|Free Advice - Natural Planting
for the natural garden
One of the primary purposes of any
garden is to create a natural space in which plants and wildlife
However, it’s sometimes difficult to
define exactly what natural actually means. It’s easy to buy
armfuls of plants from the garden centre and set them out,
complete with a well manicured lawn and a new paved patio. But is
Garden designers have been exploring
this idea for years, trying to capture a sense of atmosphere and
mood in a garden using plants which ‘feel’ right in terms of their
shapes, forms and the way they occupy the space.
a very subtle art and one well worth experimenting with, even if
you’re new to gardening.
Natural planting can be simply put as
plants which don’t have to be cajoled into performing and aren’t
demanding. All too often we buy plants because they look good, only to
find they need spraying, staking or copious amounts of pruning.
This is really the exact opposite of
natural planting. Natural plants should be at home quickly and without
fuss whilst they’re showing off what they can do. Sure, at the end of
the year there’s tidying up to do, but for the rest of the year let them
do what comes naturally.
The range of plants for a natural garden is
very extensive, so try a few easy performers to get going. Echinops
bannaticus ‘Taplow Blue’, the globe thistle, is fantastic for wildlife
and will grow almost anywhere, whilst Centranthus ruber, with its red
plumes of flowers will grow in the most difficult of sunny spaces where
other plants would struggle.
Tall spires can make striking statements,
like the foxglove, Digitalis ferruginea with gorgeous soft tints of
red-brown in its flowers. Not outrageous, but loaded with elegance.
Smaller but no less sweeter is Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’, which flowers
prolifically from late summer. And of course grasses are an absolute
must for the natural look, so try Calamagrostis brachytricha, simply
gardens take on their own feel as they mature and nature secretly does
the work for you by providing those
plants which are at home from
day one. Try it yourself, you might be surprised at the difference.
to the advice point, please
adam s bailey
BA Hons (Garden Design), MGLD
Unit 9, Home Farm, 3 Riverside, Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0AE
Garden design in Kent • East Sussex
• Essex • South East London
The Guild of