Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Garden borders inherited on moving into a property often contain shrubs and perennials that have been left to their own devices. Even borders that have been planted within the last four or five years will need reviewing and revitalising. With some planning and preparation and good planting, borders can be revitalised to give year-round interest.
Revitalising an over-mature border
The guide below is suitable for borders that have become overgrown.
Borders can be worked on in late winter, or autumn on light sandy soils.
How much work you put into revitalising a border depends largely on the time you have available and what you want to achieve. Research and planning will ensure the border is top-notch, but it’s a stage that can be skipped if you want a quicker makeover. However, it is still worth reading the planning and research sections for guidance.
If the border contains invasive weeds whose roots have intertwined with those of plants you are keeping, re-using the plants may not be possible. Couch grass, ground elder and bindweed are common examples. If you can treat the foliage of the weeds, while protecting your plants, you may be able to eradicate the entwined weeds;
Mulches and mulching
Society of Garden Designers
Trees and shrubs: moving
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.