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Creating a Godalming Garden

Tall conifers had originally been planted in front of the fence of this Godalming garden to provide screening from neighbouring windows. Over the years they had grown enormous and were protruding about six feet into the garden. As the garden was fairly wide, but not very deep this was a sad waste of space. The garden owners wanted to strip the garden of all existing planting and start again. However they were worried about feeling exposed when their screening was removed, and so asked that mature evergreen shrubs and trees(other than conifers) could be used along the boundaries to create privacy as quickly as possible. The house had recently been refurbished and they requested too that the colour scheme of the kitchen in particular could be repeated in the planting.

It was decided to keep the centre of the garden open for children's games and to concentrate the planting in the borders around the boundary, and in a bed along the base of the house. A yellow based theme was chosen to tie in with the house décor, and the owner was delighted to find that the leaf colour of several plants exactly matched the colour used in the kitchen. Trellis was added to the top of the fence to increase the height. Large evergreen shrubs and trees were planted at strategic positions along the fence, and to prevent them looking like an overgrown hedge as they reached maturity evergreen climbers and fence trained evergreen shrubs were planted between them, to create bays for the planting of smaller shrubs and perennials.

To create a sense of unity some groups of plants were repeated along the border. As the entire garden was in view from all main rooms in the house only evergreen shrubs and perennials were used apart from where herbaceous perennials were teamed with early flowering bulbs. In this way the garden looked full of interest throughout the year. Some plants were chosen for foliage interest and striking form, with flowering shrubs and perennials planted amongst them to provide successional colour.

As several mature plants were used the garden looked well established very quickly and owing to the preponderance of shrubs proved to require little maintenance to keep it looking good.