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Rosie's Story

Rosie lives with her husband and their ever- growing garden of 27 years and she felt it could do with a facelift… An opportunity to try ideas seen on TV, and buy some unusual, daring plants!  Their priorities and needs have altered over the years and now she felt she wanted to spend more time there… Just sitting and having a cuppa as well as pottering…

We arranged to meet in the garden. Rosie began to put her musings, dreams and fancies into some sort of order that we could make accessible and applicable; She collected colourful, descriptive pictures to help her describe her vision to me. I hoped to bring these ideas alive and also to mucky my hands with her if she wanted help.

What would you like from your garden?

  Leading Rosie up the garden path???

I asked her to visualise and describe her biggest most outrageous thoughts and together we would cajole, juggle and squeeze them into a cost effective practical plan

We had books, magazines, dream boards and plant catalogues all over the floor…

We were chattering nineteen-to-the dozen, tossing wild magnificent visions round with boring practicalities … like how DO we manage to cut the lawn over there.. to …it might not be as perishingly cold this winter as last year so shall we take a risk with a not particulary hardy plant.

Set your imagination loose and see what you come up with...

We decided we would take a few risks… If we lose a few plants we can, as
gardeners who enjoy splitting, sharing, and giving spare plants to friends and other enthusiasts… replace or recoup if needs be. It would also be an opportunity to buy some new ones.

Standing with our backs to the house looking way down the lush stripy green lawn to the beautiful oak tree in the distance, I wondered if Rosie wanted to divide the open space into several interesting hidden areas separated by a curving bed of tall moving grasses… or a new hedge, or making the journey more interesting by increasing the size of some of her planting beds by changing her lawn into a wide flowing s shaped path… perhaps leading to a long straight stretch with a focal point at the end of it.

N.B. Add another Focal Point to the shopping list!!!

A focal point is anything that draws the eye...  

Now for some serious thinking and planning before the doing!!
My flexibility allowed us to work at Rosie’s pace when time, finances and the seasons allowed...

Which shrubs can we move, re shape or lift their skirts to alter the micro climate beneath?

Shall we ‘nominate’ certain areas of the garden to stand out at particular times of the year? Such as a Betulis utilis ‘Jaqumontii’ planted in front of next door’s yew hedge and underplanted with celandines, snowdrops and species croci?

Decisions on Rosie’s Old Favourite herbaceous plants:

Shall we split and plant in swathes or group them in threes and fives to create rhythm and harmony through repetition?
Give them a place of honour and miraculously lead the eye to them?
Go shopping and find a few more new ones?!!

Vibrant or soothing colours, perfume in the sunshine or warm evenings…

  Use vibrant colours and lots of different textures....

We started putting a ‘to do’ a list together which is still flexible…
Its such fun!

A ‘Garden Story ‘ does not have an ending… It just keeps growing!

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