked up in some of the rocks placed in front of it. The pointy texture of the daylilies and iris foliage add another element of contrast, and the two art objects (the round gazing ball and tall, straight sun on a post) pull the colors together.

rock gardenOr, how about this dramatic rock wall that arcs around a rural home. The color and texture of the stones provide a soothing, very solid background for the plants and statuary placed on them.

evergreen wallFinally, look at these uplifting evergreens that not only provide screening from the yard next door but become a wall that contains the garden. Whatever is (or isn’t) blooming in front of the trees, the homeowners have surroundings with real character to look at from the house and back deck.

What kinds of backgrounds do you use in your garden?


  1. Lori on January 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    What is the name of the tallest evergreens in the back? Thx

    • Mary Lahr Schier on January 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Lori — I believe those are arborvitae, though I’m not sure which variety. They make a very stately background!

  2. Jan on February 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Want evergreens that stay about 10 to 12 feet height and small around

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