I thought you might like some small, copyable, garden treats.
They call them ‘takeaways’ in the UK media. They are the kind of thing that gives you a lift of spirits when you visit a garden. That you might take a picture of and think ‘I could do that’. There are some good ideas. I hate to think it, but along with plant collecting and cake, it’s possibly why most gardeners visit other people’s gardens.
This is at Allt-y-bela, near to us at Veddw, and designed by Arne Maynard.
Which makes it enormously popular with garden tours. Pictured is a spiral of beech – so leaved in winter as well as summer, and creating a delightful sculpture. Raising the height into the middle means that the shape is discernible from outside, even without a drone. Will take time to make one, but gardeners are patient that way.
We used to have ‘garden festivals’ in the UK.
This was ‘Future Gardens’. They were attempts to improve on the one week gardens at Chelsea Flower Show by having many gardens created on a site, all open to view for several weeks. This may still continue in France at Chaumont.
Note the sneaky little rill emerging. You’d also have found this below at that festival. Gardens once almost became radical.
A log pile wall is an interesting idea and appears in many guises in gardens. But only amongst those who do not depend on the wood for their heating, which rules us out. Nigel Dunnett does great ones which look cheekily as if modelled on our Hedge Garden, but can’t possibly be. There are also many interesting examples on Instagram – just search on ‘log wall’.
Sculpt your fence.
This is at Ashwood Nurseries . Different sort of log wall/fence altogether. I accept that we can’t all find or afford a sculpture for a fence. But we might find several ways to decorate a fence which becomes visible in winter, in order to add a little cheer to a scene of one or two tiny cyclamen.
This is a cheering sight for you in winter.
It’s up here as an idea to steal for its beautiful simplicity. The restraint of the colour scheme is perfection to me, but rare in the UK. It’s at Dartington Hall, which is also a great place to stay. I was lucky enough to get booked to do a talk there and was allowed to have Charles along with me. (My agent) A memorable couple of days.
This is an odd one.
And not, to me, very attractive. Even ugly. However, it illustrates a garden technique of some antiquity, which can still be adopted in gardens today. I imagine this is some sort of gravel with some black stone – people used to use coal, and perhaps this might even be an acceptable use for that rejected substance. The design would be a matter for your imagination. I have no idea what this one represents, but you could have fun.
I think of this as a touch of brilliance.
This is the garden of Derry Watkins, of Special Plants near Bath. And this yew sculpture is the work of her architect husband, Peter Clegg. The pair are a brilliant pairing when it comes to garden making – one obsessed by plants, the other with an architectural eye and a winter habit of adding amazing built touches to the garden.
The garden is on a steep slope, and this topiary serves the function of stopping your eye sweeping straight down the slope and away. (Please don’t think about that literally – I just can’t think of a better way to put it) I like the lively addition of a ball. Yes?
This is from my good friend Susan Wright’s last garden.
I love it for its simplicity. I am looking for a bench like that….
Simplicity and restraint is one of Sue’s great skills:
And here’s more from her:
The joy of this simple addition to a boring wall was that the display would have changed every time I visited. A small treat – and her garden was full of them.
Here’s a surprise:
I know I should probably have cut out the hosepipe, but, well, there it was. By this group of stones at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Grouped by Barbara Hepworth. You can’t sculpt like she did, but you may be able to group. (Or does it just look like a set of bad teeth?)
A galvanised trough with a grass?
And those glorious ferns. Beautiful. To be found at The Walled Garden (and nursery) at Treberfydd. Yes, you might guess, not too far from us. (you could have a great holiday over here..) And here’s another pleasing touch you might find there if you time it right – sweet peas:
If you enjoyed this lot, let me know and I’ll do some more sometime.