What is happening on the ground and on the drawing board during Winter?
You might think that Winter would be a time for staying indoors and hibernating. It is for some creatures but not for garden designers and landscapers.
December was busy with getting plants in and scheduling work into a short month. Remember Christmas? I know, it seems like an age ago..
Projects varied from a couple of planting beds for an elderly gentleman who wants to enjoy the bees in his garden next summer. Some small shrubs formed the 'backbone' of the beds, giving structure throughout the year. The herbaceous perennials and bulbs were chosen to give colour and a long summer flowering season. Then at the other end we added some fabulous architectural plants to a garden of a new house. A pleached Photinia was used to give instant screening to block a neighbours window. Pleached trees are expensive, but offer an instant solution when privacy is compromised. You are buying a semi mature tree, often with a girth of 18-20cms, that has had lots of work done to get it to the right size and shape. Its easy to understand the price when you understand the care and attention.
You might think that winter is the wrong time for planting, but in fact its the opposite. The dormant season, which is essentially the time from leaf fall to leaf growth, is a great time for moving plants. During this time, usually November through to March, you can buy and plant root balled or bare root plants. These have been field grown and are able to be dug up and replanted because the plant is dormant. This traditionally would have been the time when all planting was done, but now we have the convenience of container grown plants we can do so all year round. The benefit of December planting is that generally the soil is still warm and you are able to buy good stock at a more competitive price.
Local artisan willow genius Eddie Glew of Blithfield Willowcrafts created a fabulous fence (actually, to call it a mere 'fence' is a bit of an insult) for clients in Great Haywood. They have fence above a wall facing the kitchen window and opted for a thing of beauty rather than a thing of function. Eddie completed the fence in situ, weaving backwards and forwards along a planting bed. He didnt half compact it!
After the rush to get projects completed in time for the Christmas break, it was lovely to wind down for a fortnight. It is the only time of the year that I sleep properly, the rest of the time I wake and think "dont forget that quote/call/email...".
January began with a flurry of new appointments, all of which have now been designed and the construction been scheduled in. They vary from small gardens on new housing developments to gardens where houses have been extended and the outdoor space needs to suit the new accomodation, whether that be for a new use or to create a nicer outlook or simply to continue the new theme outside.
We also began Phase 1 of a larger project. The country location of this 4acre garden has fabulous views and this first phase was to create a formal semi circle of buxus hedging and spheres around a gravel and paved space and new herbaceous borders. We have concentrated the colour and summer flowering close to the house where it will be enjoyed most. A discrete rabbit proof fence was added too, to keep the little blighters off.
Its a great opportunity to add some fabulous larger shrubs to add colour and drama in the beds further away from the house. The Winter Garden will be Phase 2 and the new pool and pond with summerhouse will be Phase 3. It is lovely to have a project you can get your teeth stuck into and develop over a period of time. Check out this handsome brute of an Ilex that we planted as part of Ph1.
Ilex aquifolium Argentea Marginata.
There are projects underway in Shrewsbury, Burton, Brackley Northants and Yoxall. Finally I have ordered some signange, so you should see the Joyce Bullock Garden Design logo all over the place! If not, then I'm not doing my job properly!
If you would like to chat about how I can transform your garden and outside space, please email me or call 01543 622321