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Dark-leaved shrubs in front of a dark wooden fence

A Dark-colored Fence As A Backdrop For A Flowerbed

client case studies garden design basics

You might think that a dark wooden wall along the borderline of a small garden might feel restricting and make the backyard feel smaller, especially when regulations decide the fence and its' color to suit the house's architecture. Things that you can't affect might feel more restricting than otherwise.


Figure Out The Best Of From What You Have

On the other hand, you could think about the restrictions positively and consider them to guide your design decisions. They reduce the options you have and, in that sense, force you to focus on and make the best you can from your situation. 

The design projects with the most restrictions often make you curious, innovating, and pushing your imagination forward. So do not be encouraged. Face the limitations and figure out the best of them.

Sometimes something so familiar and simple as a dark-colored fence can be a perfect backdrop for your planting combination.



The Dark-colored Fence Around Your Backyard

At first, the idea of a high dark fence might feel challenging to you. And yes, in a small backyard, you got to figure out solutions to balance it out. However, the dark color opens up new, exciting design opportunities for you.

In this small backyard, the old fence along the property line needed replacing with a similar wall. The new wooden fence and a fresh coat of chocolate brown paint gave an excellent backdrop for the new planting areas.

The two things you got to consider when planning a backyard surrounded by a dark wall are:

  • How do you combine the dark-colored fence as a natural part of the rest of the garden?
  • How do you balance the dark color with the planting you choose?



Balance The Dark Color With Your Planting

While designing a total makeover for the garden, I positioned a long flowerbed between the bordering fence and a pathway on the side of the house leading to the terrace. 

The planting area was quite long but not very wide, measured from the edging of the gravel surface to the fence backing it.

To create more depth and abundance, I added:

  1. a mixture of dark-leaved plants and
  2. layers of planting like bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and lilacs (Syringa) crafted as standards.

In this way, the border keeps blooming from early spring to the late autumn.


As for colors, the dark brown and burgundy emphasize the perennials' fresh, bright green leaves and delicate flowers.

Might you consider using a dark fence as an essential backdrop for your planting area? I did, it gave exciting possibilities, and my client loved the result!



I hope this was helpful. To figure out the perfect plants for your garden, take my Garden Style Quiz, which shows you the style guidelines for creating a cohesive look for your backyard. You can take the quiz >>HERE<<.



Turn your Pinterest board full of garden dreams into reality with a set of solid guidelines to follow. It takes only 3 minutes, but the results will serve you for a lifetime.