When developing a garden I imagine that for most of us the first consideration is the visual: colour schemes, shapes and forms, composition. We might also think about choosing plants which provide fragrance that we can enjoy with our morning coffee or evening glass of wine, as I discussed in a previous blog. But how many of us consider the role of sound in the way we experience gardens and green spaces, never mind deliberately incorporate elements which contribute to and enhance the soundscape? Continue reading
One of the things about having a postage stamp sized garden is that you can see pretty much all of it all of the time. Design concepts such as having themed ‘rooms’ and creating ‘mystery’ by deliberately obscuring the view of a feature from certain angles are lovely ideas, but nigh on impossible to achieve if you are working with 30m² of space. Indeed accommodating attractive planting alongside practical features such as bins, water butts and washing lines can be a key challenge when garden proportions are limited. Thinking about where the eye is naturally drawn to in a garden, and where it is you would like it to rest, can be a big part of balancing the aesthetic and the pragmatic.
I have a confession to make. Despite my love of all things green and leafy, historically I have been pretty hopeless with houseplants. They are generally to be found looking slightly sad on windowsills around our home having been either over or under watered, under fed and left in their too small pots for too long (maybe ‘a sadness of houseplants should be the collective noun). However, when one of my favourite local coffee shops announced they were taking over the unit next door to open a plant shop, naturally it piqued my interest.
Picture the scene: a visit to the beautiful Ness Botanic Garden, on the Wirral, on a pleasant morning in June. Baby safely installed with Daddy daycare. There bright and early with the whole day ahead to enjoy. Sounds marvellous doesn’t it? Just one problem: I’m there to sit exams for an RHS Level 3 qualification in Horticulture. So really, why am I doing this to myself?
A huge amount of emphasis in gardening is focussed on how plants and hard landscaping can be combined to make a space look good, using colour, form and texture. However, incorporating features which engage other senses can be equally important in creating a garden which can be enjoyed year round. Continue reading