PAUL’S AD­VICE

Top tips for a show-stop­ping gar­den

Devon Life - - Gardens -

For a nat­u­ral­is­tic gar­den like Stone Lane, it is im­por­tant not to over-crowd the de­sign with too many dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties. Ken­neth’s prin­ci­ple was to use just a few types of plant, but al­ways planted en-masse, and re­peated through­out the gar­den.

Most trees look bet­ter planted in groups, un­less you are keen to cre­ate a sin­gle spec­i­men. A group of trees will have dif­fer­ences of shape that look nat­u­ral.

Try not to prune too high up the trunk and not to over-do the for­ma­tive prun­ing. A tree with low branches and a slightly quirky struc­ture looks a lot more in­ter­est­ing and wild, than a spec­i­men that has been pruned within an inch of its life.

Think about the even­tual size and shape of the plant, par­tic­u­larly woody plants. There is no point plant­ing some­thing in a space where it will need con­stant prun­ing to keep it in check, much bet­ter to plant it some­where it has the free­dom to grow.

It is not just the flow­ers that can look good. Bark also has tex­ture and colour. Leaves can be grace­ful and vis­ually in­ter­est­ing, as can fruits or seed­pods, mak­ing a lovely fea­ture dur­ing au­tumn months.

If some­thing doesn’t look right, don’t be afraid to rip it out.

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