May saw the completion of a small suburban garden in the heart of Essex, designed to evoke a sense of the oriental with a planting pallet of vibrant perennials and grasses to extend the season of interest.
Like many gardens I become involved with, the owners of this nicely proportioned house and garden had spent many years working on the house and left the garden to evolve naturally. A number of important additions had been made to the garden without any planning and the result was a disjointed feel with no real interest outside of the spring bulb season. The brief required a vibrant overhaul of both the front and rear gardens, low maintenance design and vibrant planting scheme all in time for a family wedding in May - deadlines are always a worry.
The design was put together towards the latter part of 2015 and consisted of a large deck area for entertaining and to link the house with an oriental gazebo already in the garden. Large rendered planting beds surround the decking and provide informal seating for visitors and the like, plants are elevated around you, bringing foliage and flowers within touching distance. The idea was to subdivide the lawn from a substantial new gravel garden area - seemingly linking the oriental influence with the existing garden.
I developed a very specific planting palette for the garden with a very extensive range of evergreen and foliage plants, whilst the gravel garden has been treated to a number of flowering perennials that give interest. For example the beautiful Osteospurmum jucundum sprawls effortlessly between ornamental grasses and solid Pittosporum.
Pinus mugo 'Mughus' is a stunning dwarf pine that just looks wonderful when planted in this type of garden. I also sneaked in a large specimen Pinus 'Waterei' that looks amazing against the blank garage wall. I continue to look forward to this garden as it develops and will post updates over the coming months as the planting matures.