I designed this small town garden for a family with two children. Construction work started in Autumn and finished in February. It contains lush herbaceous planting providing colour during the summer months replacing monotone evergreen shrubs.
A new living wall creates a focal point along the boundary fence mainly from the living room in the house. 300 plants have been planted in February amidst icy temperatures. Considering those circumstances the plants have done extremely well – a mix of evergreen perennials such as Heuchera, Tiarella, various ferns and herbs to name only a few.
Evergreen box as large balls in borders and hedging provide structure. Large timber frames planted with climbing plants shield a large playhouse and a trampoline from view.
A water feature next to the terrace provides a focal point and tranquility.
This morning back for my regular maintenance at early start. Seeing how the garden has developed since my last visit only a few weeks ago is exciting – plants have come into the foreground which have been supportive only so far. First splashes of colour of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ surrounded by Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ and Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ in between Verbena bonariensis has gone mad and I love the wild look it creates. Cirsium rivulare is a continuous performer since May with big, bold architectural foliage almost 60 cm across.
In between the roses have climbed up ready to burst into their second flush of wonderful scented bloom. Helenium ‘Fata Morgana’, a brilliant yellow-orange are fading in between one of the best performers Salvia x nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, my signature plant.
The scent of mint flowering in the living wall is almost overwhelming and I love taking it all in on that beautiful late summer morning. I tie in the climbers on the frames and find the spring flowering Clematis armandii and Clematis montana ‘Rubens’ surprisingly in flower again. Trachelospermum, planted at 2m height have done extremely well and flowered profusely until now. Wonderful!
Hydrangea paniculata is in full bloom now and brightens up a shady corner behind the playhouse. Planting under well established shrubs such as Cotinus coggygria is almost a bit problematic and that border needs probably a few changes in autumn. Rosa ‘Iceberg’ as a shrub rose and climber is slow in its first season and hopefully next year will start to bring out nice long shoot. Rosa ‘Mary Rose’ and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ are doing extremly well.
Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ coming up nicely now after a very slow start – had to replace some after the long winter weather. They are beautiful upright with grey green foliage.
As I mow the lawn and while I’m working my way around the playhouse I contemplate if the artificial grass under the trampoline should have been extended into the rest of the garden.
But that’s a different subject – artificial grass in small town gardens, not very sustainable – or ?