Great gardens are art

Seems to me that Garden Design has got a bit overinflated. Chelsea, the annual jamboree, used to be the pinnacle of the year. Now it’s an excuse to show how much money you can throw at something. In that scramble for bigger better we seem to have lost some of the spiritual dimension of gardens.DSCF0015

A visit to the Alhambra in Spain, Villa d’Este or a fabulous English garden like Chatsworth will show you what the form is capable of. That’s not to say money isn’t involved here, it’s just it isn’t the raison d’etre. For me a great garden transports you to another realm, and it seems that’s just not that common.

When designing and planting your own plot it may be hard to mirror these great works of art,however there are some rules to follow that help:

  • less is more – don’t overdo the features and contrasts
  • aim for harmony – in colour, form and proportion
  • planting should be the final touch to a great layout – it needs careful planning

Finally, expect to make mistakes – this is part of the learning. Gardens are never static unlike other art forms they grow and change. So this has to be factored in too. A professional will always be able to plan with this in mind.