GET THE LOOK
A Bristol garden packed with great ideas
Bear’ and flowering shrubs including witch hazel Hamamelis mollis and sweet box Sarcococca hookeriana var digyna.
spring is marked by the flowering of snowy mespilus trees Amelanchier ‘La Paloma’ and A. alnifolia ‘Obelisk’, plus ‘Golden hornet’ crab apple, the cheery foliage of Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Dart’s Gold’ and the vibrant flowers of azalea and rhododendron, planted within a bed boosted with ericaceous soil.
use of repeated plants
The ‘summer walk’ celebrates the time of year when the likes of roses, clematis, peonies and lupins are at the peak of their powers, with a series of archways bringing extra height to their displays.
Despite containing several themed areas, the garden successfully comes together as a unified whole through the use of repeated flowers and plants. These include conifers, euphorbias and grasses, and the presence of more than 100 specimen trees.
There’s also a strong emphasis on wildlife-friendly features, such as the use of logs and branches to edge various borders that provide habitats for beetles as well as looking attractive.
After four years it’s difficult to imagine su and John’s garden as an unruly tangle of decaying apple trees, selfseeded saplings and sprawling brambles and nettles, all bisected by a thick hedge.
“The reason we came here was that we wanted to have a garden as a project,” explains su, the county organiser for the National Gardens scheme in Bristol.
“We felt the south-facing aspect and excellent soil meant it had a lot of potential, even if we had to hack everything back before we could get properly started.
“A lot of our plants came from cuttings, splitting and sowing seeds, I hate to think what it would have cost us to do it at garden-centre prices.
“Looking at the garden now we’re delighted with what we’ve achieved, although for us it will always be a work in progress.”