Taking a break to enjoying the sunshine in Bristol today I strolled by the model Eco Home featured in February. I never tire of seeing the dramatic change, through the seasons, a garden can display. The model Eco Home is a prime example of this. The herbaceous perennials temporarily absent were now taking centre stage, including cottage garden favourite Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber). Annuals such as Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) were in full bloom, while herbs bordering the path such as mint (Mentha species) were romping away.
The change in hard landscaping was also dramatic. The corten steel panels spelling ‘Recycle’ that in winter had looked very striking were now enveloped, and somewhat bought to life, by the surrounding planting, the beautiful patina of the metal more visible in the Spring light. The clay paver path looked great with the planting flowing over its edges.
When considering a garden’s seasonal change, thought should be given not only to the planting but also the hard landscaping materials we use. Whether it be the colour we paint an external wall or our choice of paving material. For instance a wall painted a bright hue may look fantastic in the summer months but dreary for the remainder of the year when light levels are lower. The visual impact we want to achieve may be a factor, perhaps we want our garden to have a high in Summer and are not worried that plants will die back in the colder months. If we want a garden that sustains its appearance then the quantity of evergreen plants used could be higher, or shrubs and trees with a structural framework could be included; a multi-stemmed cherry for instance could display ornamental bark, blossom in Spring and have a structural that provides year-round architectural instance.
I’ll certainly return again in high Summer to see what’s new.