The Enthusiast’s Garden

The Enthusiast’s Garden – This versatile garden incorporates several distinct areas to accommodate a gardening enthusiast’s varied interests. There is a water garden, a large area for fruit and vegetable cultivation, and raised beds for growing different types of rock plants.

All this is contained within an average-sized rectangular plot. This is the most common shape of garden encountered and one that many people find far from promising, as the overall shape and rigid boundaries seem dull; yet the shape has enormous potential.


Garden design solutions to this very common problem tend to follow one of two basic approaches. The first option is to create a layout based on a series of strong flowing curves, sweeping the eye round the composition and distracting it from the corners. The second option follows quite the opposite course, positively revelling in the right angles in order to build up a montage of over-lapping surfaces.

Brick paving, to link with the house, and York stone are used to construct the repeating series of interlocking rectangles which leads the way round the garden. A slightly sunken gravelled area marks the boundary between the architectural use of materials close to the house and the gentler planted areas further away.

On the other side of the lawn, a fruit tunnel leads to the vegetable plot, which is screened by a line of espalier fruit trees. On the house side of these is a seat in a small sitting area that links the upper and lower levels of the garden.

The garden has been planted for maximum impact in late spring and early summer. It enjoys a reasonably equable climate, and has a moisture-retentive but acidic soil. This means that certain species, such as rhododendrons, can be expected to do well here, but irises, pinks and roses are not so well suited and may perform poorly.

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The colors are planned to be brightest nearest the house and paler further away, to enhance the impression of distance. Blue, pink, red, grey and white feature predominantly on the left, green and yellow on the right. The trees are all deciduous but are chosen for their winter form as well as their summer appearance. The garden is designed to be productive as well as decorative.

The season of flowering interest can be extended by replacing the bulbs in the containers and the polyanthus with summer annuals.

Seating area in the garden

Fruit tunnel

Espalier fruit trees

Beautiful pink rhododendron

Water feature in the garden

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