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One of the most important elements to a garden design for most clients is ‘all year interest’ with respect to the planting. Choosing plants that flower in different seasons will do the job, but to really provide a good continuity of interest a few more factors need to be taken into account.

 

Interest can be created from many aspects:

 Flowers - colour, texture and form.

 Leaves - colour, texture and form, including autumn leaf colour

 Form/shape of shrubs and trees,

 Scent

 Fruits such as berries

 Autumn colour,

 Bark of trees

 

Plant range - Use a wide range of plant types to achieve this:

 annuals and biennials for all summer colour around immature shrubs and in pots

 Herbaceous perennials for periods of colour from spring to autumn

 Evergreen perennials for low groundcover over winter

 Spring bulbs for splashes of colour and often height.

 Evergreen shrubs for structure.

 Deciduous shrubs for foliage colour and form, flower colour and scent

 Grasses for texture and movement

Using different layers of planting will maximise the use of space and add interest – canopy layer, shrub layer, herbaceous, groundcover

 

A permanent framework of trees or shrubs with changing leaf colour, flowers, fruits, interesting forms and bark can be infilled with more ephemeral planting

 

Use of space - the space should be used to maximise interest – including vertical space on walls and fences, and using plants over pergolas, arches and arbours

 

For small gardens in particular, it is best to select plants with long seasons of interest.

 

Temporary planting, such as containers of summer annuals or spring/summer bulbs that can be moved around to create interest

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