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Looking at pictures of their lovely gardens that some people have posted, I am struck by the different styles, from highly disciplined and full of colourful annuals to practical vegetable gardening to cottage gardens stuffed with plants growing through and over each other. Which gardeing style produces the most desirable gardens?
Each to their own I say. I like the cottage style with lots of plants close to each other. The advantage being there's no room for weeds! But some like plants with their own little circle of earth around them, but they have to keep weeding. I like a mixture of shrubs,annuals and perennials and climbers for all seasons, with a small patch for a few veg.. There's never a time with no colour in my garden, even in the winter the various colours of the evergreens keeps me cheerful.
I agree , I'm not a lover of weeding so I prefer to pack everything in and let it all knit together.I grow most of the annuals myself to plug in the gaps and have planted for seasonal interest . I have shrubs, trees and evergreens as the mainstay and climbers , a rockery and a patio with allsorts in pots . I 've got a trellis around the patio and grow annual climbers to ring the changes amongst the honeysuckle etc. so a bit of a mishmash really . Can't be doing with little rows of soldiers - but like doris says - each to there own. Never fancied growing veg but next project is herb growing - it's a start ! Loving my amelachier at the moment - its full of berries and full of birds ! Now there's a little tree for seasonal interest.
Mine tends to the 'let it all grow all over each other' style, with an attempt at some repetition of colour and variation of shapes, but basically it does what it wants. I think it does keep down weeding, and gives a more naturalistic look. I do have some friends who don't like the way I do it so much, and that is fine, they are still friends! I don't want to see any bare ground, but if there is some, then a pot of something will go there to keep the growth fairly solid. It is not necessarily the easy kind of gardening some people think, but that was never the point. My original aim when we came here, was out small 'lawn' should be secluded and surrounded by huge amounts of flowering plants and trees - we are getting there.
I find the herbaceous clematis very good in this kind of garden, as they happily creep over just about everything without actuually climbing. Lots of hardy geraniums, grasses and so on.
The second part of the garden is the working part, veggies, fruit cage, strawberry beds, shed and greenhouse, just as lovely in its own way.
There are pots absolutely everywhere, including what would be a patio if we used it as such. Our predecessors put it where it is, but it is the cooler, shadier side of the house, so as a place for many hosta pots, and other things it serves our purposes well.
These gardens sound lovely, This is the kind ofd gardening that I enjoy, too, but I have a relative whose garden is completely free of weeds and beautifully disciplned. Earth shows areound each plant, freshly turned with a special three-pronged tool, and every plant does as it is told. Roses and clematis flower their socks off and anything that does not meet her requirements is ruthlessly pulled out and thrown away. The lawns are striped and perfectly free of anyting except grass. The result is a peaceful and beautiful garden with a profound sense of order. But if I think about the kind of garden that I would have if I could, it wouldn't be that. My dream garden would be large and looking out on fields and hills. It would have venerable old trees and wold be stuffed full of herbaceous plants and flowering shrubs, with enough space for repeat planting and curving lines of colour. (There would be a walled garden and a conservatory overlooking the best view, too, in this particular fantasy).
What I really dislike is a completely neat garden with lots of annuals like lobelia and salvias. Sorry in advance to anyone who loves this. I want a quintessentially British garden - I would say an English garden, except that I live in Wales.All I need is the skill to create it and a bit more space.
I like an informal. pack-it-all-in-tight garden too. Mine never started out like that, but as I can't see a patch of bare soil without feeling the overwhelming need to plant something in it, my garden is packed with plants and has little room for weeds. I'm also a big fan of 'leave it where it seeded and see what happens'.
We do have some curious bits though, as my husband is principally a veg man, and I like fruit, flowers and herbs. Consequently, my lavender and rose hedge that did surround a lawn is now the colourful edging to his spud patch....and my sweet peas are growing up the fence at the edge of his onion bed....and as I do most of the weeding, I tend to leave the poppies and the grannies bonnets in amongst the veg.
Strangely enough though, we mangae to work well together in the garden, and rarely fall out over anything. A day trip to B &Q to buy wallpaper is a different matter though....
