When designing a garden, planting is a key element to consider. The ideal planting scheme frames the surrounding context and provides colour, atmosphere, movement and interest.
Pairing plants that bring out the best in each other while supporting biodiversity and complimenting your home is a skill that needs careful thought and consideration. It’s important to use combinations that will not compete for space, light or nutrients, ensuring the long life and health of the garden.
The art of planting schemes considers how each plant develops and grows, knowledge of the site conditions (such as sun, soil type, pH range, moisture levels, exposure and position) – and a little faith! Playing around with combinations, learning as you gain experience and enjoying what you are doing is all part of the fun, with immeasurable rewards.
Here we have put together a few planting themes that will create a particular look and atmosphere to complement your home, personal style and garden surrounds.
Vibrant bursts of colour that complement the character and charm of a property can create a magical backdrop. Crafting a fairy-tale or romantic feel with an array of colour requires planning so that complementing blooms flourish together and other groups come into flower over time.
In this garden we have used some classic cottage garden combinations such as Salvia, Helenium Persicaria, Dahlia and Lavender to create swathes of soft movement and contrasting colour. This combination of plants flower during the summer months and provides a soft, whimsical display – which the bees love too!
A prairie style planting scheme is achieved by using a mix of herbaceous perennials intertwined with wildflowers or ornamental grasses for height and gentle movement.
A hot colour pallet using reds, oranges, yellows, and whites can create a bold and striking setting in the late summer evenings. Rudbeckia, Pennisetum, Echinacea and Sedum planted in clusters are fantastic varieties to achieve this look.
The key to creating a formal garden is simplicity and elegance. Clean lines and symmetry are used to provide a sense of order and place, with planting schemes using repetition and a restrained pallet of plants. Clipped shapes such as hedging, pleached trees or topiary balls provide architectural form, and water features and garden sculptures can create additional visual interest.
Using slow growing, evergreen varieties such as Taxus baccata (English Yew) give interest during winter months, particularly with a dusting of slow!
Height and screening can be achieved using evergreen pleached trees such as Camellia japonica or for a splash of autumn colour, a deciduous option such as Acer campestre (field maple) is a beautiful alternative.
Creating meadows are a great way to increase biodiversity and support local wildlife. Adding areas of meadow turf or a mix of wildflower and grass seed that attract and support insects hugely benefit the local ecosystem.
A diverse range of plants means more insects, more insects mean more birds and small mammals. Simply leaving areas of grass to grow out naturally can be an easy and effective solution. Not only will this increase biodiversity, but it also means less mowing – also reducing your carbon footprint – a win-win.
Japanese-inspired gardens often present a stylised take on different elements from the natural landscape, while creating a serene and tranquil space to reflect and promote wellbeing. Typically palettes are greens and whites, with some stand-out pops of colour. Garden features such as the bench below, sculptures and restful seating designs work well here too.
Many commonly found garden plants have their roots in Japan, including ornamental cherries, maples, rhododendrons and bamboos, making for a good starting point to create your own serene retreat.
If you need a garden design to extend your outdoor living space, or if you have finished the hard landscaping and need to transform the area with planting, we can work with you to create an outdoor space that seamlessly links with your property, sits well within the landscape and will be truly unique to you.
A popular place to start for projects involving all three disciplines – Architecture, Interior and Landscape Design – is our Feasibility Service that helps explore the initial design language and budget options. Find out more in The HG Way