Planting Design, Mossley Hill

A design project to rejuvenate the north facing, shaded border of a garden, commissioned as a birthday present for a retired gentleman and his wife.

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The Brief

The owners of this property in Mossley Hill were keen gardeners and had created a beautiful, mature, family garden over a number of years.  Most areas of planting were thriving, however the north facing border was presenting a few challenges, with a number of plants struggling in the moist, shady conditions.

As a unique, really practical gift, the two daughters of the couple appointed EAT Landscape to provide a ‘Border Design Service’.  This was an opportunity to bring some fresh inspiration and use our specialist knowledge to transform the planting layout and create greater visual impact.  The scope of our brief included a full design and build service for the north facing border, from completing a site survey, presenting initial ideas, drawing up a detailed planting design and then sourcing the plants and planting them.  We also provided outline planting advice, for enhancing a sunny, south facing border in the garden, including a list of suggested species.

The Design

Initially we completed a site assessment to record the physical conditions of the border, including the aspect and microclimate, soil structure, pH and nutrient levels and the species and condition of the existing plants.  In the design phase, we spent time with the couple discussing the types of plants they liked and disliked, colour palettes and the seasonal effects they wanted to create.  Using this design vision as a basis, we agreed which of the existing plants to retain or remove and a new palette of complementary species, to fill gaps in the border and create an overall, coherent design.  The final, agreed scheme was presented as detailed, very visual planting plan showing the species names, number and layout of each new and existing type of plant, together with photographs for identification.

The newly transformed border contains an interesting mix of feature shrubs to create structure, herbaceous plants, ornamental grasses and swathes of bulbs.  To add another dimension, we also incorporated climbers to disguise bare areas on the boundary fence and weave their way over the larger evergreen shrubs, creating an extra display of colour and scent.  There is a wonderful range of contrasting textures, different foliage colours and periods of flowering through every season.

Detailed information

The total expenditure for planting the north facing border was approximately £250 including delivery.  The plants were supplied by Brentwood Moss Nurseries, Crocus, Sarah Raven and Taylors Clematis.