Dressing the garden

Garden view from west side

We are now at the stage in our garden renovation of adding plants and garden accessories to pull together all the elements – the fun bit!

By the careful placement of plants and decorations, you can give the impression of stylish, sleek and yet homely.  We used a combination of both new and old plants, new and old pots and new and old accessories, different shades of grey and blue which contrast but still compliment.  For maintenance purposes, all the plants are evergreen (with flowers or colour) for all year round show, but the trough is our seasonal garden splash of colour, this time of the year it is full of stocks, cyclamens and dianthus, in spring we will have daffodils and tulips and then summer bedding plants.

Pernettya mucronata Evergreen Prickly Heath Berry Plant
Pernettya mucronata Evergreen Prickly Heath Berry Plant

Small compact plant with eye catching white berries, placed close to the house so can been seen through french doors but does not obstruct view to other plants.

Pernettya - Purple Berry Miniature Bush
Pernettya – Purple Berry Miniature Bush

This one is the same as above except berries are pink.  It is placed in a higher container diagonally across from white one so eyes travel along the line to encompass both colours.

Ophiopogon japonicus - Pygmaeus
Ophiopogon japonicus – Pygmaeus

On the sleeper wall we have used small grey pots to hold various alpines, the smallest one above.

Sempervivum Vicentai Gaton
Sempervivum Vicentai Gaton

The middle of the three pots on the sleeper wall, yellow flowers will appear in summer on tall stems.

Iberis Fischbeck – Perennial Candytuft
Iberis Fischbeck – Perennial Candytuft

The largest of the three pots on the sleepers, produces masses of small white flowers in spring, ideal for attracting bees into the garden.

Dryopteris Erythrosora – Japanses Rosy Buckler Fern with Vinca Minor - Periwinkle
Dryopteris Erythrosora – Japanses Rosy Buckler Fern with Vinca Minor – Periwinkle

We have placed a tall cylinder planter in the corner of the patio contained two plants, the Japanese fern is ideal to use as foliage contrast with other plants, has coppery triangular fronds when young, turning light green with mature.  To compliment the fern we have added a Periwinkle, this has small inky blue/violet flower in spring and occasionally in autumn winter – we planted ours in late September and it has not stopped flowering!

Araucaria Araucana - Monkey Puzzle tree
Araucaria Araucana – Monkey Puzzle tree

The Monkey Puzzle tree we have had for a while but it now stands out as a structural element to the edge of the patio with its sweeping arms contained in a square planter, but do not be fooled, get too close and the spikes really hurt.

Azalea tree
Azalea tree

This Azalea has been lost in the old plants for some time now but placed in a planter it show cases its autumn colours  Although not evergreen, the new buds are already showing (November) with a promise of what’s to come.  In summer a mass of coral flowers can be seen.  To draw the eye to the planter, a small sphere is used.

Planter with Olive tree, Stocks and Cyclamens
Planter with Olive tree, Stocks and Cyclamens

We have recycled our old plants, it was looking a might tired but with new lining and a few coats of “silver birch” grey paint, it looks like new.  An olive tree is placed at the side to give height and structure, the rest of the trough will be planted with seasonal bedding plants to give a splash of all year round interest.

Pittosporum Tenuifolium - Irene Paterson
Pittosporum Tenuifolium – Irene Paterson

A tall square planter is used to showcase the above, it produces dark green leaves speckled with white often tinged pink in winter.  Dark purple flowers are produced in Spring. The height of this plants ensures the eye is drawn to the rest of the garden over the sleeper wall.

Landscaping Case Study – Planting Trees in Back Garden

New trees two years on

Just finished a project to plant four Extra-Heavy Standard trees to act as a screen in a back garden.

The trees chosen to plant were 2 Red Rob (Photinia) and 2 Holme Oaks (Quercus Ilex). Both these types of trees are evergreen to give screening all year round. The trees were supplied in containers – the Oaks in 600mm diameter pots and the Red Robins in 900mm diameter pots.

Red Robin in containers on Patio

Quercus Ilex in containers on Patio

Trees on patio surounded by trugs of dug-out earth

The tree pit was dug to twice the diameter of the containers and the sides and bottom well worked with a fork. A small mound was made at the bottom sprinkled with Mycorrhizal Fungi.The mound was made up of 75% soil taken from the original spoil of the tree pit and 25% Levington Tree and Shrub compost.

First hole dug

Prepared tree pit with Mycorrhizal Fungi

The root ball of the tree was winched into position on the mound so the top of the root ball was level with the top of the tree pit. The hole was then back-filled with the rest of the 75% soil / 25% compost mixture with a small amount of Fish Blood and Bone.

Winching the containers up the garden into the tree pits

Winch used to drag trees up garden

Frst Red Robin planted

First Quercus Ilex planted into newly dug tree-pit

To finish, some bark chippings were sprinkled over the root ball and rest of the back filled tree pit. The tree was well watered in and then the root ball and surrounding area were moderately watered every few days since. The 2 Ilex have been lightly staked as very high winds have been experienced since the trees were planted.

Newly planted trees from dining room window

Newly planted trees from bedroom window

Two years later, the trees are doing well and have put on a couple of feet. The screen they provide is very effective and I’m sure you’ll agree they look as beautiful as they are practical.

Trees two years on