Plant Enthusiast's Back Garden
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Plant Enthusiast's Back Garden

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A small, L shaped back garden, filled with beautiful plants, designed and planted especially for a plant enthusiast to enjoy

The front garden has a pared back, contemporary feel with geometrical box shapes combined with bright red Hemerocallis Stafford. But open the back gate and walk around the corner and you are surrounded by a bright, buzzing garden, burrting with beautiful plants, a plant collector's heaven. The challenge was to fit them all in...

My client is a plant enthusiast and keen gardener with ideas for how the garden should look. The brief was to create a space that allowed for inclusion of a long wish list of plants in a small, L shaped garden with challenges of deep shade, narrow sections and at the same time create privacy from neighbours.

The garden should not feel compartmentalised or boxed in although the idea of zones was welcome. The finish should be tidy, the garden easy to look after with the emphasis on plants for interest all through the year. Into this small space I was to include seating areas for outdoor dining, coffee tables, and a summer house.

My client had several box shapes which we were to reuse.

I designed a contemporary front garden using the existing box balls and pyramids and planted box cubes, gap filling with smaller plants. These have knitted together beautifully and are softened with a border of bright red Hemerocallis Stafford.

In contrast the back garden is a plant lovers heaven. Open the garden gate and turn the corner into the first area, a hot border curves around to a small paved seating area. The far boundary is screened with pleached hornbeam, underplanted with molinia grasses. Opposite is a small summerhouse, with a bubbling water feature and shade plants.

An old Prunus serrula at the end of the hot border created dense shade perfect for ferns, hostas, hellebores and my client's trillium collection.

The curved, hot border leads you through a beautiful, oak moon gate opening onto double borders each side of a narrow, grass path. The borders have obelisks with rambling roses, clematis, underplanted with cottage garden perennials and grasses.

Finally a parterre bordering the patio full of roses, perfumes the air close by the house.

The borders are edged with steel for a neat, tidy finish and all the boundary fences and house walls are clothed with climbers, trained along stainless steel wires for easy management.

Swimmers in natural pool