The simplest and most subtle borders that effectively separate your lawn from a garden are 4-in.deep strips of steel, aluminum or plastic. They all bend easily into smooth, graceful curves and stop the spread of grass roots. However, painted aluminum and steel offer the sleekest, most refined look because they almost disappear against the grass and garden bed.

Perennial growing height is important. Taller plants for the back of the border include Lillies, Acanthus, Delphiniums, Lavatera (Tree Mallow), Echinops (Globe Thistle) and Red Hot Pokers. Hollyhocks and Foxgloves give a real cottage garden look to your borders.