Mr,Mrs Wakely - steep,overgrown garden area to be designed and created for viewing from the balcony.
I have to say I was initially a little daunted when I first saw this garden on Monks Hill in Weston-Super-Mare.Access was poor,no place for a skip and the Rubrus growing over the bank was rampant.Designing it was awkward as the slope was so steep and somehow I had to retain soil without major excavation as the soil and rubble was basically what was left when the house was built,not really strong enough to hold anything substantial. The main viewing of the garden area would be from the balcony so any planting must be attractive from above.After clearing the Rubrus by hand,I then proceeded to weedkill the area over a period of two months.Then the retainers were put in place and a small amount of soil behind.the shrubs I planted would hold the soil in place and so retain from falling down in wet weather.Buxus was placed along the edge of the path to give an attractive edge and the shrubs chosen were mainly evergreen with varying foliage and colour.
Mr,Mrs Pegge- To block the view of neighboring apex from there conservatory.
The client wanted to hide the apex shaped wall of the neighboring building as it always caught there eye when they looked down from there conservatory.My idea for this was,(rather than try and hide the wall) to create a display which diverts the eye away to a more attractive area. I cleared the overgrown borderband planned a new border which wouldn't take long to create impact. To give the border colour I positioned an Acer in the corner to lead the eye, a Prunus Nigra was used to give height with a few evergreen shrubs such as Pittosporum Golf Ball and Viburnum Daviddii,an Oak Leaf Hydrangea and some climbers on the fence, (supported by wires). Intermixed with these I used perennials which will flower for most of the year and added a few bulbs for those in-between times in the seasons. The focus is now on the border and not the wall,additionally as the whole border can’t be seen from the house,it draws the client out into the garden to view it,and, with the mix of plants different displays at various times of the year.
Caroline,Matt - To remove an old shrub bed of Photinia and Choisya to be contemporary and manageable.
This shrub border was planted way back in 2002 and had been kept trimmed for some time. The Choisya and Photinia had swamped some other small shrubs and these had died off in time. After clearing the area the soil was then dug over and raked out. As we had already put some Buxus in the border to compliment the front of the house we carried on with this theme. The Buxus was planted in groups as before to create a dense but small hedge complimenting the bend in the border.The central figure was a pyramid style Buxus (which Caroline picked) which would draw the eye in. The fence behind was painted black to accentuate the plants, and a row of Taxus Baccatta (Yew) was planted around the fence perimeter.this will give a dense hedge background and should provide red berries in the Winter. White and blue flowering perennials are to be planted in the spare spaces to give plenty of summer colour and bulbs for the cooler months of the year.
Cordellia,Stephen - Overgrown central area that was unattractive and in need of control.
This large shrub border had been left to its own devices over the years and the few perennials in the bottom left of the border had been neglected so allowing weed to take hold.We had to create space and colour so it became something to view from the conservatory and also make it interesting enough to enjoy sitting outside in the warmer times of the year.Although we wanted to try and keep some of the shrubs,this proved almost impossible as most of them were being drawn forwards on runners and so ruining the overall shape.
We cleared the bed and then put a planting plan together to create year round interest.This included adding a few shrubs for structure,and perennials for continuous colour.Spring and Summer bulbs were planted at the right time to keep life in the border for almost every month of the year.Now into our second year and we have thickened up the planting and trimmed shrubs to be more shaped.
The big plus point with this garden is that when picking the plants, Cordellia and Stephen were involved,and learnt what to look for in a good plant,how to plant,when to plant and so enabling them to not only show off there garden,but be able to talk about it to anyone who visited.
Caroline,Matt - Removal of old conifer bed and replace with colourful border to be viewed from patio area.
Initially planning a border like this was not really an issue,then it took a little turn as Caroline wanted to view the new border from the patio area and be able to see the colour all the way up.The patio is 3ft below the border so the plants used had to be vibrant enough to be seen through each other.Once the border had been cleared and top dressed with organic matter I let it settle for a couple of weeks before raking out and planning what to use.
First I used a few evergeen Grasses to give flow to the border,and being loose in growth colours could be seen through them.A mix of tall perennials were then chosen to compliment each other and flower at varying times,thus allowing colour in the border all through the seasons. As Caroline had a love of Sweet Peas,obelisks were placed in at three points (by the bare wall) and young plants were put placed around them in April. This created a height of colour as an addition all summer long.
The planting was done in stages as not all plants were available in one go,(mistakes sometimes seen on TV programmes) and this meant we could purchase strong looking plants and get them off to a good start.When creating a border like this its always the second year which will give your first real strong display.
Liz,Mark Rogers - Reclaim an old Bamboo are to create a wildlife pond.
An old raised area which had been planted with Bamboo many years ago was inherited by Liz,Mark when they bought the house,with two large dogs they wanted to re-structure the area with a wildlife pond and planting area behind. Initially they were looking to bring in a mini-digger to level it and take away excess soil.I pointed out to them that if it was to be a feature why not leave it raised and dig into it,planting around the outside. The Bamboo would not be a problem as it is quite shallow rooting and spreads across the top of the ground by runners and cam be easily dug out. Two days later we had it all dug out,area clear and all stones lifted off. (A financial saving of around £500.00).
The pond was then dug out at three different levels,to accommodate the use of Lilies,Grasses anda shallow area for pond life andwhere the dogs drink and lay down in hot weather.I pruned the large Magnolia to the side,planted up the area behind with plants to attract insects etc,repositioned stones around the edge of the pond and in the borders surrounding the pond.Plants have been positioned around the edge to cascade down and hide any visible liner.
Roses Year 2
These Roses had grown way up over the adjoining house.Rather than cut them down and remove,I chose to prune down hard and in the first year trim the runners to a certain height.Year 2 (2018) and we had a glorious display,not once but twice.
Mr,Mrs Pegge - Langford.