Blooming Thursday: Borrowed Landscaping

Pine Tree Reflecting SunThe concept of borrowed landscaping  incorporates the view beyond your garden.  It takes advantage of nearby elements like trees, architectural structures, and other natural views, so that your garden seems to extend beyond its borders.

Active borrowed landscaping requires planning.  The idea behind it is to blend trees and plants grown on your property into a cohesive flow, so that the landscaping out of your control becomes one with your garden.

Passive borrowed landscaping simply takes advantage of what is already there. You accept the challenges, and works within those parameters. We are grateful for our borrowed trees every time we head out to the yard.

We live on a small lot in the suburbs with narrow lot lines and small yards.  They built homes with fences surrounding the back yards to afford privacy.  I have friends on the east coast with two acres of land, and others out of country with farms.  We measure our puny lot size in feet.  With 1/8 of an acre, you want to make everything count.

Here is what we borrow every day:

Monterey Pine

This majestic tree grows at the back corner of our lot.  It towers over neighborhood homes.  The pine provides shade we wouldn’t otherwise have and drops an occasional pine cone.  It makes a suitable race track for energetic squirrels who go round and round, the tree.

Muskogee Crape Myrtle

Muskogee Crape MyrtleOur neighbors Crape Myrtle is tall enough to branch out over our shared fence.  It’s covered in tiny lavender blossoms this time of year, giving a softness to an otherwise rigid fence.  Myrtle isn’t far from our dining patio, so our guests get to enjoy her lovely show.


Flowering CactusThis prickly plant belongs to a prickly neighbor, so it seems appropriate to include it on the list.  It’s currently flowering behind the lattice.  In this case “good fences do make good neighbors” with a thorny plant thrown in for good measure.

Crepe Myrtle-Southern Belle

Crepe Myrtle Southern BelleI discovered alternate spellings for this lovely tree.   Our shared Crepe Myrtle sits on the property line in front of our homes.  It has lovely white flowers all summer long, then further entertains with its shedding bark.  The kitty from a few doors down love using it as a scratching post. This tree gets lots of “love” and attention.

Do you have a favorite borrowed landscape outside your window or door?  Let me know in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “Blooming Thursday: Borrowed Landscaping

  1. I’ve never heard this term before. At our old house, we had a super messing neighbour next door and had to build a fence to block the view, HA We don’t miss them, but I see you wouldn’t miss one of yours either, hehe (prickly, good one). In town, we’re enjoying a narrow city park on one side, lots of trees and walk way to watch the doggies go by, so I can totally understand your post. Just beyond that, a giant apartment building, so thank goodness for the borrowed trees.


    • Yes, sadly we often have that one neighbor to make things difficult. We have 95% great neighbors. This one is just hateful. He trapped our cat many years ago and took him to the pound. He calls the authorities on barking dogs. He sets traps for small animals. Not a nice person. It’s what lead me to research and find the cat fence in system so I guess it was worth it. I got my kitty back, but had to keep him indoors till I figured out what to do. Then he started spraying the perimeter of the interior! Ugh. I was seven months pregnant with my first and at my wits end. That netting was a life-saver.

      I’m glad you have lovely trees, a dog path and a city park. They all sound inviting.


  2. We are in open countryside here so we are blessed to borrow a beautiful vista of fields, hills and trees. In a previous property we used to enjoy lots of trees and shrubs from neighbouring properties that reached over to our garden!
    I love that “Mr Prickles” has a cactus!


  3. I love the idea of borrowed landscaping. Living in a condo complex we have no landscaping of our own, so technically our courtyard garden of rocks and bamboo is all “borrowed”. ;0)


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