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Garden design


are no-nonsense stalwarts of any planting palette in sunny, warm climates. Look out for new Heuchera varieties, there is always one to suit your colour scheme. Try to avoid too much solid, hard landscaping. Think gravels and permeable surfaces to help the water filter through to the soil below.


How to accessorise These days, garden centres stock a myriad of items, not just plants – sculptures, pots, candles and other miscellany have all been added to the repertoire, and it is these items more so than plants that come through as trends through the seasons. When accessorising your garden,


it’s very important to make sure it is in keeping with the style of your property in general. As Michael Felton of Michael Felton Limited, a Jersey-based Landscape Architect, explains: “Particular themes or styles are dependent on the architecture of the property, the space available and budget, but making a garden usable as much as possible all year round is always


a key issue to incorporate within the design. For instance, LED lights are also now being widely used to make gardens more accessible at night.” Felton also notes that “water features


aren’t high on a list of priorities in Jersey, as the biggest water feature (the coast) is always near”. Gardening mainly in London and the Home Counties as I do, this is surprising to hear since water features are usually high on the agenda, but then I have to deal with quite a different set of circumstances. In towns, a water feature with a pleasing sound can help diminish the sound of traffic noise, sirens, neighbours in close proximity and the general hum of commuters. Make sure you use and enjoy the


available space that you have – all-weather furniture, fire-pits, sculpture and lighting will help you enjoy your garden for longer. Accessorise with cushions, candles sculptural pieces, decorative planters


– all the things you might use inside to decorate a room also work outside too. The trick here though is to ‘super size’ them for maximum effect. Avoid high-energy light fittings or


those that create light pollution, such as large up-lights. They aren’t good for the environment and can interfere with wildlife. Keep lighting low and personal. Also keep the scheme within its boundaries. If your scheme is chocolate furniture over cream paving with neutral- coloured cushions, don’t bring in lots of brightly coloured objects or plants.


Are you sitting comfortably? Probably the most popular garden accessory is all-weather furniture. This originated in a rather superior form on the continent, and was a welcome alternative to wooden patio furniture, which could be very time consuming to maintain. The initial monetary outlay, however, was often rather outrageous. Through many refinements and


redesigns, this ground-breaking furniture is more accessible and affordable, and is now a ubiquitous part of nearly all of the high-street department stores and DIY chains. Many manufacturers now even make all-weather cushions that can be left out all year, cover free. From sofas and loungers to dining sets


and day beds, you are pretty much spoiled for choice, and all-weather furniture really does make your outdoor space feel like part of your home. Your furniture needs to fit in with your


overall scheme, so make sure that you buy it with this in mind. There are many French and Italian-designed outdoor furniture ranges that will begin to filter through to the high street this year. These will be cutting edge, quite different and will work with the more modern scheme. Don’t let your furniture dominate the


space though. Whatever you opt for, make sure it fits comfortably into your scheme – there is nothing worse than a massive sofa on a small patio or a dining table and chairs that are difficult to get around. n


KATE GOULD is an award-winning garden designer and a regular exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show. She also writes a regular design blog for the Guardian (www.kategouldgardens.com)


28 PS February/March 2012


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