Take Hampton home - design ideas

Add a fresh twist to your garden with these ideas, spotted by Julie Hollobone of The Garden, the RHS members' magazine

One Show GardenIt's hip to be square

as seen in The One Show Garden

In the One Show Garden, nine square pools are evenly set out to represent the Roman underfloor heating system used for the bathing pools in the City of Bath.

To recreate the look at home, add wiry perennials and wispy grasses that flex in the wind. Keep the colour scheme simple - the burgundy foliage of Sedum ‘Jose Aubergine’ and Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’, sits aside blue from Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ and shades of yellow from a short species of Euphorbia as well as russet blades of Stipa arundinacea. By adding a powder dye to the water, the sky is reflected in the still surface of the water. You could also use a dark pond liner to get the same effect.

This is an interesting way to bring water into a dry, gravel garden. But here instead of gravel, a ’hoggin’ type material has been used. This is a graded clay, gravel and sand mix that can be spread over level soil then compacted down to create a firm path. Away from the paths the hoggin is uncompacted so that you can plant directly into the soil.

Sculptural seating

as seen in Vestra Wealth’s Vista Garden

Clean lines are the secret of Paul Martin’s garden design, complemented by a planting palette in cool blues, greens and white. Gabions are used to provide both a long seat and a piece of sculpture - a cladding of copper covers the top and sides - a practical idea to try at home. By carefully placing logs of uniform size inside the gabions the look is clean and in keeping with the overall finish. To create a long bench, the gabion is topped with cedar, the honey colour of the wood toning with the copper sides.

Planting around the seat includes lavender and Agastache 'Black Adder' - both attractive to pollinating insects - and the crevices in the wood piles will hopefully be used by insects and other wildlife visitors to the garden as a safe retreat over the winter highlighting how features to attract wildlife into the garden can blend into the overall design. The same effect can be achieved using a series of gabion frames filled with prunings from the garden, topped with planks for a rustic seat, or simply used as a low wildlife wall. (And on a practical note, the logs should last for quite a while as they will be kept quite dry by the gabion cladding).

Extend the taste of summer

as seen in Al Fresco Garden

Al Fresco Garden

This garden, designed by Peter Reader, illustrates how easily cooking and dining can be taken outside. A small space is used to great effect, firstly by defining the dining area using a simple pergola in green oak. Abbutting the space are rendered raised beds that lift the planting so that when you are seated at the table, flower and foliage sit at eye level and are ready to be enjoyed. The inclusion of herbs such as thyme and rosemary in in the beds beside the barbecue means that extra seasonings are to hand and as fresh as possible.

A central pillar, as well as encasing a water feature, houses a wood-burning stove that faces onto the seating area where it can throw out heat as the evenings begin to cool. The impression is of an outdoor room, the raised beds providing a sense of enclosure along with the ‘roof’ of the pergola. You could create the effect with less permanent alternatives such as a chimanea or fire pit and a temporary gazebo or awning.

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