TOP TIPS

Scottish Field - - GARDENS -

Veron­ica says that top­i­ary shapes re­fresh and en­ter­tain in the gar­den year-round but es­pe­cially in win­ter. In­cor­po­rat­ing such shapes into a de­sign also lessens the risk of over­plant­ing. Early on she in­spired Anne and Ron to un­der-plant the en­tire gar­den with bulbs. The sea­son kicks off with snow­drops, fol­lowed by aconites then tulips, al­li­ums and glad­i­oli. Three-thou­sand tulips are planted each au­tumn. Treated like an­nu­als they are dug up at the end of the sea­son to en­sure an abun­dant display. Un­der­stated but el­e­gant stone sculp­tures in­clud­ing an ea­gle, a heraldic lion, a col­lec­tion of sad­dle stones and clas­sic benches were in­tro­duced to sur­prise and con­trast with the back­ground of fo­liage. Ron feeds the birds in win­ter on a diet in­clud­ing crab/wind­fall ap­ples and berries, lead­ing to a healthy bird pop­u­la­tion that helps con­trol pests.

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