Working with E and A in their garden was a joy! The brief was to make a garden which was flourishing, could attract butterflies and bees, and for their two young sons to enjoy. We worked together in the garden and looked at the available resources to help us with sourcing materials. An old compost heap had excellent, well- rotted matter; the ‘log store’ would make an excellent feature as a bug hotel; the plants struggling to survive in their pots would provide extra planting around the garden.
Beginning with the back border shaded by trees we replanted several acers which had become pot-bound. Measurung up the space for the boys new den we then decided to move the compost bin to behind the log store – by simply turning the log store 90 degrees we could creat a bug hotel and allow the unique shape of the store to become a feature at the rear of the garden.
E was keen to have a border which had multiple layers of plants and she wanted a mixture which would provide structure and colour throughout the year. The original border was narrow and needed digging over – it was bordered by grass which was interrupted by the paving stones making a path from the front to the back of the lawn. The unusual shape of the slabs and the curve of the path created a ‘natural’ border for a new bed. The ‘lawn’ rambled across the back of the large rectilinear pond and this made mowing tricky.
We set about creating something from nothing with the grassy edges and lawn. My suggestions were to create a clear gravel area around the pond as a path ( for ease of access) and for a break between this and the new bed; to use small box hedging (Buxus Sempervivens) bordering the new herabceous bed would create definition and provide a clear boundary between the grass and the plants; to save digging over the lawn area by skimming off the grass and using the well-rotted compost as a heavy mulch meant that the soil was ready to plant within a couple of weeks.
Shopping for plants was at a time premium, however we sourced some plants ( Ficus Brown Turkey) online – these were exceptionally good quality at a much more reasonable price than some local garden centres.
E and A worked super hard in their garden to create the desired effect… whilst I worked alongside them I would leave them with tasks to do. I loved the fact that their enthusiasm developed and their garden is now a true part of their home rather than somewhere just to sit.
The garden is an on-going project and when I recently returned it was wonderful to see the extra care which E and A had put in with their final planting and maintenance.