Here we were commissioned to create a low maintenance garden, as this property would be used as a holiday home. We were asked to provide points of interest with plants that provided colour and evening scents. The clients didn’t want any lawn and a garden that did not need regular maintenance because of the limited time for maintaining it.
What was originally there was a poorly laid turf common to new build houses, with the espaliered photinia red robin used to add extra privacy to what Is a very open space. The south facing garden provides sun all day and opens a lot of opportunities to what we can plant. The soil has fantastic drainage not only because the excess sand and building rubble it was once home to the local builders’ merchants. The existing patio was up to standard and to a good size that would still allow entertaining.
A raised border around the garden in a L shape which would receive most of the morning sun. filled with shrubs and a few small trees, including the existing Betula’s from the original build. The east side of the garden would be of use. It would have a kitchen garden with espaliered apple trees and climbers to take away the harsh effect of the fence. The pathway we aimed to use materials that felt natural. The black granite cobbles do not come in a uniformity of sizes which almost gave them a wavy flow in the path enticing you to walk through. When dry they give a fantastic cold grey colour but when wet they go much darker in appearance and give off a deep contrast to the shingle.
The central bed is the main feature. The bed is made with the local Purbeck stone. While its not the best material to use for walling the whole aim is to bring a balance with uniformity with the natural environment. The fabulously pruned olive tree takes centre stage. The thicker and older the olive tree the hardier the plant to the cold conditions. However, Lymington is fortunate to its climate conditions, its close enough to the ocean for the salt air to warm the conditions plus the isle of Wight protects its coast giving it slightly warmer and drier conditions then the surrounding area. The biggest difficulty using such large trees is always logistics this is what we found trying to get this down a small alleyway into this garden! Though this is the main feature my favourite plant in this feature is Euphorbia myrsinites this was the first time I used this plant. Its glauca foliage worked well with the olive and the colour of the Purbeck stone but how it falls naturally over the stone makes it look like it was always meant to be there.
With bee friendly planting a hot topic one we filled the garden with pollinating plants. Salvia, lavender, buddleja, heuchera, roses, nepeta, astilibe, verbena all pop up in the borders and throughout the shingle providing safe havens and food for the pollinating insects.
The east side of the garden is a raised bed created with wooden sleepers. The back of the bed is a few small flowering hybrid rhododendrons and camelias to add spring interest to the garden. Infront it the kitchen garden full of herbs. Sage, thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary all the usual simple to look after highly scented plants add the extra dimension to the garden. Not only a nice smell when walking past the path but a place to harvest and use in cooking.
Maintenance on this garden is very low. We now look after this garden to do the winter cut back and a few regular check-ups. The only real tidying up is the pine needles from neighbouring trees and a few leaves.
Are you interested in getting something like the above?