As the weather gives way to a cooler autumn pattern, its considered a good time to establish new planting in your garden. The air is cooler, there’s normally a bit more moisture around and the soil temperatures are still warm enough to promote some good growth before winter sets in. Typically the garden centres go on sale and it can be a great time to source some bargain priced plants – which can be a bonus!
If you have an area you’re looking to plant, the following garden design principles will help you to create the look you are after.
Firstly make an assessment of the soil type and light conditions. Any plant selection you make must be suited to the specific micro-climate of the space in question. Have a good look at the other plants
close by to get a feel for the context and any effect they will have on the new plantings.
Choose a planting theme to help guide your selection. This is where your personal taste can shine through and be expressed. Your theme may be based around a colour, or you may love the feel of a native fernery, or the exotic atmosphere of a Japanese inspired rockery.
Be bold with your planting and go for larger groupings or drifts of a single species. This will allow the visual quality of the plant to be readable and also create stronger contrast to other selections in your planting. Often I notice gardens put together with a huge range of species, but in small numbers. This can result in a garden that lacks a cohesive feel. Try reducing the number of species selected and then plant in larger drifts.
Think about the balance you are creating between evergreen and deciduous elements in your design. If its weighted to evergreen, the maintenance required may be reduced, but may also be too static and not express seasonal highlights.
Conversely, if the focus is deciduous, you may end up with a bare look in winter after a spring riot. A good approach can be largely evergreen groundcover with specimen flowering deciduous trees.