The Garden: After [The Planting]

I hope you enjoyed yesterdays post – there was just far too much to share for one post so I’m continuing today with a bit more detail. 🙂

The design of the hard landscape of the garden is quite geometric which stemmed from the large square deck we had already built. All the angles and lines reflect that but the planting contrasts with the angles in that is is very soft and fluid with swaying grasses and cloud like groupings of wild looking flowers. The downside to this kind of planting is that is relies heavily on perennials – that is plants that die back every winter and grow again in summer  – so we needed some structure to provide a backbone. The box balls form part of that, are contemporary and also break up the expanse of grass which was my concession to Pete’s plans for the garden – he would have been very happy grassing the whole thing with a goal post at either end. 😉

The planting was inspired by Piet Oudolf who I have talked about here before. A Dutch plantsman who is one of the most influential designers of our time, he champions a natural style of garden based on wildflowers and prairie fields. He also wants us to see the beauty in all stages of a plants life from the first shoots in spring through the flowers in summer to the frost on seedpods and frozen strands of dead grass in winter. His popular public works include the High Line in New York which I was thrilled to visit in person on our trip earlier this month and he is famous for his use of grasses. I’m so happy with how our planting turned out.

I browsed a few of his books before choosing our plants and made sure I choose amongst my own favourites some key plants of his to ‘get the look’. Some of the key species included Stipa tenuissima (the golden grass you see here,) Echinacea (the tall daisy like flowers,) Sanguisorba (the burgundy ball-like flowers in the picture above,) and Verbena bonariensis, (tiny purple flowers that form a cloud above lower plants or grasses they are planted through.) You can find more suitable plant combinations here. The other important thing to do is to plant in swaths – to get this look you need groups of 7 or 11 plants rather than 3 or 5.

The patio area is where our garden gets the majority of the sun, and is quite exposed in that way so the pergola was designed to be a focal point but also to add shade. We planted 3 climbing plants at the corners to cover it and add dappled shade – a white Wisteria, a Passion flower and a scented jasmine closest to twhere our table is.

The borders extend to surround the patio and the idea is that as the flowers mature the dining area will be partially obscured, and feel slightly enclosed and more cosy for dinners outside. We eat outside a lot in summer so I can’t wait for this are to become even more magical than it feels already…

Back towards the house, we built raised beds to break up the drop from the deck down  to the garden and also to bring the garden to the deck, so to speak. They were built last summer when the deck was, but only filled when the garden was done.

The one above is west facing and gets the sun all day so it’s got some drought resistant plants in there along with some prarie style additions and some of my favourite cottage garden plants too. I aimed for height here so they were taller than the deck 50cm above the planting box and could be seen through the glass balustrade. On the other side, the other box is north facing and gets very little sun, only at the very end of the day as it drops so it looks very different with ferns (including a tiny tree fern!) Japanese anemones, Heuchera and Hostas for sculptural foliage and variety of colour in the leaves.

Of course, it’s still not finished. We didn’t completely clear some shrubs in one of the borders so there was some backdrop for the immature planting but we will be changing that this autumn and winter. There is also a flower bed I had planned to be quite cotremporary not he left side and not pictured really here, but I’m now undecided if thats what I really want, or if the plants I had picked were the right ones. I may give it a year or two to develop and think about it.

That’s what I love about gardening. Its never over, it’s never done and it can always be worked on, built and changed. Its probably the only area of my life that I take the long view on and as a result it’s so relaxing.

I hope you enjoyed the insight again and once again, the design was down to brilliant Iain from Outer Space Lansdcapes, with the planting by me. 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Old House Tour… Part 1

Hi guys!

It’s good to be back and I’m excited after a very refreshing break and some headspace. Thanks for coming back 🙂

Today I’m going to share some of the fab pictures of my house that The Lawsons (Laura and Pete) took for the Good Homes feature I mentioned last month. There were so many good ones that didn’t go in to the magazine that I’m going to do the downstairs first and then come back to the upstairs next week. I was thinking that you guys had seen all of this but in fact we had changed quite a few things (decorative accents wise) since I last featured any pictures, so I hope you’ll see something new if you’re already familiar with the house.


Photography courtesy of Lawson Photography

Since I last shared it, the lounge had had even more colour added, with a selection of mis-matched patterned cushions, the easy lamp DIY I did, and a few more homely touches…



Photography courtesy of Lawson Photography

It also features the first new thing we bought for the ‘new house’, the (reproduction) Eames RAR rocker.


Photography courtesy of Lawson Photography

Then adjoining it is the dining room, also looking a lot better than when you last saw it for a bit of styling 😉 (I hasten to add, my house did not always look like this, I wish!)



Photography courtesy of Lawson Photography

I think the dining room might have been my favourite room in the house, if not my bedroom, as it seemed to be the most interesting. This corner has our film lamp in it and an antique Japanese rice cabinet that my step-dad passed onto us and I topped with a sprayed white tray and some bar paraphernalia. With the picture and (cheap ikea) linen curtains, it seemed to evoke old colonialism to me.



Photography courtesy of Lawson Photography

It also has my other favourite bit of furniture, the oak servery unit we have that holds our wedding dinner set (and a lot of other junk!)


Photography courtesy of Lawson Photography

I’m going to leave it there for now because that’s a lot of pictures already and I’ll come back to the kitchen and bedrooms. There’s too much ‘stuff’ to list here but if you want to know anything about the house or it’s contents, just drop me a comment. Hope you enjoyed the tour and thanks again so much to Laura and Pete for doing the photography honours!

Love,
Rebecca
XOR

#JanuaryJoy – Take a Walk

Today’s prompt is especially for the coming weekend. So many of you yesterday mentioned the perfect date involving taking a walk with your other half, whether it’s pounding the streets of a new city, or ambling through the countryside to a new pub. It’s the perfect chance to talk but if you fancy a bit of me time it’s a great way to do some thinking too and burn off extra calories – if you make it long and brisk you’re burning almost as many as jogging. Win/Win!

Pete and I try to get out to new country walks as often as we can but we’re also lucky to have the Mersey Valley right on our doorstep and miles of woodland and waterside paths that make you feel worlds away from the city. It takes us ten minutes to walk to the start of the paths which is around the corner from Chorlton Green where the Horse and Jockey is – our favourite local pub. It’s got low ceilings, real fires, guest ales and good wine, perfect for stopping off at the end of a walk. It also happens to be super dog and baby friendly.

I’d love to hear about your favourite walk – tell us where it is in the comments box and maybe we’ll all find a new local walk and bump into each other one day!

Happy weekend readers,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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