The spring flush is behind us now - this combination of warm and damp conditions heralds the start of around six to eight weeks of rapid plant growth, when you should try not to get too downhearted about not keeping up with the weeds or rapidly growing grass! In my own garden, I keep the grass cut and I simply hoe and turn weeds into the soil to keep on top of things, and then before you know it the plants and grass have started slowing down again. It is easy to think that everything grows at the rate of knots from spring to autumn, but they don’t.
Now that we’re spending less time pulling weeds out, we can look again at tweaking the designs of our garden. One of the principles of garden design that you can use to keep you right with your own outdoor spaces is rhythm.The ideas of rhythm and movement refer not only to the physical movement of plants within your garden, but also the way your eye is lead around the garden. If you think about a tree-lined avenue or driveway in front of a stately home, the garden design is very deliberately using the trees to lead your eye up to the grand focal point, the house. Using the same garden design principle, you can dot the same species of plants into different places around your garden, and you will find that you can create a visual journey for someone who is looking at your garden. (This can tie in with one of the other principles of garden design, repetition).
Movement can also refer to the physical movement of the plants within your garden, and ornamental grasses are a great example of this. I love looking out on grasses swaying in the wind, and suitably positioned they can add real interest to a garden design. There is so much variety within the world of ornamental grasses too, just make sure you get ones that are hardy enough to survive our highland winters. A good hardy ornamental grass like Stipa lessingiana or Deschampsia cespitosa are great additions to a ‘winter garden’ theme, an essential consideration for garden designers in Glasgow and elsewhere – plants that look good with frost or dew on them, or being blown around by the wind, are giving you value in every season of the year.
Tom Angel has been working as a horticulturist and garden designer in Glasgow for many years, offering everything from garden design and planting plans to japanese knotweed surveys and tree sourcing. Over the winter months Tom offers tree and hedge planting.
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