Voulême, Vienne

Brief:

The client had recently purchased a new home, which was previously left unoccupied for much of the year, and as a result the garden had become overrun with self sown ash trees, ivy, nettle and ground elder.

The garden contains some evergreen structural planting, but had very low diversity or seasonal dynamic. The client desired a new area of low input planting that would improve the presentation of the entrance area.

Design:

The area was heavily infested with mounds of weed, hidden beneath which were numerous concrete blocks, stone and roof tile spoil. It was essential to remove this material to make the soil more hospitable to a long term successful and low maintenance planting.

The shape of the bed was deliberately shaped in an irregular pattern to mimic, although not directly copy, the roof line of the house, adjoining barn and other neighbouring buildings. Wooden timber was added to the bed edge to maintain the shape and reduce lawn maintenance.

Some self seeded ferns already inhabited the area, and which informed the basis of the plant selection. The planting selected was largely evergreen and closely planted to reduce competition from weeds and to offer a long season of interest beyond flowering periods. A naturalistic style of planting was utilised. Flower is predominantly white, to illuminate what can be quite a shaded area at certain times of the day.

Compost was worked into the soil prior to planting, and the area was mulched with a coarse pine bark after planting to try to reduce watering and deter local cats from using the area to their own convenience.

Just one year later and already the border is looking full and on its way to becoming well established.