Today we have more photos from the incredible Istvan, a gardener in the United Kingdom. (For previous posts of his garden, start here.) I asked Istvan how he designs his incredible plantings, and he shared some of his tips and techniques.
My design is very simple. I like to repeat some flowers in the border, but I also like to use a random planting scheme that gives a naturalistic face for it. I like very much to use annuals, biennials, and tender perennials with the perennials and self-seeding plants.
I also like to use tall plants in the front of the border, because I think it gives a positive feeling for the human eye.
For the past two years, I haven’t used gravel on the double border path, because I want to create the feeling that I am walking on a path in a fairytale.
I use strong colors and the contrast between the colors.
All year, I keep planting the borders with the annuals, tender perennials, and perennials that will flower their first year, which I grow from seeds or from cuttings. And every year, I try to design a different face of the border.
Rather than a crisp, gravel path, this is a simple, well-trodden trail between the plants. Istvan says it makes the path feel like one in a fairytale.
Change is good. This is the same view as in the photo above, but it looks completely different. Don’t get complacent with your garden; keep changing it up and creating new, beautiful views.
Most design books say to put tall plants in the back and short plants in the front, but Istvan treats them differently, letting tall plants come to the front, which makes the whole planting look natural and romantic. Here, plants of all different heights intermingle casually.
Perennials, biennials, annuals, and tender perennials all intermingle. Istvan keeps planting constantly to ensure that the beds are always full, lush, and packed with interest.
Bold, contrasting colors are everywhere, and are mixed randomly. Repeating the same plants throughout the planting helps pull it all together.
A final look at the incredible garden. It was great to hear some of the ideas Istvan uses in creating this garden, but I think what I most learned is to not follow the “rules.” Letting a garden be a bit wild, unpredictable, and unconventional can be the most exciting.
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