Le Petit Champmagnan, Vienne


The client had an existing area of planting that divides the gravelled parking area from the main lawn. The area was largely uninviting and lacked a sense of drama that an entrance area should provide. The client desired planting that was high impact, yet low input and that would provide a longer period of flower than that which was currently in place. Soil was well-drained, but poor lacking in any obvious fungal, worm or other activity.


The solution was a simple one. First and foremost, the plastic woven weed membrane needed complete removal. I thoroughly disapprove of the use of such materials in the garden: it was not doing its job of supressing weeds (weeds had indeed continued to grow beneath it and others had seeded themselves into its surface), it is bad for the health of the soil, adds to the use of plastic in the garden and, frankly, looks downright ugly. A planting scheme was devised that would tolerate periods of dryness and exposure to hot sun. Base colours of blue, purple and white were chosen from which ‘pops’ of lime and orange would emerge over the course of the year. Planting was organised in a naturalistic style that avoided the use of blocking and tiering. Finally, a deep mulch was applied to discourage weeds from taking hold, retain moisture in the soil and improve the soil’s fungal and organic quality.