Inspirational garden - the fewer plants in most cases, the betterWhat makes an inspirational garden? 

One that catches your eye and remains in your mind for more than a passing moment!!

Back in march I was one of the official guest speakers each day at the North Shore Home and Garden Show in Auckland - my topic was "Achieving a Stunning Low Maintenance Garden".

So what was the basis of my speech? Basically how to create gardens that capture your second look, have the ‘wow factor’, and need very little maintenance.

Whenever I am designing a garden for a client, I am continually thinking about the end result, and what is in my design that is going to make it look really eye-catching.

Go for a walk or drive sometime, through your local suburb, and see which gardens are ‘wow!’ and which ones are non-descript!

Generally the more simple the design, the greater the impact - this is not always the case but generally speaking it is.

By simple, I mean less varieties of plants - in other words using more of less will help to create maximum visual effect.

I often use the example of a client of mine who rang me and said they had no ‘X factor’ in their driveway garden, and could I help them? Basically they had about 30 different varieties of shrubs and perennials.

I dramatically changed the overall look by getting them to pull out 50% of what was in the garden next to the drive, and replace it with 40 x RED FLOWERCARPET ROSES, ( 20 on either side of the driveway) and now at any-one time we have 10 - 20  flowers x 40 plants or 400 - 800 red rose flowers. Instantly the look of this driveway was transformed - the colour was amazing!!

I had another client, who had a grouping of BETULA JAQUEMONTII (the very best white trunked silver birch) with a mixture of all sorts of plants underneath, but something was missing and the garden didn’t quite gel. I got them to pull out the assorted plant collection and replace with 50 x LOMANDRA LIME TUFF - a brilliant lush green dwarf grass bred in Australia (that certainly performs in the Waikato region as a true 10/10) Instantly the overall result was simple, and most importantly, needs very little maintenance at all to keep it in top condition (see the photo attached to this article for the result).

Most clients that get me to fix up their attempts at landscaping have generally put too many different plant varieties in their design, meaning their garden is too disjointed with very little theme and continuity. I liken a garden with a lot of varieties of plants to a bag of liquorice allsorts.

I use a lot of assorted plant varieties when I am designing a tropical themed garden, or a true English perennial garden, but the rest of the time I will use less plant varieties to create a grander overall maximum effect.

REMEMBER - autumn is definitely the very best time of the year to get into any new planting projects!!! So if you want to get some planting done then get into it now!!!

Happy gardening with Graeme

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Graeme Burton - Landscaper - Rukuhia Homestead, RD2, Ohaupo 3882
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