Add interest to your WNY garden with a roller coaster effect

roller coaster effect in garden bed from Chet Okonczak Cheektowaga
Photo courtesy Chet Okonczak

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Here’s a tip for designing a new perennial bed. You can use this tip now– Fall is a great time to plant  perennials and start a new garden in Western New York. There’s still plenty of time for the plants to set roots.

We all know one general design rule is to place taller plants in back and shorter plants in front. But Chet Okonczak of Cheektowaga, whose garden we saw in the spring, has interesting garden beds that are long and narrow. They don’t have shorter plants in the front– the beds are only one plant deep.

Okonczak suggests alternating the heights of plants. The undulating roller coaster effect adds interest to your garden.

This is a great idea if you have a narrow space along your driveway. It can also be used along a fence.

But you can also use it in the middle of your property. Who said an island garden bed had to be circular?

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