College CrescentAsian Garden, London
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17. Designer: John Davies Landscape
2. Pleach trees for privacyIf you have a formal garden, plant trees that can be pleached in the side areas. Pleaching, sometimes known as hedging on stilts, involves trimming the foliage into a rectangular shape and leaving trunks bare, as shown here. This keeps trees to the height you desire for privacy without blocking out sunlight. It also allows space below for more plants. Most small-leaved trees can be pleached and popular evergreen favourites in Australasia are Ficus species, Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’, Pittosporum and Olearia species, Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica) and olives.
8. Paint it black…Walls or fences in gardens tend to be white, grey, terracotta or brown. However, the trend for darker paints in interiors is breaking out in gardens too. Here, a wall painted in a dark London Clay from Farrow & Ball provides a dramatic backdrop to the greenery, and creates a feeling of space by drawing the eye beyond the garden. Teamed with topiary, it adds a formal, boutique touch.Updating a Tired Old Fence
Paint over itOne of the easiest ways to transform a less-than-perfect fence or wall is with paint. It will give you a sophisticated and timeless look, and will ensure that the planting, rather than the wall, is the standout feature. To achieve a quality finish, ensure you buy the correct paint, rollers and brushes for the job. A masonry wall, for example, will require special external masonry paint, and if the wall is on the large side it may be quicker and easier to apply paint with a spray gun rather than a brush or roller. It’s worth buying the best paint and materials you can afford. We find that good-quality paint is easier to apply and gives a far better finish. Porter’s Paints’ Putty (a muddy caramel) and Dulux’s Luck (a deep charcoal) are two of our current favourites – they complement timber well and look stunning against greenery.For something a little bit different, consider applying a specialist paint finish, such as a rust or copper effect, to an unsightly fence or wall. It will give the area the appearance of naturally aged metal. Porter’s Paints does a great range that’s suitable for outdoor use.
1. It creates a dramatic backdrop to greenJust as hanging an artwork against a darkly painted wall helps it shine out, so a black backdrop is the perfect dramatic contrast to foliage. Try painting fencing or a wall black and enjoy how the planting in front is beautifully highlighted.