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Sunday, 24 May 2009

Designer Advice - Designer Don'ts

A path of blue slate chippings meandering through clumps of tastefully positioned bamboos. Looks fantastic in the magazine but wait until you have to pick the dead bamboo leaves out of the chippings. It’s a never-ending and virtually impossible job.

A Grecian style urn planted with a castor oil plant (Fatsia japonica). Striking contrast in form, very classy, but how are you going to get the plant out when it gets too big. Break that expensive urn, that’s how.

A fastigiate Italian cypress (the tall, narrow ones that grown like columns) a focal point to a border beneath a large tree. Looks very nice when planted but the cypress is going to grow towards the light and the straight column will soon look very bent.

Area of white gravel dotted with hostas and ferns. There are two problems here. The garden is very damp and shady and the owner has a cat. Soon the gravel area will turn into a mixture of green slime and you can guess what else.

Cotoneaster horizontalis as underplanting for a large deciduos tree. It’s a fairly tough shrub that will do OK in the dry shade. Its main features are the autumn colour and berries but the owner will probably never get to enjoy them because this plant is a leaf trap.

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