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The more I look at natural landscapes and the wild flowers that scatter themselves within them, the less inclined I am to garden meticulously.
In the early part of the year, the purple honesty creates prominent ribbons right through the garden. Remember that you can download your licenses whenever you want in the Downloads section of your profile. Let's look at some of the things that can be done to transform your garden into a more attractive and appealing place.One of the easiest ways to transform a garden is by giving it some height! Just behind the seat are four trellis panels, which separate this part of the garden from the trampoline and utility area. Pergolas, arches and trellis are ideal structures over which to grow the most glorious climbers.
I thought I'd mention this here, as another design aspect, that gives both height and interest to a garden, is the use of different levels. The greater the slope, the more dramatic the features become.Clients often despair of their sloping gardens, becoming very frustrated with the look and usability of the space.
Of course, plants are often the crowning glory, making any garden structure a thing of beauty.
Take a look at some more examples of climbing plants; the icing on the cake!Here's to more interesting and beautiful gardens! Join the 'Love Gardening!' Ezine and receive garden and landscaping tips, exclusive voucher codes and updates to the website.
See the 'Fantastic Offers' page for more bargains on pergola kits, tools and all things gardening! I want my outside space to produce food and flowers, and I want to plant trees, but purely ornamental gardening feels increasingly pointless to me.
I put in lots of tulips, in tall pots as well as in the ground, but this would be boring without the honesty, which stands out against a backdrop of acid-green feather dusters of Euphorbia 'John Tomlinson’ (AGM).


Even so, they can feel very two-dimensional if the structures and planting are below waist level. The pergola height was instrumental in achieving this transformation.In fact, it was the garden shown at the top of the page. The combination of pergolas and trellis enclose the patio area to give more privacy, height and structure.The blue line shows the original flat, two-dimensional patio, and the green line shows how much space is gained by adding height, giving a much more three-dimensional feel.
Many different climbing plants cover this trellis, flowering at various times throughout the season.The large plants and shrubs that make up this colourful border also lend height to the garden border. You may be able to do this in your head, but it can sometimes be easier to jot down a simple design on a piece of paper. I brought three plants from my parents’ garden nearly 20 years ago and let them scatter themselves liberally almost wherever they chose. Take a look at some basic design techniques to see how to create your own visually appealing space. This is because our eyes are focused downwards.Picture the old style of garden that used annual bedding plants in borders around a beautifully manicured lawn. There were many other interesting features in this garden, but it was the addition of height that had the most impact.
Retaining walls can create flat areas on which to place garden furniture and structures (depending, of course, on the size of the area).This natural slope has been used to create woodland steps, a water feature, an arch, a dining area, a corner pergola and beautiful cottage garden planting on three levels. The initial cost of installing retaining walls will be the major one in this type of project, but once completed, there is a lot of scope for wonderful design features. There are now 20-30 plants on the south-facing bank below the school and another five or six whoppers in the shelter of the oast garden. Very colourful for three months of the year but neither practical nor desirable for our needs today.As more and more people are using the garden as an outdoor living space, the emphasis has changed, with more focus being placed on interesting garden structures and planting. If only for this reason, it's great to have a structure over which to grow these wonderful plants.
Our mixed borders, which used to be designed and tweaked on a regular basis, have been largely given over to the dominance of self-sowers.


The garden has become an area of 'designed space' used for relaxation; an escape from the rigours of daily life and the toil of high maintenance gardening! Annuals such as groundsel, bittercress, bird’s-eye speedwell and sour thistle appear among the interesting, planted things, and the place becomes hard to keep on top of. But if your soil is relatively clean of weed seed after several years of regular tidy-ups, then what germinates in spring is usually desirable. By year two the plants are bigger, with perhaps seven or eight leaves, but are still not large. The foliage again dies back, but in the third year they come up to flower and will look magnificent in sun or shade for eight to 10 weeks before fading. Even then, the delicacy and longevity of its skeleton make this one of the classiest dried stems to bring inside for the winter.
Now, in June, is the moment to find a friend to let you dig up a small clump, which should contain one and two-year-old seedlings. Seedlings tend to collect in the light, open space at the front of the borders, so we dig them up in good clumps and transplant them farther back to spread them out more evenly. This works with all but the tap-rooted plants, such as eryngiums and, to a lesser extent, honesty, which either need to be dug up when small or root-balled with plenty of soil. I encourage as much of this plant as I have room for, as it’s an excellent long-lasting flower and seedpod for arranging, but it is a giant, with plants reaching 6ft in one season. For a gargantuan combination, encourage the silver, felted-leaved, giant thistle Onopordum acanthium to spread itself, too; it grows from a self-sown seedling a few inches high to a 7-8ft plant by midsummer.



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