Clare Foster talks to Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who has designed a cool, calm and harmonious white border with plenty of structure for year-round interest
Known for her elegant gardens that are influenced by both the English countryside and her Italian roots, Arabella Lennox-Boyd is one of the most admired garden designers in England. She has created many a white border, where a palette of green, silver and white is set against the evergreen backdrop of yew. ‘Green and white make a garden look so fresh, whatever the time of year,’ says Arabella.
This formal design contains two borders opening up to a grassy area, with double rows of pleached crab apples on either side. Each side of the border mirrors the other, giving it a clean symmetry, with four striking Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ specimens for structure. ‘I always try to mix shrubs into my herbaceous borders,’ says Arabella. ‘They provide contrast in shape and texture, as well as creating a good background for other plants. I also use evergreen hedges and topiary to break up a long herbaceous border, making everything more interesting in winter.’ Pleached trees are another excellent way to add structure. Here, Arabella has chosen Malus x robusta ‘Red Sentinel’ underplanted with Iris pallida and cushions of Hebe topiaria.