Space to Unwind
Current global circumstances have renewed our appreciation for the private garden. The virtues of an extension to our living arrangements outdoors are being celebrated across all media platforms.
Now is the time to create your own little piece of paradise, to watch in anticipated delight as Spring sends up its first bright flowers, and you can collect bunches full of fragrance for your home. Then the heady joys of Summer, languishing in the rich abundance of long warm days and its proliferation of flowers and insects. On to the slowness of Autumn, as every living thing takes on its own personal shade of bronze, seed heads and late blooms jostle for attention in the thick year's growth. Finally, Winter's welcome pause, days are short, and the garden becomes a gallery of stark sculptural forms with just the occasional bold spark flowering with strong perfume.
Choreographed well, it is a performance that enriches our every single day.
Developing a garden that provides stimulus all year round, firstly, requires a deep appreciation of how wild environments function.
It is a continuing aspect of my practice when either creating or developing a garden, reflecting upon naturally occurring planting arrangements and drawing inspiration from the seasons changing influence on them. Harmony in a garden is a beautiful thing and one best achieved when the plants are selected in relation to the site's perspective and location, a marrying of the local environmental qualities and each plant's characteristics.
Whether your garden would benefit from being finely tuned after the careful analysis of what you desire, what is present and what is possible, identifying the successful elements and exchanging the others for species that create a balance across the space and seasons.
Alternatively, an entire re-imagining of the garden will call for an understanding of its place in the larger environment if plants are to succeed. To further benefit from nature-inspired planning and planting, native species should be woven into the mix to create a synthesis of style and consciousness.