Every garden is different. And every garden can be home to a sustainable community of plants.
Once your garden is ready for planting, we can provide a customised selection of plants and a simple placement plan for where to put everything.
To understand a garden, you have to spend time in it. One of the most useful things you can do in a new garden is simply to watch it for a full year. Assess how the light moves around the space in different seasons. If the soil tends towards being dry or damp. Which areas of the garden you naturally gravitate towards. And what plants already exist in the garden and how do they perform?
Gardening ultimately is an act of listening to a space. Too often we approach gardening with an intent of imposition – to tame or dominate. But by listening we can work with a garden, make meaningful improvements, and create a space which is beautiful and functional, but not removed from the environment it exists in.
This approach reduces the time and cost commitment at both ends of the gardening process – both in design and maintenance.
If you have a sense of how the sun moves around your garden you can better shape beds to capitalise on it. If you like a particular view or angle, you can arrange paths, seating areas, or viewing points to make the most of it. A lot of suburban houses require some screening from the neighbours. It could be a row of hedging, but the same effect can be achieved with a couple of staggered trees or a shrub layer within a planted border.
Resist the temptation to push the planting away from you. So many modern gardens rely on the orderliness of narrow beds at the edges of the space. But this isn’t how plants want to grow. Taking a maximalist approach and planting in your eye line creates depth and interest. It makes your eye work to look through a space to capture details and adds a sense of wonder as to what might be around a corner. This is an approach to consider when laying out beds.
Curving beds and pulling them into the garden both gives you significantly more space for planting, allowing you a much more immersive and more interestingly layered space, and also makes the garden feel bigger by not revealing everything immediately from the front or back door.
Regardless of scale, these principles – light, soil, exposure, context – are what help guide you, and us, to create gardens that work for you and your tastes, and which make sense in the wider environment.
To create a custom planting plan, we will need
- some photos of the space
- some simple measurements of the beds to be planted
- the aspect (where North is)
- a sense of what the soil is like – heavy, dry…
- a sense of what you like
We have some examples of planting styles in the custom planting scheme section of our website.