Keeping your garden looking lovely can take up lots of time, and summer is when plants can be time consuming. So here’s a peek into my garden in Surrey, England and how I keep things looking nice with minimal effort.
This photo shows clipped, round Box plants featuring all year round as the star performers, with other smaller plants coming and going through the seasons, so there’s a nice combination of permanant structure mixed with some variety…. a static picture in the garden can be a bit dull.
There’s very little work to do here, an occaisonal trim of the Box plants to keep them neat and tidying up other plants as they die-off, to make room for the new ones.
Do you like the plant with the pink flowers? It’s a Trifolium, a cultivated version of clover that grows during summer, dies back and grows again next summer….. lot’s of reward for little effort.
Here’s some more Box plants at the side of the steps with geraniums and ivy on the other side. The ivy gets cut back in February with garden shears to form a neat, green wall and the geranium pops through.
Use shrubs with contrasting shapes like this clipped Box with Hydrangea quercifolia, a simple combination of shrubs needs hardly any work, just the initial planning. The hydrangea has lovely white flowers later on, aren’t the leaves a beautiful shape.
As you see the bees love this geranium, it’s a really easy plant because it’s tough, flowers all summer long, dies back in the autumn and re-appears every year.
This Cistus purpureus (rock rose) love the sunny, well drained conditions, I love the way the flowers look as if they’ve been made from crepe-paper, it’s evergreen too, so always has a strong presence through-out the year. The feathery foliage in the background is fennel.
Supporting plants as they grow through the summer saves lots of time and keeps them looking nice. I leave these supports in all year and they look quite sculptural, I’m a sucker for rusted metal and it features in other areas of my garden.
I like to buy a few new plants for the summer to ring the changes, this one is planted in a pot near my front door.
It’s not hardy, so I’ll have to keep it in the greenhouse over winter if I want it to survive …. but to be honest it’s more likely to end up in the compost bin.
So here’s a planted border, it’s a sunny bank so all the plants love it here.
There’s ordinary sage front right and rosemary above it, great for cooking and decorative too.
The silver leaved shrub at the top is Brachyglottis Sunshine (don’t think it has a common name), with Salvia purpurascens (purple sage) to the left.
These are all trimmed to form mounds rather than left in their natural form, which can be a bit shapeless, I clamber up there a couple of times a year to trim them so they maintain their shape.
I hope you can use some of these examples to help you make your garden look as lovely as possible without too much effort.
My book ‘Planting Design Essentials’ was published last year, have a look if you want to know more about the how, what and where of plants for your garden.
All images: Jill Anderson