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Concept for Mereworth garden

This summer I have been helping a couple in Mereworth to develop their garden. They’ve lived in the property for about 18 months and completely cut back the garden when they first moved in. After a year or so of regrowth (plants and weeds) they were having trouble keeping on top of it. We have spent the last couple of months clearing the weeds and adding new planting and it’s now on its way to becoming a lovely cottage garden. There was however one area which they didn’t know what to do with so they asked me to come up with a design.

As the only area of the garden to be viewed from inside the house it needs to look good all year round. Their only requirements were for a shed to house the garden tools and a sheltered, secondary seating area for when the main part of the garden is too windy but nothing formal (they didn’t want an actual patio) – the garden is high up with some amazing views of the Kent countryside.

I decided to create a ‘gravel garden’ effect with paving stones marking out the path to a small black shed, reflecting the surrounding agricultural buildings, and an area for table and chairs. The design is rectilinear in layout which works well in a small irregular area.

Here’s what it looks like at the moment….

and here’s a sketch I did to help the clients read the 2D plan and imagine the final result…..

Concerning the planting the clients asked for “contained chaos” (i.e. cottage garden planting to match the rest of the garden), spring blossom and herbs. As it is viewed all year I have chosen quite a few evergreen shrubs. For the blossom I decided on a hard working crab apple, Malus ‘Rudolf’, small enough for the area, which has bright pink blossom, yellow crab apples blushed with red and yellow leaf colour in Autumn. The herbs are planted in the gravel as well as the flowerbeds and 5 box balls positioned around the design add to the all year structure and contrast well with the soft planting such as the Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ which line the pathway and fence.

The clients are now looking at sheds and getting quotes for the hard landscaping which will hopefully all be done by spring so I can go back and do the planting – I will post more photos then……