How to create the garden of your dreams

Starting a garden from scratch is hard. The tendency is to cram as many plants as possible into the space – to try and create the illusion of a full and mature garden – to hide the wide bare patches that become weed factories.  An oft repeated refrain I hear when designing gardens is ‘I want to see it as it should be NOW, not in 5 years!’

Fair enough but plants don’t stop growing until they die. That’s the wonder of them. So they keep getting bigger and within a few short years, the ‘mature’ garden is a veritable jungle.  Some become thugs and take over, others fade away unable to compete.  Hundreds of pounds are wasted as plants admired in a garden and purchased at nurseries fail to thrive, or become lost.

A planned approach, in the first place, to planting is highly cost efficient and provides a sense of continuity and harmony in the garden.  It is essential that the final size of the plant, in relation to other plants and the garden as a whole, is taken into account and allowed growing space.

In the meantime, gaps can be filled with annuals, and once the garden has properly matured, large perennials can be divided and either replanted elsewhere or given away to friends and neighbours