Deck the halls

An important part of our garden design work is very often to link the house with the garden, ensuring the one sits well in the other.

Sunday 18 December 2016

'Deck the halls with boughs of holly' so the carol goes. You see, Classic FM is the kind of 'go-to' aural wallpaper in our garden design studio. And at this time of year the station has unfortunately revved and hyped themselves into a right sugar rush of wall-to-wall carols. So they are rather on my mind!

But I am also thinking of the houses, and some are certainly 'halls', which we encounter in our trade as garden designers.

And how at least part of the garden design concept is that we do need to 'deck the halls' themselves, just as much as the garden. And this dressing of the house thereby serves to link both house and garden.

One of my favourite proverbs is: 'A whore in a fine dress is like a clean entry to a dirty house.' By contrast this house is very much a lady:

Yes it is a gem - a remarkably pure Jacobean manor house. But for all its fine architecture it presented as stark and lacked warmth. Even a lady benefits by some fine clothes!

So why not add some plants?

Here the fair Lesley places plants for our clients' gardeners to plant according to our planting plan:

And hey presto:

Even four months later the effect is striking.

Late flowering perennials give a good burst of colour,

But the shrubs are not really making much of an impact.

Hey lets not be greedy or impatient - it is just four months!

But 2 years after planting the change is dramatic:

And the shrubs are well and truly earning their keep, giving height and structure.

The borders billow exactly as our clients wanted them to.

Of course you do have to remind yourself how it once looked:

And how it looks now:

So why not add borders directly round the house?

Of course you will say that that is a very smart house and that is really easy to make that look so sexy. But we are just this minute (well not literally!) putting borders around a semi detached suburban house in Bristol. Even in smaller properties the principle is still the same.

And as you see there is every reason to do so.

Oh and the house got decked with actual holly too:

Standard hollies on either side of the doorways!

Happy Christmas