This town garden in Hertfordshire has been under-going a planting re-design over the past few years with seasonal additions of colour and new plant schemes. The clients wanted to keep the structure of their garden, whilst updating the planting and introducing new paving areas. New beds were added to offer more planting which can be seen easily from the house. Tall perennials were planted amongst grasses and domed shrubs to bring movement and structure, whilst allowing views through to the garden. Low growing ground cover plants spill onto the paving blurring the edges and enveloping the space in plants.

Established trees in the garden included silver birch and Gleditsia Sunburst, offering height and shade, and the clients were keen to add to these with planting to attract wildlife, particularly birds. A new Sorbus was planted to create a dell, with Cornus, ferns and woodland planting providing texture and ground cover. Bulbs have been added each year to boost the colour in every section of the garden. An overgrown Leylandii hedge ran along a pergola, obscuring the sunniest space in the garden, so removing the trees not only offered more planting space, it opened up the garden and brought in much more light. A round paved area creating a secluded, sunny space in which to relax is edged with espalier apple trees that provide some screening from the neighbouring property and allow planting to spread beneath. Scented climbing plants cover the boundary fence and scramble over an old apple tree.

The far end of the garden has been planted with plants and grasses including Miscanthus, Helenium and Verbena, all of which have seedheads that will be left on the plants to encourage birds to visit the garden. Teasles have been planted especially for Goldfinches, and although they can easily become invasive, they have been allowed to remain, their statuesque quality and value outweighing the need to regularly remove unwanted seedings.

We visit this garden for regular maintenance work which we love, as it keeps us connected with the soil and allows us to keep the garden looking the way we designed.

Photo credit: ©Noel Murphy