A Bris­tol gar­den packed with great ideas

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

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.”

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