Inspired by Nature
Isn’t May just the most beautiful time of year? The countryside is so full of deep, verdant greens, fizzing lime greens and blossoms bursting from orchards and hedgerows. How important it is to take the time to admire this time, for it is a fleeting time of year but a moment in the season that seems a millions miles from the grey, dark days of Winter. This is also one of our busiest times of year, with garden designs and transformations in full swing. Whilst the landscaping team are on their diggers, scraping back areas for new terraces, building new walls and laying down new paths, us girls are back at home focusing on selecting plants for these new projects. Whilst this does of course involve much time looking at plant characteristics, staring at computer screens or thumbing through books, it is always so enlightening to actually just take inspiration from what nature is doing outside our windows as we work. A drive along the country lanes, whilst May is in full swing, can often freshen the mind and even inspire our plant combinations. Seeing the verges lined with frothing Cow Parsley can lead to thoughts of running Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ through our borders. The hot pink of the wild Campion does such a pleasing job, peppered through the Cow Parsley – why not use Cirsium rivulare or Aquilegias to do just that in our planting? The striking, deep burgundy of copper beech against the fresh greens of other trees inspires thoughts of using copper beech topiary in amongst our borders. The cascading blossom of our native Hawthorn trees at this time of year has such beauty – could we perhaps incorporate an ornamental variety of this tree, such as Clipped Crataegus x lavalleei 'Carrierei' into our schemes? Sometimes, when our minds are churning and whirring with far too much choice, taking a few moments to look at the combinations nature is so cleverly putting together at this time of the year can bring great clarity and affirmation to our selections, finding great confidence in simply following nature’s lead at this magical time of year.