The New Build Garden
Charlotte specialises in new build gardens, she knows the problems they come with, the awful soil, the small, awkward-shaped spaces and the dreadful drainage, but she knows how to deal with them! Many people will give up and add raised beds and fake grass but Charlotte believes in planting in the soil.
Inspired by Charles Dowding's 'No Dig' gardening method, she encourages clients to improve their soil first and foremost with drainage and plenty of organic matter. Once this is done and the plants are in, the roots create their own little eco system beneath the ground aerating, draining and feeding the soil in a magical symbiosis. Lawns are kept to a minimum and replaced with tightly packed, low maintenance, pollinator-friendly plants.
This sloping, new build garden in Melksham was a depressing patch of chafer grub-addled grass. The client wanted to something to look out on while working on her kitchen table. The dark green fence was painted an elegant blue grey which really sets off the plants and compliments the client's interior decor.
The grass was impossible to keep, so Charlotte used 'As Dug' gravel, a bi-product of the quarrying industry, this gravel is self-binding so doesn't 'travel' down slopes. Charlotte softened the gravel with self-seeding flowers like erigeron and verbena bonariensis, soft 'floofy' perennials like gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' and perovskia 'Blue Spire' and tall grasses like pennisetum macrourum provide a strong backdrop and year-round interest. Herbs are planted at the front, close to the kitchen. Shrubs like sambucus nigra and hydrangea 'Annabelle' provide depth, while climbers will soften the fence eventually and blur the boundaries. The plants are cleverly planted to create a natural 'path' to a contemporary stool at the back.
Rebecca now absolutely adores her garden and says it gives her joy every day of the year.