With each new year, I come to love and appreciate autumn more and more. In inner cities we do not have a access to to the big open skies, the forests and the hedgerows to usher in the subtle changes of season. It is our gardens which help us be part of something so much bigger: rowan, hawthorn, cotoneaster, and roses with their berries and hips bring to birds to us; the fallen leaves on our ground bring in the forest. We are never in a hurry in our gardens to cut back all the herbaceous perennials at this time of year, but to encourage our clients to enjoy the fading; enjoy the changing light and colours of crimson and bronze. To enjoy the intense shadows as the sun sinks lower in the sky revealing new shapes in the garden.
We have, as usual been incredibly busy this month planting up shrubs and bulbs, lots of maintenance and preparing gardens to be enjoyed in winter.
We try and encourage all of our clients to go out in the garden in winter; to enjoy the frayed edges, the new textures and smells. We have been building gazebos, just add fairy lights – perfect for the winter season; we have even built a she-shed complete with green roof! We are working on various pond projects – after all, didn’t someone famous once say – a wildlife garden without a pond is like a theatre without a stage!
In complete contrast, and something very new to us, we have also this month been working on a Japanese garden. A garden with a series of smaller rooms/spaces, which in design terms is interesting as it helps create a sense of mystery/anticipation. Interesting gardens are those that do not reveal everything at once. Whilst Japanese gardens are very much known for their formality and use of evergreen, and we are really enjoying working on this space, in our designs we very much favour a mix of deciduous with evergreen, as the deciduous die back is always a wonderful way of ushering in the seasons.
We urge you all to go outside – whatever the weather, pick rosehips and make syrup – great for a rosehip royale! Play leaf snap with the kids and build giant nests in the garden with fallen twigs and cuttings from prunings. Have a wonderful autumn Nestival.