It’s easy to understand landscape layering when you use this planting garden pyramid. Start at the top and work your way down. Add more of each type as you go.

My Garden Pyramid Guide will help you to visualize how many of each plant type you should include in each garden. I can’t even tell you the value for this one because you literally can’t get it anywhere else.

I’m going to show you the basics of creating an amazing landscape called “The Garden Pyramid”. Using this pyramid we’ll be able to create mixed borders in our favorite garden style… and because the borders will be mixed with many different types of plants, pieces of your landscape will be showing off all year round!

The Layered Garden Pyramid

The Garden Pyramid

Following this garden pyramid is going to change your garden from looking really amateurish to being garden magazine-worthy. Trust me.

So take a look at this pyramid then take a look at your garden. Is your garden missing ANY of these categories?

Or is there a lack of balance (like lots of evergreens, not too many flowering shrubs and no groundcovers)? This will give you an idea of how many of each you need.

Say we start at the tippy-top with one tree and 3 evergreen shrubs. Well that’s a great start and you have the bones or structure of your garden in place. Now, how many deciduous shrubs would you need? Obviously more than 3, right? As you work down the pyramid you should include more and more of each type of planting.

Once you have these layers down, and the proportions for each correct, we need to make sure we are mixing them together properly. This is how landscape layering works. And mixing up the layers in your garden will give you that “magazine” garden look.

As we move down the garden pyramid from the narrow top to the wide bottom the number of each type of plant increases. Because the lowest-level plants are the smallest you can have more of them and use a greater selection!

Understanding Each Layer of the Garden Pyramid

I have complete posts on the blog about each layer of the garden pyramid. You can read, in detail, about each using these links:

Tips for Using the Garden Pyramid

  1. First put in the evergreens.
  2. Then plan the deciduous trees and shrubs and place the walls and fences.
  3. After that, the rest will fall into place.
Think about the following when you’re creating your layered landscape:
  • What is the plant’s overall form, and how does it combine with other plants and its surroundings?
  • What are a plant’s branching structure and growth rate and how will these affect nearby plants?
  • Will the foliage contribute to the garden even with the plant is not in bloom?>
  • When does a plant bloom and what color are the flowers? How will the flowers look with the colors of nearby plants and the colors of your hardscape?
Will the bark add color and interest during winter? How does the bark texture combine with the rest of the garden? Struggling to find the right plants to create amazing 4-season interest in your garden? I’ve got you covered. Keep reading to see some of my favorite example trees, plants, shrubs, flowers, vines and groundcovers that you can use in your landscape.

What Blooms with What?

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Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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Hey, since you're already signed up for my emails, you may be interested in my Printable Garden Planner Kit. It includes 5 printable worksheets that you can use to plan and organize your landscape. Check it out here.

Wrapping Up

It’s easy to understand landscape layering when you look at this planting pyramid. Start at the top of the planting pyramid and work your way down. Add more of each type as you go. As a rule of thumb, start with your evergreen trees and shrubs, then add your deciduous trees and shrubs and add your hard-scaping, like fences and walls. After this, the rest will fall into place. Have fun with the bottom of the pyramid, as this is where you can add the most color, variation and interest in your garden to create a beautiful, unique 4-season landscape.

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For your pinning pleasure...

Garden Pyramid Pinterest Image