Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

September - Catch Up at a Project Planted in April

Where have the last three months gone? Away on a whirl of holidays and friends, family and events. Now the dust has settled and then my oldest leaves home for four years of university.

Work has been busy busy busy! August was not the traditional quiet month at all with enquiries coming in despite the holiday. At the moment, I am busy with  a project in Cranleigh, Surrey which is under construction, projects in Haslemere, Surrey and Kingsley in Hampshire at the planning stage and a first site visit to a garden in Knightsbridge next week. 

Hellenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'

I took the afternoon off on Friday to visit a garden in Berkshire which was planted in the first week of April this year. I did not design the space at this house near Newbury but was called in to finish off with some exhuberant planting. The clients are not afraid of colour and I was asked to use both oranges and red for probably the first time in my career!

Mix of planting

The plants have grown enormously from their original 9cm pot size (see planting days below) and the colours are brilliant. I especially love this electric combination of fennel and sanguisorba 'Bordeaux' flowering high above the Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'. This helenium is brilliant; I adore the mixture of colours on the petals which range from golden yellow to deeper orange with this gold-flecked mahogany centre. The yellow is picked up again by the fennel flowers and seed heads. And floating above it all is the brilliant sanguisorba with it's lovely button-like red-purple flowers. In the next few weeks I will be adding the bulbs to this mix with Allium sphaerocephalon coming to join the party. 

sitting area

My clients had a decked sitting area built into this sloping garden and my brief for the planting was to soften all the hard surfaces with lush planting. Here the planting combines the grass Panicum 'Heavy Metal' with red day lillies 'Stafford' which would have flowered earlier in the season, anemone japonica 'Queen Charlotte' and more sanguisoba. 

Sitting area

To give a little perspective to the growth of the planting here, the next two photos were taken on planting day in April. 

April - planting day

The cat got involved as much as possible. 

Cat helper

 This has been a happy job - a great chance to be much bolder with my colours and planting with clients who were keen to experiment a bit. To offset the planting there is a quiet area of lawn between the house and the garden which allows the eye a chance to 'rest' from all the hot colours. It also allows for the perfect spot for the clients amazing vintage bench.

Bear bench

I cannot wait to see this garden evolve with the alliums being added to create a new level. 




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