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I usually spend some time discussing the plants and colours my clients like right at the outset of a new job. Invariably, conversation turns to providing year-round interest.
What does year-round interest actually mean and how easy is it to achieve a garden for all seasons? If there is space, it is good to include plants which flower/have berries/fantastic foliage at different times of the year (and also into winter) to extend the interest. Bulbs are also great for providing early spring colour in February and March when other plants are only just starting to wake up. However, a garden which has just one or two plants flowering at any time would be dull. So, it is also important to plan for a border to have enough plants which flower at the same time to have a proper dramatic effect. That is the basic formula for success but we are just getting started on the process.
When I begin drawing up a planting plan I analyse the soil for pH and texture. I assess the surroundings for sun, wind and shade. Then there is the question of style. Would a particular planting style suit the garden design I have in mind more than any other? Do I need the plants to perform a function? Are they there to provide scent? Do they look good in death? Then we are back to the client’s favourite colours and, of course, the colours they don’t like are equally important.
The planting of a garden is never an after thought at Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design. If you would like to achieve year-round interest in your garden you can contact me to make an appointment to see your garden and I can take it from there.