De­sign so­lu­tions Smarten up a small plot with top­i­ary and hedg­ing. Here’s an easy knot de­sign for those who love the for­mal look

Smarten up a small gar­den with box hedg­ing and top­i­ary, says Dawn Isaac

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents -

QHow can I cre­ate a for­mal knot gar­den in my small sub­ur­ban gar­den?

SINCE THEIR HEY­DAY in the 16th cen­tury, knot gar­dens have been a favourite fea­ture of tra­di­tional English coun­try gar­dens. The key el­e­ment is to cre­ate the im­pres­sion that the low hedges are in fact knot­ted to­gether – a hor­ti­cul­tural trick of the eye. You can use high-con­trast colours such as pur­ple ber­beris and sil­ver san­tolina to am­plify the ef­fect, or go for a more re­strained pal­ette with stan­dard and var­ie­gated box as we have here. There are many other ways to give a stan­dard knot gar­den a more per­sonal stamp. For a looser and more re­laxed ef­fect, choose shrubby herbs in­stead of box be­cause th­ese tend to form a softer hedge line. The spa­ces in­be­tween the hedges also of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties. Here we’ve used a rill, pool and foun­tain to add move­ment and in­ter­est, but equally, you could use dif­fer­ent-coloured grav­els and mulches to pro­vide in­ter­est. Our knot de­sign in­cludes box-edged parterre beds around the edges – a fit­ting ac­com­pa­ni­ment to the knot gar­den. How­ever, in parter­res, the spa­ces be­tween hedges are typ­i­cally filled with sea­sonal flow­ers such as spring bulbs, roses and laven­der, which brings an ex­tra layer of in­ter­est to the de­sign.

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