In the last year I have designed gardens for houses, both old and modern. Working with existing gardens is something I especially enjoy as there are so many elements to consider. Existing layout, planting – both beautiful and mature and old and ‘had it’ and occasionally just a jungle of over grown shrubs and brambles and weeds, almost impossible to penetrate. But each has a ‘sense of place’, elements that are unique to that garden. It can be a single beautiful mature tree, shrubs, general planting, bulbs, layout, walls, sculpture, wildlife, views, each one has something which can be absorbed into the new design. But it is vital to be true to the ‘sense of place’ within the garden and to work creatively with it.
The picture (below left) shows the terrace of an Arts and Crafts House, built around 1914. I was asked to redesign the terrace at the rear of the house which is a large area and it needed some tall uprights to balance the space. I chose some very sturdy wooden obelisks to grow clematis and roses on which I feel are in keeping with the house and garden style. In contrast, the picture (below right) shows part of a terrace of a 1930’s house where again tall uprights were needed to balance the space, and this time I choose Stipa gigantea with its soft floating plumes which move in the slightest breeze.
Beth Chatto talks about ‘the right plant for the right place’, I think it also applies to ‘the right upright for the right place’ too.
Obelisk supplier: www.asterisksandobelisks.co.uk