I can honestly say that our season has got off to a really wild start! All the calls we have received for new garden designs, makeover-maintenance, and top up planting days, have come with a brief to create wildlife friendly gardens. Our ethos of ‘out with the herbaceous border, and in with the pollinator border,’ is something clients are really embracing.
We received a wonderful brief last week to plant up a wildlife garden to attract: butterflies, bees, moths, toads, caterpillars, frogs, insects, invertebrates….you get the idea! What was so fab about this brief was that the garden was not to be designed by plant colour; but by specific wildlife attracting qualities. But as we have always championed, a garden can still be wildlife friendly without losing the aesthetics. We are therefore looking forward to creating a beautiful and elegant garden that ticks all the boxes!
Whilst on the subject of attracting insects, it really can be as simple as letting a patch of your lawn grow longer. We totally understand that many families need lawns for younger kids play on; but why not just leave a tiny, weeny patch around the edge to grow? You will be amazed at how many beautiful low growing wildflowers will appear. Alternately, let us plant up the edges of your lawn with wildflower plugs: we particularly love birds foot trefoil, self heal, bladder campion and of course there is always room for red clover seeds.
Let it never be said that art does not influence garden design. We are currently designing a Frida Kahlo themed garden: lots of bright, jewelled colours. From Monarda Fireball, Heleniums to the new Salvia Amethyst lips and Geum Tangerine dream. It’s all red, oranges unified by lime green Euphorbias! Pollinator friendly and er, pink!
It may seem completely the wrong time of year to be thinking about the winter garden, but with winter still fresh in many of our minds, and many folk disappointed with the lack of winter structure in their garden, now is actually the perfect time to also get the ‘backbone’ of our gardens planned and planted for next year! We maintain the garden of a large block of flats in NW3. For many of the residents their main relationship with the garden is the ‘view’ from their windows! With this in mind, we are planting up a whole extra layer of garden evergreen structure. We are thinking lots of coppers and bronzes to add depth and texture.
We have been booked for several ‘makeover’ in gardens. We love nothing more than going into a mature garden and sensitively cutting back overgrown mature shrubs and trees to reveal new vistas. With some new ‘top up’ planting, by the end of one day, clients are always amazed at how different the garden looks!
After last summers drought, many new clients are also considering planting gardens that are more climate sensitive and fare better in drier conditions. Beth Chatto’s gardens are an inspiration for this. We are looking forward to planting up one such front gravel garden. More info next month.
Finally, community gardens are always something close to our heart. Alongside the Keeping Active Together group in West Hampstead community association, we are currently co-designing the Sunshine Garden, which will be a new community garden on West Hampstead overground station. We are also working with local councils to turn under-used green spaces in local authority owned blocks of flats into bucolic community gardens full of life, laughter and sharing. This is all part of our aim with Transition Kentish Town/Camden groups to create a Web of Well Being in our area: A web of community connection.
Community gardening is all about developing our own personal eco-systems, so come on, get involved!