This week: the weather is set to be a telling fac­tor in gar­den de­sign this year says award-win­ning gar­den de­signer

Beard­shaw Chris

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

“THERE’S a real aware­ness of the chal­lenges of the weather,” says Chris, co-pre­sen­ter of BBC2’s Great Gar­den Re­vival, who is cur­rently plan­ning his forth­com­ing ‘Healthy Ci­ties’ show gar­den with first-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show spon­sor Mor­gan Stan­ley.

“We’ve gone through that pe­riod where we thought it was go­ing to get hot­ter and buy­ing phormi­ums and cordy­lines and then find­ing that the win­ter killed them.

“Peo­ple are go­ing back to much more re­silient plant­ing types. There’s a real resur­gence in shrubs. The last few decades have been about herba­ceous peren­ni­als and grasses and think a lot of peo­ple are now much more in­ter­ested in com­bi­na­tions.

“We of­ten put shrub roses with clema­tis and an un­der­score of bulbs to give the three hits of in­ter­est. Peo­ple are be­com­ing aware that one plant doesn’t

Inec­es­sar­ily cover all bases and are adopt­ing a more re­fined ap­proach to plant­ing.”

Plants such as phillyrea and de­cid­u­ous rhodo­den­drons, which pro­vide masses of in­ter­est through a long sea­son and lit­tle main­te­nance, may be­come more popular, he pre­dicts, while we are mov­ing away from ‘static gar­dens’, low­main­te­nance, min­i­mal­ist plots which don’t change through the sea­son and are lack­ing in per­son­al­ity.

“Peo­ple want the gar­den to re­spond to the sea­sons - and the plants have to re­spond to that.

“The bub­ble of ‘grow your own’ has burst,” he con­tin­ues. “After a

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