exuberant planting in


The brief was to create a planting scheme for this steeply sloping garden in Betchworth.

My client gave me a clear idea of the colour schemes he was after in the various sections, but apart from that, gave me a very free rein to suggest the suitable shrubs, perennials and grasses required to bring the garden to life and complement the beautiful sculptures.

Design and outcome

The newly created borders were all ready for planting when I first visited the garden and I relished creating a planting scheme for them. The garden featured some very steeply sloping beds which required stabilising and clothing in a suitable way.

As suggested by my client, the planting plan followed a colour scheme of cool whites, blues and yellows for the upper banks, down to a palette of warm oranges, reds and plums for the lower borders with a light see-through screen of grasses for the lowest border.

Swathes of Euphorbias, Geums and Tulips start the drama at the start of the season then in summer they give way to exuberant drifts of Heleniums, Persicaria and Penstemons, offset by the acid greens and yellows of Alchemilla mollis and Sesleria autumnalis.

Grasses throughout the borders complement the perennials and at the lower end of the garden, together with Verbena and Phlomis, provide a delicate screen to the garden beyond.

Nandina, Cornus and Buxus punctuate the borders to provide structure and interest during winter and rings of tree trunks felled from the garden feature in a naturalistic way.

The beautiful sculptures now have a backdrop of ever changing foliage and colour.

''I invited three designers to discuss how best to plant out the slopes and beds in my garden to reflect the transition from the formal character at the upper level to the informal atmosphere of the wild meadow and pond at the lower level.

Of the three designers whom I met, I quickly decided that Nancy Rodgers best understood my aims and intentions and had the expertise and experience to bring my garden to life.

It has been a great pleasure to work with Nancy and her team as the design was developed and the planting implemented. The trust which I placed in Nancy has been well rewarded. My garden is wonderful!'''

Mr T, Betchworth

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