On a quick trip to Cambridge last week, I really liked this border of Echium pininana (or giant viper’s bugloss) along the lawn behind King’s College, here. (The building is actually part of Clare College.)
A different kind of foundation planting.
The biennials, which are native to the Canary Islands, can grow as tall as 13′ (or 4 m.). They want well-drained soil, full sun, and shelter from wind.
I also liked this wide walkway border of Queen’s Anne lace and long grass at the entrance to Trinity College.
The tree on the right is a grafted descendant of the apple tree that inspired Isaac Newton.