a beautiful garden
the foundations of each garden. We are lucky to have so many to choose from. Irish climate gives us the
opportunity to plant and enjoy many species of trees, hedges, perennials and annual plants. We cannot forget
also about beautifully blooming plants that make our garden sparkle with intense colours from the very first
days of spring until late autumn. Even for every landscaper/gardener the choice of appropriate plants can be the biggest challenge. That’s why we always suggest for beginner
gardeners to choose hardy plants as a starting point; these can still be beautiful but are less demanding and
can be tailored for the condition of your garden (type of soil and the amount of light). Only healthy looking
and lush plants will make us happy! We also have to remember to limit the number of plants so as not to
overcrowd the garden. We have to take into consideration that too many plants in a small garden after 3
seasons can have the effect of a little jungle. With a few tips I can help you rearrange or improve your
existing garden. Let me start with what I call:
“The Kingdom of Flowers”
Colorful flowers fill in your garden with life and will definitely emphasize its beauty. Even if we
take into consideration colder Irish winters or barren soil we still can choose from many species that
correspond to the conditions of our gardens. It is important to choose from varieties that are resistant to
diseases. Only strong and healthy plants will grow with little effort from our side. We also have to avoid
overcrowding and chaos on one side of the bed and monotony on the other.
Always position plants so that they do not cover each other – higher at the back, lower
toward the front of the composition. The exceptions are big beds where we can rhythmically
arrange predominant plants.
Mix more common species with some of the more rare varieties; they will definitely
attract your eye. You can look for novelties during garden shows and exhibitions but also on the
internet, blogs or forums.
Robust plants, for example roses or peony, can be surrounded by fine plants such as
lavender or any plants with ornamental leaves.
On bigger beds we can create a composition of contrasting colors. In the smaller
gardens we have to remember that too many colors can give an illusion of tightening of the space.
If the plants differ greatly in shape we can use plants with different tones of the same
We should appreciate the value of plants with ornamental leaves. They create the frames
of the composition and are a great background for colourful flowers. These plants used in shaded
areas will decorate your garden for a whole season. The slender leaves of several types of
ornamental grasses lend an air of weightlessness. Plants with big leaves concentrated in big
clumps can look heavy - I always suggest mixing them with plants with long and slender
Here are a few examples of my favorite sets of plants:
a) Achillea, Verbascum, Miscanthus, Artemisia
b) Hosta, Primula Japonica, Camassia
c) Different varieties of Allium, Viola x wittrockiana, Dicentra
Ground-cover plants with their blooming flowers and colourful leaves can add an interesting element to the
decoration of our gardens and are also a good alternative to lawns. The latest trends suggest using lasting plants,
which do not require intensive maintenance. As we know lawns require a lot of maintenance, consuming more and more
time, energy, fertilizers and water and often lose their dominant position against denselysprawlingperennials
, hedges and climbers. For this reason, instead of seeding the grass in shaded areas, in places where manoeuvring
the mower is almost impossible or on slopes between shrubs, we should choose species that are able to grow in one
place for many years and are resistant to frost and diseases. The most durable of these are:
Juniper procumbens nana
- known as the dwarf Japanese garden juniper. They not only make great ground covers but also are often used as
bonsai and the older plants make incredibly beautiful specimens.
· Cotoneaster dammeri-
Low shrub with branches lying on the ground around 6 inches high, evergreen with dark green leaves. They bloom with
white flowers between May and June with bright red and very numerous fruits.
English ivy - spreads horizontally and reaches 8" in height. They are also climbers, due to their aerial rootlets,
which allow them to climb to heights of 50' or more. They will eventually bear insignificant greenish flowers but
are grown primarily for their evergreen foliage. Grow in well-drained soil with full shade. It is important to keep
them manageable by trimming in spring.
Your new ‘carpet’ doesn’t have to be green. We have plenty of colourful ground-cover varieties to choose from;
Omphalodes verena grows best under
deciduous trees. We cannot forget about different colours of Geranium or Arobis. Very popular in Poland are
different varieties of Sedum and Phlox. And, finally, one of my favourites; Vinca minor which flowers twice a
Soil for ground-cover plants has to be carefully prepared. We have to get rid of all of the weeds. Large areas
should be divided into sectors and filled with different varieties of plants, this way we can avoid monotony on our
beds. Lastly, do not forget to cover the area around plants with bark. This will protect soil from drought and will
Call Peter Weber
for more information
(01) 503 12 49
086 787 94