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12 IDEAS TO TRY IN YOUR GAR­DEN

EDP Norfolk - - Gardening - Name: Moira Smith Lo­ca­tion: Nor­wich Vis­ited: June Soil Type: Free-drain­ing, sandy soil en­riched by top-dress­ing with well-rot­ted ma­nure. As­pect: One acre, south­fac­ing but on a northerly slope to­wards the house.

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Less is some­times more: the ex­panse of close-cut, striped lawn gives the de­sign space to breathe.

To cre­ate a truly ac­ces­si­ble gar­den, en­sure the gar­den is level and the path­ways at least 1.5m wide to al­low wheel­chair ac­cess. Door­ways should be at least 800mm wide.

Fo­cus on fo­liage for a longer sea­son of in­ter­est. The glossy cherry lau­rel (Prunus lau­ro­cera­sus) and the conifer are both ev­er­green, while the fern Dry­opteris ery­throsora has fronds which are bronze when young ma­tur­ing to darker green.

Have plenty of seats in dif­fer­ent ar­eas to suit the time of day. Moira has morn­ing cof­fee out­side the con­ser­va­tory, lunch at the table, tea in the gar­den room, and also oc­ca­sion­ally sits on the bench at the end of the gar­den.

Use a se­ries of cir­cles con­nected by curv­ing path­ways to cre­ate in­for­mal spa­ces with soft­ened edges. “It doesn’t come nat­u­rally to me to have curves but in a gar­den you need some­thing gen­tle,” says Moira.

When you use pots to soften an ex­panse of paving keep both the plant­ing and the con­tain­ers’ style and colour con­sis­tent for max­i­mum im­pact.

Black painted fences cre­ate a con­trast­ing bound­ary be­tween the cul­ti­vated gar­den and the meadow lead­ing to the River Wen­sum which runs par­al­lel to the gar­den.

An out­door room adds an ex­tra di­men­sion to your gar­den, and if you are lucky enough to be a skilled de­signer, you can even have a curved roof! “Neil built the gar­den room from a pile of wood - all I said was that I wanted some­thing that repli­cated a beach

Cre­ate rest­ful ar­eas where fo­liage dom­i­nates, as here with a stand of bam­boo, un­der­planted with rose­mary and sage. A spiky cordy­line and the fo­liage of Tas­man flax (Dianella tas­man­ica) pro­vide a con­trast in shape in the fore­ground of the pic­ture.

Cre­ate your own bub­ble wa­ter fea­ture from an earth­en­ware pot and a sub­mersible pump and out­let at­tach­ment. Here the gravel in the base echoes the gravel around the out­side while the cir­cu­lar shape fits per­fectly into the con­cen­tric cir­cles of the pa­tio.

Stick to a re­stricted colour pal­ette to max­imise im­pact. Moira’s favourites are pur­ple and pink, both in flow­ers (two of her favourites are laven­der and hebe) and also echoed in her trug and gar­den­ing gloves.

Use dif­fer­ent tex­tures in the hard land­scap­ing to cre­ate in­ter­est. Here the paving slabs are in­ter­spersed with gravel. The nar­row gaps en­sure that wheels will travel smoothly, although Moira does sweep the gravel off the paths reg­u­larly.

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