When you look at your garden, what do you see? Do you see the overall effect, or is your eye drawn to a particular tree or shrub? Or do you look out and think sack the gardener!
I find that a focal point in the garden can add so much. Particularly when over the seasons parts of the garden go to the background and others to the foreground as flowers bloom and fade. Achieving overall structure for winter throughout the garden, and indeed some good solid bits of planting interest for every month of the year will make your garden instantly more cohesive and inviting to be in. This is something I strive for with all my garden and planting designs.
For me, now that I am a mature gardener, birds and bees are suddenly more fascinating. I have no idea why this is, but suspect it has something to do with children having ‘fled the nest’ and it is all a bit quieter than it used to be. My personal planting style at The White Cottage, is increasingly about finding plants and habitats for wildlife. The movement that insects, birds, and pond life bring, give great pleasure. Of course, this may not be practical for those with a young family, or those with little time for year-round maintenance, but my I do love being in my garden.
If there is one thing I advise to the younger gardener, it is not to be too hung up on making your garden an extension of your home. Minimalist style gardens can of course be wonderfully chic and offer a statement about who you perceive yourself to be. I think the most beautiful gardens though, have both structure and a dynamism supplied by good and varied planting for year round seasonal interest, and attracting local wildlife.