Top ten list of garden plants

  • Abutilons of all kinds
  • Buddlejas old and new
  • Epiphytic orchids and ferns
  • Gordonia species
  • Heliotrope, Lemon verbena, Fennel and herbs
  • Michelias of all sorts
  • Perennial Salvias large and small
  • Species Camellias
  • Tea and China Roses
  • Weigela of all types

Montville Rose

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What is a garden?

Have people forgotten what a garden is ?
I imagine that in many cases some people would have no idea of the sensory delight of a full blown garden that relies on plants, design and maturity. I was really looking forward to the latest tv show about garden design but yet again there is so much focus on start from scratch creation of a designed space. Scary amounts of money are spent and major earth moving is often the norm.
Horses for courses .
People who visit our garden so often say they would like to have a garden like ours.A garden is never finished and even at 25 years in our care The Shambles will always be changing purely because plants grow, some die and we just get design ideas that will only make it more interesting.
It is the layers of maturity which is really only achievable by staying in one place and not selling up every couple of years.
I have been burnt in the past by people who ask for plants which I am always happy to give only to find out that they are selling the property just when things are taking off. Prorogation takes time and in the case of roses it is often by the second year that they are ready to plant out.
Often I am asked to visit a garden and to make suggestions of how to make it more manageable or to redesign it. It is so essential to get a good understanding of what the owner wants and their level of commitment because most gardens take work. It is also essential to value what is already in the garden and what past gardeners have done. The remnant plants will inform me of what grows well on the site. Taking note of the hard landscaping that has already been imposed on a site is also necessary and can either help or hinder a project. Rediscovering focal points and views or simply reducing tree branches can change the whole feeling of a garden letting in sunlight even into the interiors of the house.
I think that  some garden designers have lost the plot . I think that so many suburban gardens are being treated so heavily with hard landscaping and a very small range of plants that not even bees and butterflies will want to visit. I'm not sure but if the next housing estate held back on the concrete driveways and 6ft high fences and loosened up the planting maybe there could be somewhere for the kids to play .There is a difference between garden landscapers , garden designers and gardeners and if you want a garden that is one thing but if you want an outdoor room that is something quite different.

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