Hello, how is your week going, are you managing to get outside and enjoy the sunshine?
I haven’t managed to do any gardening for over a week, what with being away with the family in Dorset celebrating my eldest sons’ birthday. What a fabulous place Dorset is, a little overlooked I think.
Instead of being outside gardening, I’ve had plans and ideas for it whirling round in my head. I ‘ve realised that designing gardens for other people is much easier than designing your own. More than anything there’s much more emotion involved when it’s your own garden and decision making gets a bit cloudy.
I’ll tell you more about my plans when we’re closer to getting the garden done, meanwhile, this is how I planned the lay-out.
Sub-dividing the garden:
The main part is 19m/62’ x 13m/42’ probably average for an urban garden in England? Even the smallest garden looks better if it’s divided up into separate areas, there’s something about not seeing everything all at a glance that makes it more interesting.
Hedges and tall plants are ideal for defining areas, making them into garden rooms, Verbena bonariensis and Calamagrostis Karl Foerster are a favourite combination, tall and willowy they act like a kind of veil, partially screening a space. Talking of definition, borders and lawns edged with timber, or better still a metal edge like Everedge, look smart and it’s useful to stop soil spilling onto a gravel path.
I gave up the allotment last year when we moved, we have just about enough room in the garden to grow fruit and vegetables, so six raised beds will replace half the lawn. I kidded myself that the allotment was near enough, because I love the idea of having one, but in all honesty it was just too far away to be convenient.
A practical area:
A space is usually needed for a shed, compost bins and any gardening equipment you have. Our practical area is next to the shed, the new greenhouse will be at one end and a climbing frame for the grandchildren at the other. Most of the timber for the climbing frame will come from a bench, that was originally the deck in a show garden I did at Hampton Court ten years ago.
Plants will partially screen it from the rest of the garden, so we can keep an eye on the grandchildren, and the greenhouse gets as much light as possible because the plants aren’t too dense.
Somewhere to sit:
The patio, put in by previous owners, will stay, I’m thinking sustainably and reusing as much as I can …. and it’s a perfectly good patio.
There are some lovely David Austin roses, I’m planning on growing more scented plants, madonna lillies in pots would be perfect, there’s something wonderful about sitting near scented plants don’t you think?
We’re having a small summerhouse too, somewhere to sit when it’s chilly or when we need some shade. I have a vision wicker chairs, footstools and lots of cushions, a table stacked with gardening magazines and a pot of tea…. this is what keeps me going when there seem to be too many decisions and worries about the cost.
Are you planning a revamp of your garden or have you done one recently? … tell me all about it.
You can see some beautiful gardens over on one my pinterest boards here.
all photos: Jill Anderson