Some more helpful tips for Landscape Gardening

Chatsworth Park only 11 miles from Sheffield and Sheffield Park in Sussex although miles apart were designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown an architect and gardener, who made Great Britain the home of landscape gardeners. During this period of no planning regulations the world of landscape gardeners were to be seen as highly prestigious and a fashionable trade. As a landscape gardener designing over 100 landscaped park including royalty and prime ministers, he broke with tradition to offer a more natural approach and made landscape gardeners a profession of the future.

Brown did not have a formal approach to Landscape gardening and he would enhance nature by rearranging entire parklands. He had incredible vision for the beauty of landscapes which were only fully appreciated when he passed a way. During his lifetime Brown diverted a river in Derbyshire and eliminating the entire village of Edensor, (albeit for one property, which is still standing today) due to the fact the river was in direct view from the house and was considered offensive. However the Edensor houses were rebuilt at a nearby location in pattern-book style.

In the 1800’s Landscape gardeners undertook projects in a big way, but today where space is more of a premium the same amount of thought and planning are still required to get the best results, however a lot of experience is necessary to get the desired results.

How to begin on the garden of your dreams

Coming home to your own garden is like owning a piece of nature. All houses need some form of garden to be at peace with nature. Whatever the space afforded to you it is possible to create a garden that will enrich your life and be the envy of others, to say nothing about increasing the value of your property.

The wonderful thing about having a garden of your own is that you can just sit and absorb the peace that it generates and with the ready availability of professional landscape gardening advice and assistance it doesn’t need to be a nail splitting backbreaking exercise, although the more you are involved in the project the more satisfaction you will obtain from it.

There are many things to consider when designing and landscaping a garden but the primary and essential one is “What type of garden do you want?”. Gardens can be based on the plants you would like. to see, the use to which you wish to put the garden, the amount of maintenance you wish to be involved in or simply the style that catches your eye and the aesthetics behind it.

Things to Consider

To employ landscape gardeners is essential as you need to have them decide how you are going to apply the five basic principles, which are; Unity, Balance, Proportion, Colour and Line. These are the principles where a landscape gardener would begin as this is a lot for the amateur to think about in unison.

Unity: Everything must fit and live together in harmony and be natural to the human eye without anything standing out. You can of course combine styles with a gentle transition so long as everything is brought together. Be careful not to pick something that unsettles the whole look of the garden as you could live to regret this.

Balance: This doesn’t necessarily mean the formal symmetry that Brown was so against. Asymmetrical balance, although harder to achieve, can be far more interesting and entertaining. More difficult for the amateur gardener to understand, the professional landscape gardeners build a natural appreciation of balance into all projects. Colour, shape and texture are all features of balance that the landscape gardeners will take into account

Proportion: Elements of the garden should have a relationship with one another and should not be inappropriate for the space available. Self evident? Possibly but it takes experience to look beyond the immediate size and shape of plants and visualize them in their maturity. Foresight the Capability Brown had in abundance but all but the most talented amateur gardeners possess.

Colour: Loud or gentle, whatever you decide this is what will dictate the tone of your garden, either in a relaxing or lively way, which ever you decide they should be grouped in a way that is not unnatural and this is where the choice of any landscape gardeners is important as this is really what they should be experienced in.

Line: This relates to the flow from the extremes of your garden so your eyes have a seamless journey from one end to the other that includes surprises and a few features that generate expectation. This is what you should plan to expect to gain the most benefit from your garden.

Capability Brown is famed in all his works for combining a series of vistas into patterns that flow from one to the next. You may not have a 1000 acre parkland to experiment with but attention to line and flow will enhance the effect of your garden design immensely.

Avoiding Pitfalls.

You need to visualise your dream garden before starting to dig things up. Unfortunately not many of us are blessed with the gift to be able to see the final solution after it has been landscaped and planted, which is truly a job for the professionals. That is why whoever you choose as your landscape gardner it is very important you get them to create an image of your final dream on paper or a PC screen and discuss any details before you start work.

Research, this will in no small way pay off, look into what plants you are thinking of planting, different flowers, availability, different colours etc that have already been discussed. Then research as many landscape gardeners as possible. Look at completed works during the summer if possible. Put lots of time into the planning and the research and this will definately give you a desirable outcome in the long term.

Making Merry at Merriments Gardens!
Merriments Spring Flower Spectacular is a celebration of their much loved early blooms. Colour-themed sweeping displays of thousands of tulips await your visit. The Spring Garden is a patchwork of pretty soft colours from hellebores, wood anemones, snakehead fritillaries and ferns. Cherry blossom and magnolias add a romantic feel to the garden.

Sally Briggs, Head Gardener at Merriments said: "We have been planting large displays of tulips for many years now with lots of loyal visitors coming each season but we decided last year we really should make more of it and give others a chance to see the tulips because we really are rather proud of them".

What’s happening in the garden this month?

A sea of blue camassias are beginning to flow and ripple through the Grass Meadow and there are many busy birds in the neighbouring Bird Hide.

The most striking feature in the garden at the moment is the vibrant, sweeping displays of statuesque tulips and these are complemented by the softer, more delicate blooms of snakehead fritillaries, magnolias and cherry blossoms.

In May, large drifts of alliums will line the banks near the top pond and dominate, these will be partnered by the soft pretty candelabra primulas growing in the stream bed.

The Nursery

Merriments plant centre has an excellent selection of plants for sale and specialises in the more unusual varieties. Many of the plants grown at Merriments own nursery can be seen in the 4 acre gardens (which are open to the public) and can also be purchased from the plant centre. Many of the plants are labeled in the garden for easy identification.

For further information, please visit

By antonychammond on 2014-07-27 05:07:42
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A Day in the Life of a Landscape Gardener

Jason Hodges is a Landscape Gardener and he takes us through a typical day.