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Light & Lacy Shadows

All new build gardens can be seen as a challenge or an opportunity, and this one – with its strip of paved path and lumpy lawn – was no different. It can be difficult to imagine what might be possible to do with such an unlovely starting point. The reality is: many lovely things!

The clients wanted an easy garden, something with plenty of interest, but also a garden that would require a minimum of care and upkeep.

We settled on the idea of a gravel garden, with resilient plants that would suit their lifestyle and thrive in the modern climate.

As with many projects it suited these clients for me to use my tried and tested system of creating three outline proposals, as different from each other as possible. We discussed how these would suit the space and their appeal. In this case there was a clear winner. Provision had been made in all to hide the bins and where the whirligig would go!

Shadows on limestone

We used clay pavoirs and a stunning Turkish limestone which I displayed on the 3D model. The changes in level created the right balance of interest with these materials. Then the planting set all this off, throwing amazing shadows onto the smooth surfaces. We chose plants which establish a little more slowly, flower for longer and demand a lot less attention. It can still vary throughout the seasons and be vibrant.

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Though drought tolerant, any garden might need some extra help from time to time. We met the need with a concealed drip watering system that ensures low water usage and minimal loss through evaporation.

The end result is a garden full of colour, texture and insects. An Amelanchier lamarkii ‘Robin Hill’ is the ‘central’ plant in this garden, giving a cloud of confetti like flowers in spring and great autumn colours at the end of the growing season. A compact evergreen Magnolia also provides height and various bulbs add colour from early spring to late summer.