Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden

Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden; Our brief involved designing an easily manageable, and low maintenance garden, ensuring that it could be enjoyed and maintained with minimal assistance from a gardener.

The Brief – Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden

Requirements: Easily manageable, and low maintenance garden. Which should have Year round colour and interest with evergreens, perennials, textures and foliage. No greenhouse/summerhouse.

Uses: Multiple uses. But with Primarily adults. Because peace/relaxation are important too. Also, it should have a harmonious colour scheme.

Style: Mixed styles. Contemporary low maintenance cottage-style garden. Which should also have Informal planting with formal aspects (pathways, walls, box, yew). As well as Gravel pathways, recycled/salvaged materials, bricks etc. Parterre garden, with mixed productive and ornamental planting.

Planting: No tropical, succulents, exotics, yuccas, spiky things, cordylines, red hot pokers, or sharp’ shapes. Because the client does not like them. However, Overflowing planting is liked. So are Herbs and fragrance. Climbing hydrangeas, geraniums, and salvias liked. So to are Clematis if evergreen.

Colour Palettes: Greens and foliage greens, whites, blues. Green and cream – harmonious not clashing. No reds, bright yellows (berries OK).

Position: South facing rear garden. Some areas shaded for significant portions of the day. Such as top end (terrace 1). The lower right side to house (terrace 4).

Soil: Medium clay.

Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden

Problem Areas

Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden
  • Originally a sloping site, now levelled with 4 terraces, that narrows significantly at far end
  • Huge Monkey puzzle tree – Araucaria araucana, with a T.P.O. The primary visual experience is of a trunk, not so much a complete tree. Due to its shear size.
  • Huge oddly shaped conifer trunk coming in from the adjacent properties garden. Because of this it presents the same kind of visual experience as the Monkey Puzzle tree trunk.
  • No verticals aside from the problematic aforementioned tree trunks.
  • Terracing has divided the space up into four distinct areas. But they have little or no separate identity / aesthetic separation, or engaging interest.
  • No pleasing focal points – drawing the eye to different areas of garden. Aside from the problematic aforementioned tree trunks.
  • There are Two very dominant, long and straight fence lines.
  • Several areas, particularly terraces 3 and 4 have very poor soil. With relatively poor draining and poor structure after the landscaping work.

Our Solutions

  • Balance the area visually with carefully considered planting. Because this will influence how the eyes take in the site and reduce visual impact of the narrowing nature of the site.
  • Removing trees is never something we encourage, just as long as they are healthy and safe. Plus and this one has a T.P.O on it anyway. The best approach is to interrupt it visually, thereby lessening its visual impact.
  • Same approach as above.
  • Introduce verticals in the form of new species of appropriately sized tree, and larger shrubs. Ones which are relevant to the themeing of the areas / ‘rooms’ they will be placed in. Additionally the design should include structures that add verticality, such as obelisks, and arches.
  • Give each terrace its own distinct aesthetic / character, whilst also ensuring transition and overall cohesive design to the whole garden.
  • Include vertical structures, specimen trees, plants and shrubs. Because this will give the eye plenty to focus on and wander between.
  • Reduce the visual impact of the fences with a softening wood stain and / or evergreen climbing shrubs.
  • Add good quality soil improver to problem areas.

Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden – Planting Scheme

The vision is for series of different areas or ‘rooms’ which are classic, but distinctly modern in Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden planting design. Each ‘room’ has a distinctive character, but a colour scheme of greens, whites, blues and purples, creates a harmonious overall look and feel, pulling theses separate areas together. Contemporary informal planting will complement the clean lines of the garden and ‘formal’ focal points such as cubes, balls and obelisks.

Perennials, evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs which flower at different times of year, with foliage colours that change across seasons. Because this will give Year round interest.

The plants have been carefully selected to be hardy. Easy to care for, and accommodate local soil conditions. Many have been given RHS Award of Garden Merit (AWM) status. The planting scheme has a neutral colour base. This can be added to over time.

Some Of The Plants We Used

Tranquil sanctuary offering spring and summer to autumn flowering interest in contrasting calming greens and whites. Hydrangea quercifolia combines particularly well with shade-tolerant perennials and hardy ferns.

The Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ is a beautiful white Japanese anemone. that is semi evergreen. It has vine like stems, and is semi evergreen. It will flower from August to October. These grow well in a semi-shaded spot where the flowers will really shine out.

The existing Rhododendron along the rear of the garden is well-suited to an informal woodland-style. Because of this we will underplant with pulmonaria, ferns and hellebores. Helleborus foetidus is native to the British Isles with striking lime green clusters of flowers in late winter.

These work exceptionally well with Tellima grandifolis (Fringe Cups). As well as and Digitalis purpurea f. Albiflora. Then put Together these form an elegant combination with Geranium phaeum ‘Lily Lovell’ which has dark flowers.

Brunera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ produces forget-me-not like flowers in April and May and silver dusted leaves and complements the hellebores and herbaceous geraniums. Flowering season is extended by underplanting with spring-flowering bulbs, such as Anemone nemorosa (wood anemone) and Galanthus (snowdrop).

Sanctuary Woodland Edge Garden

Acknowledging Zen

blue pennant

There is seating area in the top right corner. As well as a group of rocks to echo the shape of the bed in the lower tier, as a nod toward a Japanese Zen garden. These would be appropriate to this contemplative, quieter sanctuary area of the garden.