I began by considering what kind of garden I prefer. I like a cottage look with lots of flowering perennials packed in together. But I also like the straight lines and clean shapes of a more formal area. There are so many styles I like and for different areas and different reasons. I found it impossible to resign myself to just one.
I tried considering the gardens based solely on planting conditions. Where there is full sun I made lists of sun loving plants. I considered planting trees in full sun to create some shade so I could have shady plants that I love. From experience I know you can't fight your location so this factor was important. In my previous shady garden all I wanted was flowers flowers flowers. I tried, and failed - many times - to plant bright vibrant flowers. It just wasn't working and I was frustrated. Working with the shade brought about a garden I could be happy with so it's important I put plants where they will thrive.
|It would have been near impossible to |
grow these dahlias in a shady location
The entrance bed ran a completely different course. This bed was constructed specifically to create a divide between the house entrance and the orchard. As this bed is located at the front of the house for all to see I felt it should be in keeping with the tone of the house. We live in a century old farmhouse and rather than a stiff formal garden I felt it needed a more romantic feel. A cottage garden was decided on. Loaded with perennials that I remember from my childhood. It's funny, as I look around I see that in some ways I have recreated my mother's garden. The size of the bed was important as well. It's a large house and a large property. A small bed would have looked insignificant in this setting. Only a large bed would do. A bed large enough to hold several trees, numerous flowering shrubs as well as loads of perennials.
|The house won't dwarf this bed, it might be the other way around!|