This was the topic of Mr Andrew Sankey’s talk in November. “Rethinking” is very different from “redesigning” where you start with a blank canvas.
Using examples from his own and his mother’s garden members were shown how little by little an area in a garden can be altered so that the right plant grows in the right place with the right type of soil!
Members were told not to be afraid to compost plants that did not grow – often people are tempted to buy a plant as it looked fantastic in the garden centre only to find it dying at home – often repeating this mistake several times blaming themselves rather than the conditions for killing it.
Read the labels, visit local “open” gardens where conditions will be similar to your own – use other people’ experiences to benefit your own garden, lift and split plants that do well.
His enthusiastic talk encompassed examples from large estates to small back gardens where using similar ideas of focal points, borrowed landscapes and drifts of similar plants had been employed.
Many ‘tricks of the trade’ were given – a useful one for smaller gardens is to use curves as the garden feels larger by giving a wide border from the arc to the corner thus allowing a tree, statement plant or statue/urn to create a focal point and also the allusion of greater depth. Planting in layers also lengthens the flowering period – spring bulbs and flowers whilst trees and shrubs are leafless then plants for light or deep shade, bearing in mind how much water the plants need.
Incorporating a secluded area for a table and chairs was also recommended – the garden should be enjoyed with either a cup of tea or glass of wine! If you like to sit out in the evening a white planting scheme was recommended as the moonlight is enhanced by this colour. Colour schemes can also affect the “feel” of a garden – hot bright colours close to the house with cooler blues and whites in the distance to give a calming effect.
“Rethinking” your garden takes time and should be enjoyed along the way!