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Journey Through a Small Space

A blend of mature perennials, specimen trees and shrubs creates an array of contrasting colours and textures at different levels in this small country garden.


GAP Photos/Nicola Stocken

Feature No:   4366 

Qty of Images:    56 


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Barry and Maz Clatworthy tell a familiar tale of the first sight of their 40-metre-wide by 30 metre-deep garden, of fence-to-fence lawn, an awkward slope and a robinia leaning at a wonky angle. ‘But on the plus side, we inherited a lovely maple, bird cherry and crab apple trees,’ they explain. There was also a golden elder threatening to take over, but with some judicious pruning and raising of the canopy, it now provides a welcome splash of gold in a dark corner of the garden on the northernmost boundary. It is now 16 years since the couple moved into the small close of attractive brick houses, converted from a former farm and its outbuildings overlooking fields in the village of Pebworth, Warwickshire. The first step was to level the slope, building a retaining wall that separated an upper area with a pergola from a lower terrace and dining area which catches most sunshine in the east-facing plot. ‘The plot is wider than it is deep, making it hard to create secret areas, so I decided to create the feeling of a journey with a pathway side-stepping through the pergola to a greenhouse and patio by the back boundary,’ explains Maz. A blend of mature perennials, specimen trees — there are a few Japanese maples — and shrubs creates an array of contrasting colours and textures at different levels. Above the retaining wall, she has developed a lovely border, a natural division in the plot, planted with colourful summer favourites — geums, lupins, astrantias, hardy geraniums, alliums, centaureas and sedums. ‘I’ve aimed to plant for colour all year round,’ she says. A shady corner by the house is home to a collection of hostas, the emphasis increasingly on miniature varieties as she runs out of space for more plants.



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