The spring backyard of gardening doyenne Rosemary Alexander is a fantastic illustration of her ethos of marrying the realistic with the romantic.
The a person acre backyard garden of Sandhill Farm Household is set around the quite 17th-century farmhouse, and when Rosemary moved there in 2000, presented the perfect blank canvas.
‘When I first noticed the back garden at Sandhill, I understood that the two distinct spaces in the front backyard and the rear garden experienced the prospective of remaining turned into many distinctive garden rooms, every single with its possess identity and planting,’ Rosemary recollects.
Below, you can uncover out how she transformed the backyard and be impressed to include some of her models to your have English backyard ideas.
Rosemary Alexander has been inspiring and educating gardeners for just about 40 many years via the renowned The English Gardening Faculty.
The to start with lady to be elected a Fellow of the Society of Backyard garden Designers, together with her horticultural profession, Rosemary has designed her individual home gardens.
A arms-on gardener, she quickly admits the really hard perform and work involved when selecting how to approach a back garden.
With Sandhill Farm Household, she drew up a grid stemming from the household, and marked out distinctive places, each and every with their possess character but flowing collectively as a complete. The design arrived to start with, followed by concepts for plantings. ‘Lines go on paper but the planting designs are in my head,’ she clarifies.
Stepping into the yard via an arch in the perimeter beech hedge, which is a very good preference for rapid developing hedges, you encounter the prosperous tapestry of shrubs, herbaceous plants, bulbs and climbers inside a framework of clipped evergreens and topiary that characterizes the yard.
A broad gravel back garden path runs the duration of the front backyard to a quite bench, with a step down into a woodland backyard and a sunny terrace by the dwelling.
‘Spring is almost certainly the most exciting time in the front woodland back garden starting off with lots of distinct galanthus,’ explains Rosemary, which is fitting inspiration for everyone seeking to know how to plant snowdrops.
The snowdrops ‘are adopted by three various kinds of hamamelis, then by other early spring scented flowering shrubs this sort of as Daphne bholua Jacqueline Postill and strange spring bulbs, together with the dwarf Iris histrioides Woman Beatrix Stanley.’
An specialist in how to plant daffodil bulbs, she involves abnormal kinds this sort of as Narcissus ‘Pipit’.
Gravel paths wind via the woodland, which has the illusion of place many thanks to the clever layout of elevated bed tips and mounded contours, canopies of cherry trees, and other deciduous trees underplanted with unusual and wonderful vegetation.
Seats are positioned to just take in the atmospheric scene, and no space is squandered, with communities of woodland plants cautiously picked, and intertwining in a deceptively informal search.
Other notable vegetation include swish magnolias with lengthy-lasting apparent pink blooms, which are among the the very best trees for front yards, aromatic winter season hazel, along with an array of underplanting from bergenias, hellebores, pulmonarias, hostas and Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. It is a lesson in how to plant a flower mattress.
A shrub that stands out for most of the year – and one particular of the best wintertime plants for pots and borders – is Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’.
‘We slice again the leafy stems to about half their top in early May, which permits their leafless crimson stems to gentle up the front backyard for the following yr. Underplanted with snowdrops for early in the year these are adopted by the copper colored fern Dryopteris erythrosora, and for later in the year the purple flowered Liriope muscari,’ Rosemary clarifies.
The large route ushering readers to the terrace and the front door is punctuated by neatly clipped generous evergreen box balls, and a inexperienced and white themed border, which is an notion to inspire if you might be thinking about garden coloration techniques.
The planting in the entrance place requirements to seem very good for visitors all the year spherical, so includes a range of front back garden tips. ‘We use a significant mulch in January, which sets off the topiarised structural shrubs – Phillyrea angustifolia and Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ – which are backed up by a serpentine clipped low buxus hedge and clipped buxus balls,’ Rosemary points out.
‘Hellebores do very well under the topiarised shrubs in this light-weight shade and give a spring backdrop for the white Narcissi triandrus ’Thalia’ and Tulipa ‘Spring Green’, which we prime up every year,’ Rosemary states.
In the again back garden, which is full of north-facing back garden suggestions, the layout involves a range of areas, which include a kitchen backyard, dining terrace, borders and a lawn spot.
‘The sunny and open again backyard garden will come into its very own in the summer time, so in spring we focus on the double borders on every aspect of the principal path, making use of quite a few hundred lily flowering tulip bulbs for effect, such as ‘Ballerina’ and ‘Merlot’,’ says Rosemary.
In the rear yard she employs strategically positioned pots for on-heading spring shade. ‘This means we can change them in accordance to vogue and whim,’ states Rosemary.
Total curiosity flows from year to time and continues to be tweaked, with new designs constantly on the go.
Rosemary’s strength and enthusiasm appears boundless, her joy in vegetation contagious, and she continues to set into observe what she teaches, inspiring readers and learners alike.