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In The Sitting Spiritually Garden with Jarmanmurphy

As garden designers, returning to a newly planted garden after its first year of growth is always very exciting.  The drawings and plans that were once in our heads and then on paper and screen, are suddenly full of life.  When we visited in July, walking down the path towards the garden there were plants spilling over and a mass of green, where last year there was only bare earth and newly constructed woodwork.

As the garden revealed itself I took a slow walk around to allow my senses to catch up on all the changes.

Beneath the boardwalk the planting was shady and lush - as we had planned- grasses such as Deschampsia cespitosa were in full tall flower with a soft waft of movement amongst the ferns and bay. The shade-lovers continued under the balcony with the trachelospurmum jasminoides creeping over the screen, transforming this area into a sheltered and peaceful place to stop for a while.

We always try and grab at least five minutes on this swing seat beneath the balcony.  It’s a special spot as time seems to pause here and it’s important to sit and feel the garden and observe - not only it’s progress but, also the nature and wildlife that are inhabiting the space. The friendly robin always hops by in the branches of the willow and this year the new planting around the stone sculpture was alive with hover flies and bees, making the most of the tall Verbena macdougalii ‘Lavender Spires’.

 We have now added more stones and gravel to the whole of this area so that the plants feel as if they are spreading and creeping through the ground.  The light stone beneath allows their delicate stems and flowers to be seen against the neutral colour, making the planting feel as if it has self-seeded and colonised this corner of the garden.  It looks beautiful from the balcony above as the gravel plantings sway and float around the stone sculpture, with the soft lemony leaves of Stachys byzantina ‘Primrose Heron’ unfolding over the stone beneath. 

 A few plants have been lost in this bed - the Eryngium ebracteum may have been a favourite of the local mice or rabbits, with all their leaves nibbled as a local delicacy with no sign of flower stems this year and the Gypsophilia paniculata ‘Bristol Fairy’ has suffered in the winter wet as it has completely disappeared.  Its soft clouds of white would have made a subtle contrast with the purple haze of the Sea lavender.  So, we now have to reflect and consider replacements that will combine with the existing structures and feel of the gravel planting.

 They say a garden is never finished and at jarmanmurphy we have been very lucky to work with Martin and Celia for the past year or so developing their garden. We are looking forward to working with them to redesign the lower garden in the coming months – and it’s always a treat to be there, whether working or sitting amongst the plants.

With special thanks to Jarmanmurphy for this guest blog & photographs.

Contact Jarmanmurphy to discuss your garden design 

Posted by Siobhan on August 23rd 2017

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