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Structure in Garden Design

A good garden design needs good bones.

Your garden has to look good even on a grey rainy day in Winter.

If you achieve this with structure such as flint walls, hedges, pergolas and paths then when Summer comes and everything explodes in lush greens and vivid colours the structure will support and frame the beauty that you have created.

Here are some images of structure in nature I have seen over the last month which no doubt is already informing me as I design.

Here is the great Montezuma pine at Sheffield Park, the skirt of new growth at the base of an ancient Sweet Chestnut, Rhododendron branches next to a lake, Halloween pumpkins still in a field, Yew topiary and the seeds of the wonderful Handkerchief tree.

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Front Garden Design

The whole front garden was just shingle onto of old brick and concrete. The worse the garden the better for me as the transformation is that much more delightful.

My clients wanted a front garden design that would compliment and enhance the front of their newly renovated house. They still wanted an area to drive into the property to park and they wanted the bed to be very low maintenance.

I separated the drive area from the garden with a mixed evergreen hedge and a bespoke black metal arch to match the curve of the arch over the doorway and the metal trim pattern on the house.

A Cretian water pot bubbles away as they have their breakfast in the sunny morning space to the left of the front of the house.

Using shingle, 20mm white york, allows them to access the plants effortlessly, keep the weeds down to a bare minimum and allow a feeling of space and light in the front. 

I choose Cercis, Japanese Acer and Amelanchier lemarkii for the feature trees as they will hold their shape and not create any dense shade.

We used Euonymous Green Rocket to line the front path to avoid disease prone Buxus. Plus it has a dynamic upward growth habit which definitely adds to the front.

Draft plan.
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Stunning rose

Sorry for the short blog but I just had to show you this picture of a rose I took in Salisbury last week! Natural light is falling into the already lighter colour of the rose just as a bee dives in.

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Design refurbishment

Even a well designed garden can become tired and frayed at the edges as plants get leggy or do better than expected in a particular spot.

We replanted the beds, shaped and sculptured 5 large Pittisporum trees and tried to link the magnificent Magnolia that stands in the middle of the lawn with the rest of the garden by planting the 2 Pittisporum ball shaped plants- Pittisporum Tom Thumb and Pittisporum Golf Ball.

These plants will become beautifully round and look as if a giant has scattered its marbles on the lawn.
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This pond in East Sussex had such a lovely curve at the approach end from the house that I decided to extend the design of the new decking over the pond and follow the curve for one end to the other.

Once the wood silvers in colour it will look like it has always been there. 

Large sways of ornamental grasses and perennial plants will link up the pond to the house and create a real journey from the courtyard garden of the back of the house to the pond, whereas at the moment thee is just lawn.

Paradoxically a large lawn can make a garden feel limited in size whereas curved borders full of rich planting, variation in heights and divided up spaces can evoke mystery and on going exploration. This slows down time, whereas an expanse of lawn can limit oneself to the time it takes to mow it!

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