In many gardens there’s a forgotten or difficult corner.
With a bit of creativity, these unloved spaces can be transformed into quiet havens with comfy seats and dappled shade, vibrant entertaining zones or areas bursting with plant life.
Forest Garden, the country’s leading manufacturer of wooden garden products, has asked award-winning garden designer Andy Kirman of Kirman Design, known for his ultra-creative Cheshire landscapes, to suggest simple designs to liven up the most challenging niches.
Andy has created an L shaped bench and firepit table. The lines are clean and modern and perfectly accompanied by Forest Garden’s contemporary slatted horizontal fence panels, which have been turned on their sides, so the slats are vertical, and mounted onto the walls. His advice is: “Keep it simple. Don’t clutter the space. Less is more. Use repeat patterns for effect whether it be in screening, planting or paving. And install something to tempt you to dwell longer; a coffee table, fire or cushions for example.”
Shady Corner or Sunny Corner:
In this garden, which needs a little more shade, a Forest Garden corner pergola takes centre stage. The pergola can be planted with climbers and paved beneath to reflect the angular shapes. The walls in this case are mounted with Rosemore Lattice, to encourage climbers. Andy recommends planting something with scent which will permeate the air: Lonicera (honeysuckle) or a climbing rose (Rosa Gertrude Jekyll). The reading corner will be a little bubble away from the stresses of life that lurk nearer the house.
(Left) Liven up a shady area with a sculpture – but don’t worry about the cost. Why not just use a sleeper set upright as a henge or a large tree root? Use foliage plants to provide interest, adding form, shape and variegation: Pachysandra, ferns, hosta and tiarellas. (Right) A sunny corner would be perfect for a specimen tree underplanted and lit up from beneath. The Forest Garden Willow Hurdle adds a textured backdrop which emphasises the tree silhouette. Andy adds: “The underplanting here could be simple with just a few chosen varieties or go bold and plant a dozen different sizes of Buxus balls, for example. Simple is very effective.”
Some final top tips from Andy:
- Don’t be tempted to bring in some soil and build a rockery. It will look small and lost: a corner needs height and demands presence.
- You may see it as a dark, damp corner but be creative. Plant the right plants for the right place.
- It’s your space. Create something that is ‘you’. The best gardens and spaces in gardens are not at Chelsea Flower Show, they are sitting at the end of your very own yard!