I love plants so try to have a bit of everything. More cottage garden than anything else. Can always find room for one more plant. I have an allotment for all the veg and was lucky enough to get a greenhouse last year, which is full of tomatoes, cucumbers,chillies and hopefully melons. I have a small wildlife pond which keeps the cats amused with all the frogs in it. At the friont of the house we have quite a large drive and as we only have a small car it is now getting covered in large pots with all sorts of bits and pieces planted in them. Ideally i would like a small holding well i can dream.
I'm like you Tina5, I cannot resist filling the smallest place with something new. Also the leave it where it seeds is something I've often said and I noticed that some famous gardeners say the same. I have to move things backwards sometimes as the rain seems to wash seeds down into the gully of the border and then large plants root and hang over the edge of lawn too far. I hate chopping their heads off when I mow! I may have to be a bit ruthless at the end of the flowering season as I've got large clumps of feverfew coming up everywhere. I love them and they are so bright and cheerfull, but the selfseeders are taking over some of the beds. Over a few years one plant can get huge. Then I'll have a few spaces to put in something new! Hurrah. GC here I come!
I'm also a 'cottage' style gardener. Here's a few pics - there is a path in there somewhere!
I am a bit of everything gardener
I have a third of an acre looking out over school playing fields - a nice backdrop.We have lawns, a pond, a small rockery and lots of cottage-type borders. The sloping playing fields give problems in really wet weather, with little streams developing in the borders and large pools which take a couple of days to disappear. The soil is clay but much composting has helped to break it up. As we are now in our seventies, we are moving towards more
shrubs and perennials. Nice fruit and vegetable patch, a greenhouse for play on wet days and of course a shed (with mouse). I love geraniums, clematis, fuchsias, roses and foxgloves and many many pots....
All glorious gardens.(I have looked at your on another thread, Lilylouise, and you are a much better gardener than me. Yours is one of those perfectly cared for gardens.) I hope we see lots more.
I am a bit of a crammer too and squeeze plants in,also I have- I am told- far too many containers but keep picking up bargains and making up more-last week I was on a mission too find a replacement shrub-didn't buy one- but bought reduced summer bedding of about 80 plants for the princley sum of 52p-this has got to stop
Another vote for a crammer gardener here too which invariably happens with someone who is plant mad but has tp make do with a 6mx6m urban plot!
My perfect garden would have a little stream running through the back, an area which I could turn into a wildflower meadow, another area dedicated to growing fruit trees (especially damson and bramleys) for all those cakes and crumbles I would be baking), and I'd do my best to encourage loads of wildlife like hedgehogs and frogs too.
But I love the garden I have - it's small, but there is a bit of everything (except the stream!) and have even managed 2 acers, a crab apple and a few potted trees.
Never give up
I'm a cram everything in gal too, though in my dreams I'd love a big walled garden with wide borders and fruit and veg mixed in with the flowers, a huge greenhouse and potting shed.
i am mostly cottage gardener.. but some times my need to be clean and tidy and smart sharpe lines takes over.. but not for long i love my plants cramme din so no weeding to do and colour all year round if i can get it....
trying to load up some new pics of garden but the usual problem of camera and computer not talking to each other again is going on.. will wait for them to get off it and try again later
i love looking at other peoples gardens.. not only are they gorgeous to look at but they also give me ideas.. for mine! lilylouise your garden is a show of love and dedication and cant wait for this years video.. makes sure you start a thread with it so i dont miss it
oh and jan cardiff - your garden looks more like a lake so bad this weather at the moment.
@sotongeoff... i hear you there i am terrible also.. i cant stop buying plants.. it really is tie my hands when i go past any for my own good
Fabulous photos everyone. had to smile at the feverfew comment, Diggingdoris...see below!
I'd love a stream too..we did have a wildlife pond, andf it was lovely, but it had to go to make room for the chicken run. Not as pretty, but the eggs are lovely!
Roses around the spud patch..oh, and the sunflowers (barely visible yet) are for my dear departed friend Sharon who loved them, came to gardening late in life and only had one season before the Big C got her.
As for buying plants..both myself and my other half work in garden centres. It's so hard to resist new plants that come in, especially whenyou get a staff discount.