Izeron, Isère rear garden and potager renovation

BRIEF:

The rear garden had become neglected. The potager was a 3x3m space of almost exclusively weeds, overrun by bindweed, and so the client had resorted to growing vegetables in the space using pots, which were difficult to manage because of the hot climate. The client wanted me to organise the space better, show off the plants already in situ to better effect and add new planting to the space. The rear garden included a tranquil sitting area, and a more inviting space would likely encourage the clients to use that space more often.

The clients have a particular fondness for Zantedeschia aetheopica. The existing planting in this area, almost made up entirely of spring blossom and Trachelospermum jasminoides, was almost exclusively white.

The clients wanted a more floriferous space, but as they aren’t keen gardeners themselves they desired a planting scheme that was not too complex to maintain.

DESIGN:

The space as a whole lacked any sense of cohesion. Bespoke beds and edging were all constructed by us using sustainably-sourced wood. The blackberries were given proper support in the same materials and the two compost heaps situated in separate parts of the garden were brought together. The entire site was dug over, hand weeded of as much bindweed as possible, levelled and reseeded with grass.

A wire trellis was added to the rear wall of the shed where an unsupported, tangled ball of Trachelospermum was growing. It was pruned of any dead or damaged material, tied into the wire trellis and watered and mulched.

The lawn, which comprised of mainly weeds, was thoroughly raked of weed and selectively weedkilled. Subsequently, it was raked once more and reseeded.

The pond was emptied and refurbished, including burying the exposed pipe and reworking the outlet. Self-seeded raspberries and nettles were removed. We divided and replanted the existing ferns and hostas to extend the planting around the pond. New margin and pond plants were introduced to the pond.

Unused chicken feeder trays (the pond area was a chicken coup in a former life) were drilled and then planted with Sempervivum and Sedum.

Jumbled planting and weeds were removed from beneath the archway and underplanted exclusively with Centranthus ruber ‘Albus’  to soften the concrete path and unify the area.

As promised, Zantedeschia were planted and existing ferns and perennials to be retained were divided and used in the scheme. New beds were created comprising of an entirely white flowering perennial scheme, with just a hint of dusky blue from the Nepeta and a rich purple from the Salvia. Various grasses were incorporated to add height, texture and movement.