Sunday, 19 November 2017

Classic garden designs are always the best

WINDOWS Through Time was the very apt title of the M&G Centenary Garden designed by Roger Platts at this year’s

WINDOWS Through Time was the very apt title of the M&G Centenary Garden designed by Roger Platts at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and it demonstrated the very best of classic design and gardening, writes Louise Venter.

In our modern era of “trends” and “fashion” there is all too often a tendency to rip it all out and start again from scratch. This is not only costly, but in my opinion also extremely wasteful.

Roger’s garden demonstrates so successfully how contemporary sculpture and more modern styles of planting can be incorporated into more traditional settings and planting schemes.

The key in any successful scheme has to be the fundamental quality. My advice would always be to buy the best you can afford.

Instead of a desire for instant and complete transformation, take a long-term vision. Implement in stages over months and/or years.

If done correctly this will always add value, not only to your property, but to your quality of life. A bold and perhaps over-exaggerated statement, some of you may think, but who can argue about the merits of being outdoors, in a space that instils both a sense of calm and relaxation?

In our busy and all too often stressful lives, no one can dispute the need for a space in which to relax and unwind.

Start in your own garden by discriminately selecting those things that are important, have a particular sense of purpose, give you pleasure and a sense of fun. Anything that does not add value, is no longer used or fit for purpose can then be identified, recycled, donated, or responsibly disposed of.

Plan before you replace. Don’t be distracted from your goal by what is currently in flower or on offer. Think firstly about what it is that you want most from your garden — for example, a seating area or storage for bicycles.

Give thought to all-year interest through the use of evergreen shrubs, trees and shrubs with interesting bark or stems. Should your budget allow, perhaps add a sculpture or water feature. Water in a garden is incredibly calming and a natural reflector of light.

Colour in planting schemes is always best added through herbaceous perennials. These are not only cheaper than adding annual bedding plants, but also lower in maintenance and you can enjoy them year after year.

If you take action with only one thing this season — de-clutter!

* With an eye for detail, Louise Venter has a lifetime’s experience in horticulture, extensive plant knowledge and is a practising garden designer. Her sensitivity to the environment, style and age of each property and attentive consideration of her clients’ brief is evident in all her projects, both large and small. Contact 07803 583687, email louise_venter@yahoo.co.uk or go to www.louiseventer gardendesign.com

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