Small gardens need to work hard
Small Gardens need to work hard and this garden is very small indeed, measuring a scant 3m x 7m. Although the owner wants a garden and has a keen interest in wildlife, he is not keen on gardening. It is essential to make it clear that no garden can thrive without some input, but when given this remit the focus must be on ground cover plants to smother weeds, and many of these plants will hold their leaves throughout the year.
Shape, size, texture and colour
Here, the plants have striking and contrasting foliage, with the focus on different form, leaf shape, size, texture and colour. Purple leaved Ajuga reptans ‘Purple Duke’ weaves through bright silver leaved Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’, with the upright grey iris like leaves of Sisyrinchium striatum ‘Aunt May’ providing height. Stachys byzantina ‘Lambs’-Ears’, with its furry silver-grey leaves, give a different, soft texture… and so on.
A picture gradually builds
Weaving colours and textures, a picture gradually builds. An amelanchier with soft pink new foliage, the exact colour of the inside of rabbits ears, is the only tree. The structural elements are further enhanced by a cornus and Anemanthele lessoniana ‘pheasant’s tail grass’. The year-round performer, Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’, with its the big elephant ‘lug’ leaves suffused a deep crimson purple in cold weather. Bulbs, and a limited pallet of herbaceous perennials, allow for seasonal changes.
A harmonious contrast
The garden is stuffed full of plants – once established they will need very little maintenance. The overall composition is harmonious with some gently contrasting colours.
Check out the Star Plants of Acer Glen