London (change)
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25/01/2014 at 16:21

My rectangular pond has a small gravelled area behind it and then a 2m high brick wall. I am looking for ideas to make the gravelled area a pleasant seating area for summer. My french doors overlook this area too so needs to look attractive most of the year as I always sit this direction. I am thinking of a small lutyens bench but not sure what to do planting wise. Grow something up the wall from either a trough or large pot? Put up an arch over or behind the bench to grow something over, again would need to be planted in pots? Or my final idea is to grow some ferns in pots either end of tbe bench? Any ideas greatly appreciated.


25/01/2014 at 17:29

A photo would help, then people could advise you better.

25/01/2014 at 19:02

I would go for scent as it is going to be a sitting area: perhaps a winter scented evergreen clematis for the wall like Clematis armandii, or a honey suckle with a repeat flowering highly scented rose like 'Compassion' You could also put up a pergola to sit under in hot weather and grow a wisteria into it. In the pots I would again go for something scented, like Sarcocca and roses (some do go in pots but you must remember to feed them). Ferns would look good as you have suggested and you could plant scented narcissi. hyacinths etc and swap for geraniums or better still  the lovely scented Nemesia  vanilla scent which you can find in garden centers in early summer. Some of these will grow in shade. A good highly scented rose in shade is Zephirine Drouhin.

25/01/2014 at 19:10

Unless you want to sit out there in winter (and you might, we do at every opportunity) I'd leave the winter clematis. I'd leave armandii anyway, it's enormous with a tendency to go brown in severe winters. I saw an excellent honeysuckle last summer, called 'Scentsation'. Naff name but outstanding scent

26/01/2014 at 10:46

Thanks for the ideas so far. I will post a picture next week if I find out how to do it!

07/02/2014 at 13:10

I have now purchased a Lutyens bench for the gravelled area but still wondering what to put near/around it to soften the area. The box ball in the blue pots will be moving. I am now going to attempt to attached a photo of the area. The pond look pretty awful at the moment but hopefully when the spring comes all the plants in there will cover up the hideous lining.


07/02/2014 at 14:04

Apologies if i speak out of term but it all looks very clean and formal at the moment. That is not necessarily a bad thing though. Have you considered something like this.


07/02/2014 at 14:10

Or perhaps something with a more rustic/country garden look.



07/02/2014 at 14:22

Yes the whole garden design is formal but I am trying to soften this with planting. Both photos look appealing to me. Thanks

07/02/2014 at 14:24

It largely depends on the type of look you personally prefer rubber. How long is a piece of string....

You might want a fair bit of greenery around your bench so that it's attractive in winter when viewing it from the house. You could have some permanent evergreen planting against the wall with extras like roses and clematis for seasonal colour, and  sweet peas for summer scent. You could then use large containers of your choice to ring the changes - bulbs for spring, perennials/annuals for summer and also some structural evergreens like Phormiums  (in addition to your box) for the winter. Since you have a strong structure in place already with the wall, bench and paving , you can make it formal or informal, symmetrical or asymmetrical depending on your own taste. 

07/02/2014 at 14:31

The first photo is just a modified version of this. Obviously made bigger. It uses old lorry pallets. and the only hard work is attaching it to the wall.


07/02/2014 at 14:35
Fairygirl wrote (see)

"How long is a piece of string...." 


Its twice the distance to the middle, Fairygirl. I will get my coat.



07/02/2014 at 15:13


I like the 'floating' bench. Very stylish for a contemporary look  

07/02/2014 at 15:59

The bench is not exactly floating. It has a C section design and the feet run under the  wood flooring (a bit). The support is hidden well with the plants but does look affective.

07/02/2014 at 16:01

You could always surround the bench with trellis at either end and above and behind, planting clematis to grow up and over it, depending upon whether you wish to hide the wall behind if not, just a square archway above the bench would be nice with large pots either end

07/02/2014 at 16:04

You could also do with some marginal plants in the pond to soften the edging and cover the liner too if there are different levels in the pond hopefully or put plants onto bricks sunken into the pond at different levels too.


07/02/2014 at 16:06

Love the floating bench too idea....

07/02/2014 at 16:18

I love this Idea but we may have to start a new thread as we could very quickly hijack this one.

 Its bigger than it looks.


07/02/2014 at 16:26

It would look nice with an arch , making a bower with the seat within. Then grow scented plants over it such as Jasmine. trachelospermum, or honeysuckle. Or even a climbing rose such as climbing iceberg or golden showers.

07/02/2014 at 21:12

Thanks everyone. Lots of ideas.the pond does have some

Marginals in it they just need to grow!





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