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Saturday 4 November 2023

Planning Garden Structure

Considerations when Planning Garden Structure
When we talk about permanent structure in the garden we are looking at what has an impact in every season. Colour, shape, height contrast.
I feel a garden first needs structure then needs seasonal interest.
This is not a design talk we are plants people not designers BUT…
Basic considerations will help you make the best planting in your garden:

1) Consider where the light is in your garden at different times of the day. To establish where you may want to be in your space. Where would you sit for morning coffee or an evening barbecue.  How do you use your garden perhaps you only sit out and enjoy it after work with a glass of wine on a summer evening when the light is fading.

2) Consider how you travel to where you want to be in your garden such as from a French window or a kitchen door..What is the journey and do you have a journey, a path to follow that is soften with plant or an arch.

3) What shrub or tree do you value most in your garden. What gives you the most interest or structure for most of the year? Is there a weeping structure or a conical or a  silver shrub that has presents all the time. If you cannot think of anything does your space have limited interest in a limited season.

4) What garden features are permanently present whether you like them or not , such as arches, seating, a garage wall and are there any you wish to remove such as a large ugly over tall conifer? If so what is stopping you?

What is Permanent structure Provided by Plants.

Trees :Bark and shape and they may or may not be permanent evergreen. Trees may also have flowers berries and foliage to offer in different seasons, added seasonal interest.

Large Evergreens: Shape and foliage all year round . They may flower and berry and may have interesting stems. The foliage may contrast well with other evergreen and shrubs throughout the year.

Small Evergreens: the same as above but they have a smaller shape and again foliage all year round . They may flower and berry . They may soften the edge of a border  provide ground cover and may be a good contrast with the taller foliage behind.

Stems: There are many plants with striking stems. Colourful stems appear on many plants. Cornus and salix, lime, hydrangea, physocarpus. Amazing in the winter.
Deciduous shrubs: May offer structural silhouettes shape. Magnolia, woody rhododendrons even old laurels and top lifted small shrub/trees. Such a lolly pop tree or cloud pruning.

Colour All Year Round In Your Garden Click here 

Large Evergreens Shrubs
Abelia Grandiflora
Aucuba (best shade plant)
Azara Microphylla
Choisya ternate ‘Sundance’
Choisya tzec Pearl
Cotoneaster Lacteus
Eleagnus (varieties)
Erica Arboroa
Euonymus (varieties)
Illex (variegated varieties)
Nandina Domestica
Magonlia Grandiflora
Osmanthus  (varieties)
Photiana Red Robin, Pink Marble, Pink Crispy
Pittosporum (varieties)
Prunus  (particularly Marbled Leaf)
Viburnum tinus

Architectural Evergreens
Shrubs grown as standards
Trachycarpus (palm)
Yucca gloriosa

Shrubs with colourful stems
Cornus (Dog wood varieties)
Rubus thibetanus (Ghost bramble)

Evergreen Wall Shrubs
Garrya  elliptica
Rhamnus alaternus
Trachelospermum jasminoides

Structural Climbers (none evergreen)

Trees (particularly weeping,
those with winter bark or strong silhouette shape)
Acer davidii (snake bark maple)
Acer griseum
Betula utulis var. Jacquemontii
Betula pendula ‘youngii’
Corylus contorta
Eucalyptus gunnii
Magnola (architectural shape)
Prunus  serrula

Evergreen Conifers
Cedar (weeping )
Cupressus (Italian Colum)
Pinus mugo (incredable texture)
Juniper  (Tall column varieties)

Grasses (evergreen varieties)
Fetuca glauca

Evergreen Hedging
Ilex Ccenata
Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’
Prunus laurocerasus (Laurel)
Taxus (Yew

Evergreen Ferns

Asplenium scolopendriumBlechnum spicant,
Cyrtomium fortunei,
Dryopteris erythrosora (semi-evergreen)
Dryopteris wallichiana
Polystichum aculeatum
Polystichum Herrenhausen'
Polystichum setiferum
Polypodium vulgare