GET THE LOOK
A seaside garden with colourful performers
Aglorious garden in sunny Bournemouth is a theatre for plants thanks to Barbara Hutchinson and Mike roberts. You can see most of the plot in one sweep as it reveals waves of colour from bright flowerbeds and distinctive feature plants, all carefully tended and beautifully presented, ready to take their bow.
Mike says: “The garden was flat, so we wanted to introduce some height. We’d
“I go on a slug hunt with a torch”
planned to have a pond, and when it was dug out the spoil was piled on one side to make a raised bank.” With this in place, flowerbeds were cut in the lawn and a pergola erected.
“i think gardens reflect peoples’ personality,” says Barbara. “i’m fussy and i move things around until i get them just right. Dahlias are perfect for my style of gardening.”
“We’re largely organic,” adds Mike. “We use a few slug pellets to protect cherished plants, but i also go on a slug hunt with a torch every night. They get fed to Dave, the big coi carp in the pond, and he loves them!”
A magnificent brugmansia in a
huge pot on the patio is the variety ‘Herzenbrucke’. “The flowers smell really good,” says Barbara, “I grew it from a cutting I was given at a garden open day.”
Taking cuttings has not only saved a fortune in buying plants, but also resulted in subtle repetition throughout the plot, helping to bring a great sense of balance to the planting.
“The garden has evolved largely through people giving us stuff,” says Mike. “We were given the Portland Stone rocks for the rockery. More recently we’ve used hand made bricks, rescued from a skip, as brick edging around the lawn.
To the front of the property a courtyard is sheltered from the road by a tall beech hedge. Barbara says: “As it’s southfacing we wanted it to have a tropical feel with lots of hot colours.” It’s home to cannas, dahlias, a serpent-like trumpet vine, giant Turk’s cap lilies and a magnificent Aeonium ‘Zwartcop’ which came from a visit to Tresco garden on the Scilly Isles. Mike advises: “When you take cuttings from aeoniums you have to let the ends dry out before putting them in compost, or they just rot.”
Asked how they would sum up their garden, Barbara says: “tranquil”, while Mike’s offering is: “full!” Either way, when open for charity, it’s a plot that the visiting audience is unlikely to forget.
Edging around the lawn at Richmond Park Avenue is made up from bricks found in a skip, Set to the same level as the grass it makes mowing easy and keeps the edges tidy without any effort
Beautiful and sweetly scented flowering plants like Brugmansia ‘Herzenbrucke’ are ideal for a position close to a seating area Don’t waste anything. Spoil dug out to create a pond can be used to add height and create contours elsewhere
Make a feature even of small plants. This slate bed close to the pond frames an Acer palmatum given by a friend. It’s flanked by Zinnia ‘Starlight Rose’ that Barbara grows from seeds saved from the plants each year