Week 4 ..
For me, the most important thing about a garden and its design is not how it looks … but how it makes you feel…
My garden is very random and a little all over the place. All of my plants have been saved from the compost heap apart from a Hydrangea Mathilda (in homage to my daughter) and some narcissi ‘Snow Baby’ purchased from the stunning Gresgarth Hall. Some are unsold plants from the shop, some rescued or donated by clients. When I am in my garden I can remember where every plant came from… which nursery, which garden and the client ….. its like looking through a photo album.
I recently revisited a garden we designed over 12 months ago.. its a large garden surrounded by open fields, the main garden was designed by the lovely David Anderson years before I started design work. But there was a small courtyard area with two very old apple trees, a throw back to the properties origins as a pig shed, this area had remained untouched at the clients request.
We maintain the garden and the client mentioned that they want a small cosy area away from the openness of the main garden to sit, have dinner and a drink or two in the evening…
The courtyard was the ideal spot … with doors leading from the kitchen. The trees were very much past their best and suffering with canker so they came out and the small lawn was removed. We installed a pale polished sandstone patio to brighten the area up and small beds of herbs outside the kitchen doors.
Although the courtyard was quite enclosed, it still felt a little too big to give the cocooned feeling we were looking for. To over come this we installed cedar screens at the edge of the patio and planted heavily behind them. The screen creates that cosy small space and the planting of predominantly foliage plants, gave the garden depth and atmosphere.
Back in my garden, the newest additions are the plants that were left outside the little shop when we had to temporarily close the doors … every time I see them they will remind me of this difficult time and I hope I remember the positives … a time when keeping people safe was the most important thing, the planet had a quiet moment to heal and I remembered to appreciate the simple things in life ...