One of my garden design mentors is Nigel Phillips. Have a look at this lovely garden he designed a few years ago. He takes all the best ingredients of classical garden design and the few twists he adds come from his sense of place and the knowing what will delight the client.
The whole front garden was just shingle onto of old brick and concrete. The worse the garden the better for me as the transformation is that much more delightful.My clients wanted a front garden design that would compliment and enhance the front of their newly renovated house. They still wanted an area to drive into the property to park and they wanted the bed to be very low maintenance.I separated the drive area from the garden with a mixed evergreen hedge and a bespoke black metal arch to match the curve of the arch over the doorway and the metal trim [...]
Last year's growth provides the woody veins in which the bright electric blood of Spring is now flowing. The bulbs have emptied themselves of their carefully stored juices and the liquid had turned into fleshy green swords pushing through the intractable clay. All the Prunus family are in flower and a strong wind creates confetti for the passerby. Suddenly amidst all this upward and outwardness a pot is seen through the undergrowth- heavy, stately, still- the garden rests awhile inside the quietness of it's belly. .
Meditteranian pot, with an Australian tree fern behind it and to the right, Calamgrostis ' Karl Foerster', a tall stately grass, its upright character a perfect foil for the horizontal earthiness of the pot ( We chose it from Pots and Pithoi)
Placing a pot here makes it the centre of the garden around which all other things revolve. The Phormium radiates out like a slow motion explosion.My client chose the foreground grass, Matteuccia Struthiopteris, which provides a lovely delicate contrast to the more architectural planting
Once we added this pot to the design everything fell into place. One way to see garden design is to see a garden as a balance between weight and lightness.