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Johnny’s Garden

Faced with high summer’s scene of gem-like blooms shining out from a tapestry of swaying grasses and delicate umbellifers, Johnny Le Huquet struggles to recall his first glimpse of the pint-sized walled courtyard in 2006.


GAP Photos/Nicola Stocken

Feature No:   4709 

Qty of Images:    45 


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‘The garden was unloved and empty, apart from a cat’s skeleton, but I didn’t really pay any attention because I wasn’t a gardener.’ However, all that changed when a gardening friend introduced him to the delights of plants, and the 39 square metre space started filling up. ‘Soon I was buying one of every flowering perennial I could get my hands on — no ornamental grasses though, as I couldn’t see the point of them back then. The garden started to look jolly, but there was no cohesion,’ concedes Johnny, a retired publisher. Measuring just 6.6m wide x 5.9m deep, the garden also had a rotting deck which eventually prompted a full redesign in 2016, with the help of Fenton Roberts Garden Design. ‘They helped me discover the naturalistic planting style that blends tactile ornamental grasses with flowering perennials, creating the soft informal look I was after.’ Four years ago, new raised beds were built, and the original softwood decking was replaced by resilient Balau hardwood: the planks are laid diagonally to give an impression of increased width. ‘The timber has weathered naturally to a gentle silver that complements the naturalistic planting — it needs little maintenance, other than scrubbing a couple of times a year with soapy water,’ he adds.



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