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Bold planting in Berkhamsted

‘Le patron mange ici‘ – this is my own recently-acquired garden in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. At around 100 sq m it is a typical size plot for a British town garden, and has excellent views across the Chilterns that I was keen to enhance.

The layout we inherited was also typical, with a narrow border with evergreens and some perennials snaking around the perimeter. I was looking for a design that could be implemented quickly, without recourse to substantial amounts of hard landscaping.

I took the decision to divide the garden informally into three, with a wide terrace by the house and a simply-planted end of the garden preserving the views over distant hills, with movement between the two between densely planted borders. These borders boldly fill the width of the garden, with the depth of them allowing a richness of planting that is not possible in a narrow border.

A gauze-like planting midway delicately divides the small space into two ‘rooms’, giving a greater sense of movement and space within the garden, whilst allowing views through the planting.

Bold late summer planting

Bold late summer planting

Setting out

Borders were made as large as possible within this small Berkhamsted garden

Planting in progress

Planting is a mixture of small trees (here a mulberry and pineapple broom) , bulbs and perennials

Planting complete

The plants made quick progress in April, enabling us to catch up with construction of the oak-edged path

First flowers

Two months after planting, the first flowers emerge - Gladiolus byzantinus and peonies.

First midsummer

The perennials are knitting together by midsummer. In the background, box balls and a cordon of apples will preserve the view over distant hills

Dahlia 'Rip City'

Dahlias, salvia and solanum extend the flowering season into autumn

Granite and gravel path

In keeping with the style of the house, the path is a simple arts and crafts design of granite setts and gravel, within green oak boards

Harmonious planting

Moving towards the far end of the garden, the planting becomes more harmonious in paler hues, giving an impression of greater space

Bold late summer plantingBorders were made as large as possible within this small Berkhamsted gardenPlanting is a mixture of small trees (here a mulberry and pineapple broom) , bulbs and perennialsThe plants made quick progress in April, enabling us to catch up with construction of the oak-edged pathTwo months after planting, the first flowers emerge - Gladiolus byzantinus and peonies.The perennials are knitting together by midsummer. In the background, box balls and a cordon of apples will preserve the view over distant hillsDahlias, salvia and solanum extend the flowering season into autumnIn keeping with the style of the house, the path is a simple arts and crafts design of granite setts and gravel, within green oak boardsMoving towards the far end of the garden, the planting becomes more harmonious in paler hues, giving an impression of greater space

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