With National Gardening Week thisApril 11 until 17, many green-fingered homeowners will be keen to spruce up their outside space in time for the summer.
David Binks, managing director of Landstruction, who won a coveted gold medal at the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and has helped to create many of the show home gardens at Redrow Homes’ developments in Cheshire, has shared tips to achieve the show home look in your own garden:
- Create structure with evergreen shrubs, then interplant with herbaceous plants; this will create a framework within your garden all year round, with seasonal moments of brilliance to enjoy.
For a shaded area, Sarcococca confusa (Sweet box) interplanted with Helleborus orientalis (Hellebores) and Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ (Japanese Anemone).
- Add some zing; a well-placed colour contrast creates a focal point within the garden. Add a splash of red or purple to a predominantly green border to create visual interest.
Plant a Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’ (Smoke Bush), Pittosporum tenuifolium purpureum, Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’ or a Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘purpurea’ (Purple wood spurge), to break up swathes of green foliage.
- Put a sculpture within the garden – depending on the theme you are going for in your home, a sculpture or water feature can enhance the look you are trying to achieve. An armillary within the garden creates a classic formal feel to an outside space.
- Awaken the senses: Well-placed fragrant plants can transport you without having to leave your own garden. Flank the footpath leading to your front door with Lavandula stoechas (French Lavender) or train a Jasminum polyanthum (Jasmine) against a south-facing wall.
- Create rooms within your garden. To prevent your garden feeling two-dimensional, the addition of some structure helps create areas of interest. Look at how the sun moves around your garden throughout the day and decide on where best to position seating areas, outside dining areas, barbecues. Construct a pergola in a position that receives full sun, to enjoy dappled light at midday.
- Plant some trees – as well as adding privacy to a garden, well-chosen trees can add interest and colour year round.
Examples of how to achieve this: Some great all-rounders are Acer griseum (Chinese paperbark maple), Betula jacquemontii (West Himalayan birch), Prunus serrula (Tibetan cherry) or an Amelanchier lamarckii (June berry).