I live in an up-market retirement village that had a beautiful, professionally planned garden. Unfortunately, 5 years into occupation the garden is being taken over by the "Garden Committee". They all have their own ideas and long hedges of the original plants are being ripped out and replaced, in one case by hydrangers!! I belive that good garden design is about swathes of homogeneous plants with one or two individual specimen feature plants. What is developing before my eyes is a hotch-potch of mismatched, inappropriate plants. We have a master plan for the garden and changes are supposed to be approved by the Residents' Committee but the Committee is peopled by people who wouldn't know. I would appreciate your idea of what is good garden design. I might be the odd one out!! Heaven forbid. Cheers, Lyn
Thanks for writing. Unfortunately, there's no single definition of good design --- everyone has their own tastes and they vary wildly. Many of our readers love the cottage look with its informal romance; other readers complain that it looks messy and they prefer formal. In general, I prefer plantings that repeat plants and have clusters of one variety of plant together. Repetition is important to me, as is good use of texture and plant form. I also prefer gardens with clean lines --- whether its through plantings, hardscapes, etc.