Plants, beds and borders
by Katie Rushworth
I’m so incredibly proud of my book – so much so that I’d like to share some excerpts with you.
There is a link below if you would like to get hold of your own copy.
“Since starting work as a garden designer I have found the same conversation always comes up, whether I’m meeting with a client or chatting to friends down at the pub. People tell me they know what they want – a beautiful garden that reflects their lifestyle and personality – but they don’t know how to achieve it. Often they have a limited budget or need to be able to attain the look they want without completely re-landscaping their garden. And the secret to totally transforming your outside space is simple: it’s all about the borders.”
“It is worth being absolutely clear from the beginning that gardening is not about instant satisfaction – you must be patient. Accepting that now before you get going is probably the best advice I can give you. Also, it’s important to remember that gardens evolve constantly; they develop over the years and have huge seasonal shifts of interest and growth, so try to plan ahead to anticipate these changes. The research and time you put in to designing now are sure to pay dividends in the future, resulting in a garden that will improve with age and grow old gracefully.”
“Whether you’re creating an entirely new garden, designing a new border or replanting certain areas that are lacklustre or not flourishing, drawing up a planting plan before you start is a great way to tackle any area of your garden – put pen to paper before you reach for the spade, and use your brain before your brawn. First, really get to know your garden and compile a list of site conditions. Next, identify what you want from your garden based on your lifestyle, style preferences and time you can realistically spend on maintenance (see page 22). Do your research on plants and choose varieties that will suit the conditions in your garden as well as your chosen garden style (see pages 68–139); there is no point in planting something you love but which won’t thrive.”
“Creating a wish list is a great way to work out an action plan of how to get exactly what you want from your garden. Whether you have the time and money to transform your garden in one go or are more likely to see it as a long-term project, knowing which direction you are going in is the first step. Every wish list will be unique, but to give you an idea of the sorts of things you may want to consider, here are some examples of typical wish lists that I’ve come across in my work as a garden designer. You might not fit into any of the categories below, but they should give you an idea of the things to consider.”
“Colour can change the whole mood of a garden, so it should be a major player in your wish list. Since it creates an emotional response, finding the right combinations can be a very personal process. Over the next few days, examine the effect certain colours have on you. Do you find the space you are in relaxing or stimulating, or does it make you feel restless? What shades and combinations are you drawn to, and why? Remember, when choosing colours it is not just about the flowers, which have a relatively short lifespan. A well-designed planting scheme uses foliage, stems, bark and seedheads to create layers of colour all year round.”
“Plants, beds and borders” by Katie Rushworth is published by Kyle Books and is available through Waterstones