This back garden of gravel and paving slabs needed planting to soften the edges and to make it more inviting for both people and wildlife.
The clients had had a bad experience with a clump of bamboo running throughout their own and a neighbour's garden. The bamboo had been killed with a strong weedkiller and the garden was covered with a geotextile membrane and gravel. Understandably nervous of invasive and self-seeding plants, the clients wanted to create an oasis for bees and butterflies using predominantly blue and yellow flowered plants.
Having stripped away the gravel, it needed rotovating with the addition of soil improver to relieve the compacted clay. A new membrane was then added and a paving slab path was made to the existing arbour and swing seat. The planting of blue and yellow perennials interspersed with grasses was made through a sea of gravel. Blue flowers included lavender, Nepeta, Salvia nemerosa 'Caradonna', Geranium 'Rozanne', Ceratostigma willmottianum and Caryopteris and yellow was provided by Santolina rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem', Helianthemum 'Wisley Primrose' and yellow day lilies. Height was provided by the grasses Stipa gigantea and Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' and movement by Stipa tenuissima.