Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Small Gardens with Rural Touch; Garden Designer Dan Pearson Shows Hannah Stephenson How Amateur Gardeners Can Adapt His Naturalistic Ideas into Their Own Outdoor Spaces

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Small Gardens with Rural Touch; Garden Designer Dan Pearson Shows Hannah Stephenson How Amateur Gardeners Can Adapt His Naturalistic Ideas into Their Own Outdoor Spaces

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Stephenson

EVER wondered how to give your garden a real rural touch? Awardwinning designer Dan Pearson may be able to help.

After an 11-year absence, Pearson will be returning to work his magic at his sixth RHS Chelsea Flower Show by creating a garden inspired by Chatsworth in Derbyshire, focusing on the the more rural part of the estate.

His Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden will represent a small part of the 105-acre garden, inspired by the park's ornamental trout stream and Paxton's rockery, depicting an ornamental woodland animated by a naturalistic water feature.

All this sounds rather elaborate for an amateur gardener with a small plot, but Pearson says there are elements of it you can try in your own garden to give it a more rural feel.

"We often use water in small gardens to try to deflect surrounding noises that might be beyond the boundaries of the garden, like traffic, neighbours or pedestrians. Water is a good thing in urban gardens where you have a lot of background noise.

"In an urban garden with limited space, you might introduce water by having a little pool with a pump and water falling over a rock into the pool. That can be done in just a square metre."

Pearson is using colour quite freely in his woodland garden at Chelsea and is something he recommends to gardeners whose plot may be overhung by trees or oversized shrubs.

"You may have a predominance of green which can be contrasted with bright splashes of flower, but the flowers all have very small blooms even though they are bright."

Pearson will be combining tangerine orange candelabra primulas, P. bulleyana, which grow in wet conditions, with P. pulverulenta, a cerise pink type with a silvery reverse.

"Don't be afraid of clashing colours when you have enough weight of green elsewhere."

The garden will also have large elements, including rocks from Chatsworth, which are being juxtaposed with small, delicate flowers to achieve an effective change in scale.

"In a smaller space, it's always good not to be afraid of using large things like a simple piece of topiary, contrasted with plants with small flowers alongside it. …

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