Masking Groups Along The Path, Hiding The View

The system of garden paths and trails not only helps us to move around the garden comfortably, but also performs many important other functions. Some of the most important are zoning, dividing the garden and giving it an attractive structure and expression. Paths and paths underline and reveal the style of design and create the basis on which the gardening is based. They also help to make your garden look spacious and mysterious. One of the easiest ways to accomplish the latter task is to use masking groups of shrubs and perennials along paths that allow you to play with panoramas and perspective.

Masking groups along the path, hiding the view
Masking flower bed along a garden path


  • Why hide the open, or a little bit about garden magic
  • Masking groups can be created for any garden and any path
  • Plants for masking plantings

Why hide the open, or a little bit about garden magic

The system of paths and trails is not accidentally called "arteries" of the garden. A network of paths and paths does not only serve the purpose of easy movement in the garden, but also defines the style, structure, zoning and expressiveness, functionality and general perception of the garden.

Paths most often divide the garden into individual, separate zones or draw the eye to advantageous and important objects and corners. But a path is not always enough for a harmonious design, and the paths themselves will not make the design more expressive without additional framing.

Ways to make paths a decoration of the garden are very diverse:

  • designing borders or low hedges on the sides;
  • designing narrow mixborders;
  • "bringing" to the path of flower beds or squares;
  • disposing "guards" - paired accent plants;
  • use of illumination to play with illusions;
  • combination of coatings, varying the width and paving of paths for additional structuring.

But it's difficult to find an option as effective and striking as the use of small but very effective masking groups.

In fact, a masking group along a path is a small ensemble of bushes and perennials, which is perceived as a complete and harmonious composition. It plays the role of both decoration, vertical accent and concealer. Such groups are broken up in a minimal area. Shrubs with wood of the most expressive forms and compact sizes and the best herbaceous perennials that can do without care and grow in some shade are used in them.

The main task of the masking group is to break the overview and panorama so that behind every turn or on every part of the path and path a new and unexpected prospect opened, so that the garden did not reveal all its secrets at first sight and it was more mysterious. In a word, so that any walk in the garden and even a thousand passages were always perceived as an unexpected journey, I wanted to open its mysteries to infinity.

Masking groups along the path, hiding the view
Masking flower bed along the garden path

These (groups) are placed where it becomes boring, the eye is not caught by something, the panorama and the opening view from the path seems too flat and banal, there is a feeling of obviousness and commonness.

Masking groups can be used to hide certain corners or areas of the garden from view, disguise the view that opens around a corner, make a "secret" bench by a hedge or a corner for rest, prevent a gazebo, pond, vegetable garden from direct view - add mystery and awaken interest to the garden.

Flat design, lacking intrigue - the main enemy of pleasure of walking in the garden and rest in it. And where the path simply runs along the open area or clearly lacks some "eye-catching" element, you can safely plant camouflaging plants.

These plantings have another, often underestimated function: with simple camouflaging groups you can regulate the wind situation and lighting on the site, remove the blown open spaces, create additional noise and wind insulation. And also protect yourself from prying eyes by accomplishing several tasks at once with a very simple decorative group.

Masking groups can be created for any garden and any path

Small composition of plants that are placed along the path and help to hide the view is often called a natural style garden design technique. But such "tricks" can also be used in a regular garden. It's enough to replace ordinary bushes or trees with clipped ones, to have a different approach to the selection of perennials - and such a group will no longer look like a picturesque and wild, but will appear as a classical and rigorous symphony of geometry and lush flowering.

Course, in those gardens where the paths are laid out non-linearly, winding, where the paths themselves give the garden a romantic and mysterious look and visually enlarge the area, it is easier to use camouflaging tricks (there are more turns and bends). But this is not the only option.

Masking plantings, most often, are placed on the bends of the path, on the bend itself or behind it in such a way as to hide the panorama from the walker in the garden and add better structure to the garden. But this placement is not the only way and far from necessary. If you have straight rather than winding paths, or if the path crosses a space with boring vertical relief, "flat", you can place a masking group literally anywhere in which it will change the perception of the view and make it more interesting.

If the path is combined with stairs, masking groups are placed, as if enclosing the upper steps in the wings. If you want to hide the view of one of the corners to rest, it is enough to walk along the path and find the point from which you first see this corner. This is where you should place the group hiding the view.

Masking groups along the path, hiding the view
Masking flower garden stairs

Plants for masking plantings

Two types of plants are used to create masking groups:

  1. 2-3 large shrubs or compact woody - vertical elements or vertical base;
  2. Two to five perennials and climbing shrubs at their foot, linking the whole group together - the "cushion" of the group.

Place them very simply: vertical accents are placed literally in one line, varying the height and volume to achieve an expressive base. And the area under and around them is filled with large groups of perennials, creating a kind of frame and a single composition.

A single plant in a cushion under the bushes do not plant: as this is an ensemble of only a few plants, it is better to reveal the beauty of each and emphasize the idea of planting large spots. And large groups of perennial crops will better balance the shrubs and visually compensate their size.

Select the types of plants that can do a good job is very easy. After all, all the crops used - both shrub-tree and herbaceous - must meet fairly stringent criteria:

  • put up with shade or grow in the shade if they will be placed under the dominant shrubs;
  • be hardy and unpretentious;
  • keep decorativeness throughout the active season, and at least 2 plants in a group - also their attractiveness in winter;
  • distinguish themselves by beautiful and textured foliage;
  • contrast with any neighbor in texture, color, shape and size of leaves;
  • comply with the garden design style.

It is best to start "selecting" candidates from plants that are already used in the landscaping of the site. The most effective and easy-to-grow types of ornamental plants will prompt you which cultures are better to choose, so as not to be disappointed over time. Take into account the color scheme of the garden, the dominant flowering crops in it and the main motives of decoration. So bet on one season, or one plant for each season, and make the base of the group out of versatile plants. The main thing is textural expression, neatness, lushness and wholeness, a completed image, not flowering.

Masking groups along the path, hiding the view
Flowers of rhododendrons along the garden path

Evergreen plants allow you to create a group that will perform its function even in winter, give the garden integrity and fit into skeletal plantings. One of the best candidates is creeping juniper, which can be added to perennials in the understory of large shrubs. Growing and getting better with the years, it will create a very beautiful and lush base of the composition.

Also the number of low crops can be complemented and stalking birches, among which you can choose motley variations to your taste. They will also illuminate the composition, add an interesting luminous effect and modern texture to it.

From tall wintergreen accents there are also many to choose from. Spruce or blue spruce, column-shaped junipers, thuas and yews, pines or birch trees are lovely, austere, always attractive and look great all year round.

Decorative deciduous and flowering large shrubs can be selected to your liking. Gorgeous ornamental willows or derens are excellent candidates. As are compact maples, rhododendrons, lilacs, chokeberries, ornamental cranberries, apple trees or cherry trees. Yarrow, penstemon, catnip, sage, coreopsis, bluegrass, geranium, echinacea are favorites among the flowering species. And among the ornamental and deciduous, pay attention to ferns, wormwood, celandine, hostas and Co. Take into account the light and under dense shrubs plant groups of shade-loving crops, and on the perimeter of the group - more light-loving species.

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