Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Planting Ideas -

Joke’s gar­den is just two miles from the coast at the far end of the Walcheren penin­sula that juts out into the North Sea. One of a se­ries of low-ly­ing, for­mer is­lands that make up the Dutch prov­ince of Zee­land, Walcheren is fa­mously flat and the winds that rip across the penin­sula would have made cre­at­ing a gar­den im­pos­si­ble had Joke and Henk not pre­pared their gar­den by first plant­ing out a se­ries of hedges. On the north­ern and western bound­aries of the plot prac­ti­cal­ity trumps aes­thet­ics, with a dense privet hedge and a wind­break of Turkey oaks and poplars. Across the back gar­den, a horn­beam hedge is clipped to 1.2m, but ev­ery three me­tres, one plant has been al­lowed to grow up into a tall pil­lar. These pil­lars are mir­rored in the pil­lars of yew that stand in the geo­met­ric box parterre in the gar­den’s north­east­ern cor­ner. Buxus sem­per­virens is re­peated through­out the gar­den, en­clos­ing bor­ders that line paths and seat­ing ar­eas and in nu­mer­ous box balls dot­ted through­out the gar­den. These, to­gether with ev­er­greens such as Berge­nia cordi­fo­lia, guar­an­tee strong struc­ture even in win­ter. To the front of the house, two yew hedges en­sure pri­vacy for a seat­ing area and are the back­drop for two long, un­du­lat­ing bor­ders. Us­ing so many hedges and trees, does bring its own prob­lems as they soak up a lot of the ground­wa­ter. To counter this Joke and Henk col­lect rain­wa­ter from their roof, which is then pumped through­out the gar­den via a soaker hose.

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