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Things That Make You Love and Hate Gardens

Good afternoon readers,

`I’m a garden lover. Explicitly and devotedly. As you wander around your neighbourhood, you will see, as I do here in Kyneton, there are variations on a theme. In this small rural town, we tend to go in for a trend. The old gardens dating back to the turn of the last century produced similar criteria. Roses, perennials and very tall trees. All English. I love gardeners who use their heads not lose them.

Take this house for example. Brick veneer (hate it), some bright spark has shoved all the plants up against the brickwork and the large windows. Great. From the study, I have a tall conifer, green and flamboyant and a pittosporum also green and flamboyant. The problem with ‘I know what I’m doing gardeners’ shows a lack of foresight. Overall, it becomes a mass of weeds and dead flowers. One of the reasons my beautiful Roses grow in huge pots. When I’m snooping around gardens in Normandy, my favourite place, I nonchalantly, walk slowly and peek over walls and peer through gates. No, I am not casing the place. Although, I have received funny looks from owners. We all love to see how the other half lives, reflecting the style and finesse of their creators.

Take Monet for example. Anyone who has visited Monet’s garden in Giverny will know how I feel. Every plant has its place. The paths are not higgledy-piggledy but organised, so the painter could water his dearly loved specimens with ease. And in his paintings, we see the use of these colours in his palettes. His garden located in the tiny village of Giverny, 65 km north-west of Paris off the A13 motorway is a must “see before you die.”

If you get a chance to borrow or buy a book on gardening here is my recommendation. Paul Bangay's Garden design handbook, and as the flyleaf on the credits reveal-‘Renowned for his use of space, the gardens he creates are superbly proportioned, easy to live in, executed to the highest standards and places of beauty.’ There. what more can I say? Get your gardening gloves on, and your sunhat, the bigger and more ostentatious the better and open your doors to designing in your mind, the most beautiful garden possible. - even on a budget.

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