The Perennials Garden in the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden – located in the Songjiang district of East China's Shanghai – is always something of a must-see attraction for enthusiasts.
That's after it reopened in 2021 following renovations, featuring a stunning double border in the classic British style that dazzles with a vivid array of flowers.
The wonderful waters and lush mountains in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden are always a delight. [Photo/WeChat account: sheshanlvyou]
The double border is one of the most iconic forms of British garden borders, which have a history going back more than 200 years.
A double border is two borders with the same widths arranged in pairs. Each side is designed for one-sided viewing, with a row of evergreen shrubs behind it to serve as background. Normally made up of perennial plants that can grow and bloom year after year, double borders present a charming, dynamic appearance.
Considering the nature of the Perennials Garden, the designers set specific goals: to collect fine perennial plants, to implement the concept of classic flower borders and to make the garden visually enchanting.
Now, after three years of efforts, the Perennials Garden is home to a total of 103 plant species – with over 95 percent being perennial flowers, amounting to 98 different varieties.
The double border features an average planting width of about 6 meters on one side, reaching up to 8 meters at its widest point. It is piled up to about 1 meter from the central lawn to the sides, creating a layered appearance and enhancing the overall aesthetic.
Behind the border, there is a row of cluster-flowering camellias planted to serve as an evergreen backdrop, while at the center of the border, a gravel path is decorated with red bricks on the two sides. Every detail of the design aims to replicate the authentic charm of a classic British flower border.
The Perennials Garden's double border entrances visitors with its summer glory. [Photo/WeChat account: sheshanlvyou]
Flower borders showcase different scenery throughout the year. Taking the Perennials Garden as an example, perennial flowers there generally start blooming during mid-June, including canna lilies, flat-leaf parsley and coneflowers.
Notably, the horticultural varieties of these perennial flowers – such as Shenghui and Shengqing in coneflowers – have an advantage over the other basic kinds, in terms of quantity, color and form.
Additionally, they also exhibit outstanding adaptability and resistance to diseases and pests as well as lodging, making them excellent choices for the double border.
Exuberant summer perennials fill long, parallel borders. [Photo/WeChat account: sheshanlvyou]
Moving forwards, plans are for the designers to make the color combination more harmonious, balance the landscape for different seasons and achieve a natural transition between the various layers of the double border.