Bar­rie’s top gar­den­ing tips

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• I like a sim­ple lay­out with straight lines and gen­tle curves. • To keep the beds un­com­pli­cated, I use a smaller va­ri­ety of plants and re­peat them. In a large gar­den, it’s prefer­able to group to­gether plants that do well in your area. • Cre­ate gar­den rooms. There should be a fris­son of an­tic­i­pa­tion and dis­cov­ery as you move from one room to the next. Each room should have an invit­ing en­trance such as a gate, arch, pil­lars or a pair of match­ing shrubs. • There should be a fo­cal point in each room and each room should be en­closed with a fence, hedge, shrub­bery or wall. • I choose a limited pal­ette of colours for a gar­den room and re­peat those colours else­where to cre­ate har­mony so that the eye is drawn nat­u­rally from one area to the next. And I don’t be­lieve in abrupt colour changes – they im­pede the flow of the gar­den. • Reg­u­lar re­peat applications of com­post and mulch are vi­tal for suc­cess­ful gar­den­ing. Noth­ing can com­pare with the beauty of healthy plants! >>

Irises with their strappy grey-green leaves, white ‘Ice­berg’ roses and laven­der soften a path­way made with flat stones col­lected on the farm. A yel­low ‘Gold Bunny’ climb­ing rose and white Clema­tis mon­tana adorn the Wendy house (top left); Bar­rie says her grand­chil­dren love play­ing there! A quiet spot (above left) where the tran­quil­lity of the gar­den can be en­joyed as a whole; plants sur­round­ing the lawn in­clude golden privet, berberis, Prunus cerasifera ‘Ni­gra’ and Vibur­num ti­nus ‘Lu­cidum’.

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