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Some Suggestions on How to Create a Peaceful Greenleaf Garden

 

1 Exclude purple, gold and variegated leaves

 

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Ligustrum japonicum. Orchards

 

 

2 When choosing plants, consider the flowers (of course) but also the attributes of the leaves: size, shape, texture (shiny, mat), shade of green – all are important. Also check, if you have the opportunity, how the leaves behave when the plant is in flower:quite a few spoil the picture at this key point ,by having withered or yellowing leaves. And finally check the leaves post flowering: some have unsightly leaves, but these must be retained if the plant is to remain in good health. Others can be cut down after flowering and fresh sets of leaves quickly develop- a significant advantage. See plant list for suggestions

 

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Tree peony. the most sumptuous hardy flower. And the leaves are elegant too. Orchards

 

3 Always check that a plant is suited to the place it is being planted in – soil (ph, free draining or not), aspect (sun, shade, exposure to wind), hardiness (minimum temperatures), climate (enough rainfall).

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Colchicums in the orchard in September. Orchards

 

 

 

 

 

4 Let your garden reflect nature’s yearly cycle. Use plants that emphasise the seasons rather than those that are in denial: fleeting flowers(peonies, irises, cherries), autumn leaves and fruits and berries.

 

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5 Allow some dappled shade from trees or, in small gardens, from tall shrubs (Amelanchier, Hazel for example) as a contrast to sunny, well lit areas.

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Sun streams through the tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 In hard landscaping, use if possible, natural materials, preferably locally sourced (I use the local sandstone cobbles).

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Cobblestone pattern inspired by a 1920's Art Deco shawl. Orchards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Reserve some space for repeated clumps or groups of plants: repetition is what nature does in all wild plant communities.

 

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Repeated clumps of a Parrot Tulip. Orchards

 

 

 

 

8 Have a pond (or some other water feature) and keep a good part of the surface of the water clear of plants – that was you will bring the sky into your garden.

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Evening reflections. Orchards

 

 

 

 

9 Sculpting trees and shrubs can help to make satisfying gardens in winter by revealing the beguiling shapes of branches and trunks.

 

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Clipped laurels in the frost. Orchards

 

 

 

10 Flowers are important in gardens, not just for their beauty of form, colour and scent, but also because they are (or should be) markers of the seasons. But always consider the leaves as well: do they make a sustained contribution to the garden picture? If not, is the plant really worth the space it occupies?.

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Mottled leaves and handsom flowers of Trillium kurabayashii, Orchards

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Cherry blossom in Spring (Prunus "Pandora"). Orchards

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Welsh poppies and the Horned Violet (Orchards)

Japanes Maple at Westonbirt

Tree shapes against a winter sky (Lombardy poplars, an old apple tree, field maple, robinia) Orchards