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Front garden design using Pittisporum

We completed this garden design and build about two years ago.

We decided to make a real feature out of the beds by the side of the drive by planting a row of 5 Yew columns.

However the fence was very unsightly behind the Yews so we made a bold decision and chose all the major, different coloured Pittisporums that can grow to minimum 8 foot. Now it has become a very attractive and unusual hedge with the small frilly leaves of the Pittisporum contrasting with the dark columns of Yew.

We then make great curves of box hedging with box balls amidst quite abundant and colourful planting to give a Wow factor for anyone coming in from the main road.

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Garden design- Looking for Structure

One of my mentors, Amanda Patton, works on the basis that the structure of a garden needs to be beautiful even before any plants are put in.

Though plants are the blood and soul of a garden if the structure is not right the space will look unformed or cluttered. As with oil painting the longer one spends getting the proportions right the easier the colours can be added, and even if the colours aren't right the picture still hangs together because of the underlying geometry. 

This integrity is vital especially in Winter as the deciduous plants are pared back to their bones and Perennials hunker down underground.

Looking for structure around me, anything can inspire the layout of a garden. I once designed a pot based on the peel of an orange, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture's front entrance gives a sense both of the majesty of an oak tree yet shows the way we harness and hold fast that power, the radial glory of a tree fern's leaves can provide a layout for a vegetable gardens and the upward pyramids of the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, NSW shows how a simple repetitive form can inspire myths.

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Garden Design using Dynamic Shapes

In this garden we finished in early Summer we used a way of shaping the borders reminiscent of Rudolf Steiner.

Rather than simple curves or square shapes, the shape we used blended both to create a smooth river effect yet with more dynamic sharper angles.

Doing edges this way makes a smaller space appear larger with the dynamic angles acting as portals to stronger energies, seeming to refer to a greater landscape.

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Vietnamese Garden Plants

Vietnam is home to more than 16% of the world's species despite its slender size.

Travelling around I felt like I was in a vast tropical glasshouse and it was hard to put the camera down and just be in the moment.

Below we have the very origins of a pineapple fruit, waterlilies that grow in the countless private ponds the Vietnamese raise catfish in, one of thousands of Papaya trees in a plantation that we walked past plus the enormous leaves of a water palm from the Mekong Delta, traditionally used for waterproof roofing.

 

 

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Garden Design using Spirals

My client had an extremely sloping garden that was a struggle to mow. She wanted curves and different levels to make the garden an adventure to plant up and explore rather than a single square of lawn.

We explored different shapes and lines and chose a perfect circle for the patio, a raised lawn for sun baking with a sinuous edge and a curved lower path with steps going both down and up.

 

The water feature, made of solid stone, will bubble and shine away like an oyster in this giant shell.

 

Say tuned for what we do with the planting!

 

 

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