5 Steps to your perfect garden design – Step 3b, a recipe for planting delights

Part B – Structural Planting

This is the second part of our 4 part planting trilogy (!) of blogs on creating your perfect planting scheme. See the other parts on our news section here https://cgla.co.uk/news/

Getting the overall structure of a garden as a whole or just within a planting scheme is critical to its success, and can be a piece of pure magic! Here I am focussing really on the smaller structure not large tree specimens which we will look at elsewhere, but more the impact of structure within a planting scheme.

Not only does structure often have more impact than individual plant choices, but it can resolve one of the most common area of disagreement we see between two parts of a couple!

This is where one person loves lots of colour and relaxed planting….

…and the other likes neatness and order and therefore worries about lots of flowers. The introduction of clipped shapes, neat edges, and a geometric layout provides an overall sense of order which can be adjusted to the right level to satisfy both parties. See the same garden below with the clipped shapes included.

The genius is that you can marry this approach with almost any planting scheme. The example below shows a structured planting scheme to perfection….

Even without the formal layout, simply having some clipped shapes within the planting creates a similar effect.

You can do this formally with tightly clipped and repeated forms and neat hedging…

a rectangular water feature surrounded by topiary bushes and colorful flowers

Or more loosely, with regular shaped plants dotted through the planting even if not tightly clipped

For some people, the structure really is all they want to see and this can operate on a number of different scales and vibes….you just need to see how much other planting can be squeezed in without upsetting the stark clean feel.

Showcasing a particular specimen is also very effective if you can remain disciplined enough. I simply love this garden by Stijn Cornilly although I am not sure I could keep the space as clean and neat if it were my own garden.

So, part 2 of the recipe is to be able to show images of the amount of structure you would like- on a scale from highly ordered clean structural planting, through mixed structural planting and softer plants, to tumbling cottage garden planting.

Our lovely team at CGLA are happy to help you do this- set up a zoom call or get in touch here https://cgla.co.uk/get-in-touch/ , or have a look at more examples on our projects pages here https://cgla.co.uk/projects/ Now you know what you are looking for you will probably find it much easier to identify why you like or dislike certain images!

CGLA are an award winning team of Garden Designers, Landscape Architects, Landscapers and Garden Maintenance Operatives working in Buckinghamshire, London and the South East, as well as on prestigious design projects across the UK and abroad. We are currently working in Oman, Jersey and France, and welcome enquires for design, landscaping or garden maintenance. Contact us here