Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Entrance Area Garden Design

I was a bit disappointed today to hear that a garden that I've been working on some designs for over the past few weeks, is not going to happen. I've been quite looking forward to building this garden.

This is the front entrance at the moment. It is at the top of a long driveway, and is quite plain, with some colourful annuals in pots to brighten things up a bit. There are probably too many different types and styles of pots - it would need something to bring everything together in this area for it to be successful. It also gets quite hot from about 10 in the morning.



The client was looking for something simple but colourful to brighten up the area. It should be low maintenance, but create a great first impression. My suggestion for the new entrance area was built around trying to create the impression of overlapping curves or waves. The first curve would consist of closely fitting rock and pebbles, and the corresponding section of pathway would have the pebbles set into a concrete screed.

The second 'layer' would step up, with a cobblestone edging along the top of the wall. The planting would have been a combination of low growing vygies (mesembryanthemum) or other colourful sun loving plants. Another option would have been to use temporary planting like annuals, so that my very busy clients could have a part to play in the garden without it being overly taxing on their time. The corresponding section of pathway would be an exposed aggregate with a white screed.



The next level up would have an urn with or without running water, and more permanent planting that would grow to about 300mm-500mm in height. Possibly Crassula or Senecio?

The final level would have planting with longer leaves for contrast. Some options would be Red Hot Poker, Bulbine, Agapanthus, or even Aloe. The last section of pathway before the white tiles would be a white concrete screed.

The planting is never final at this stage, because I like to live with the idea for a while before deciding on the planting. I usually start with the characteristics of the plants that I would like to use in an area, and then refine that to a few options before deciding on the final plant. But often even then, I sometimes have to make concessions because plants are unavailable. This then sometimes has a knock-on effect which results in having to change other plants to get the right combination.

When I get more time later this month, I'll post my ideas for the front garden, which was the area I was most excited about.
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