Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Plant a Garden in a Day; Create a Flower-Filled Plot from Scratch. It Needn't Cost Much and It's Perfect for Renters

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Plant a Garden in a Day; Create a Flower-Filled Plot from Scratch. It Needn't Cost Much and It's Perfect for Renters

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Mitchell

FOR the inexperienced gardener who wants maximum impact easily, Lucy Bellamy's new book Brilliant and Wild shows how to create a flower-filled garden from scratch using only inexpensive plants. Plant the whole thing on one day, then sit and enjoy. It's perfect for renters who don't want to splurge on a garden that they may not have for very long.

Follow Bellamy's advice and by summer you could be looking at flowerfilled perfection. It's a "plant once, enjoy forever" approach, since all the plants Bellamy suggests are perennials so won't need replacing. You can plant your garden on any day of the year, but now is the most exciting time to do it because it will flower by summer.

You don't need big, expensive plants either. "I used plants in tiny 9cm pots for my garden," says Bellamy, who's also the editor of Gardens Illustrated magazine. "They quickly grew and meshed together."

As well as being cost effective, such a garden is low maintenance. "You literally plant it once, don't need to water it once it's established, there's not much weeding, something to see all year, and you cut it all down to ground level in one day -- then the whole cycle begins again. If you plant a variety of heights and shapes, the plants hold each other up like a natural scaffold so no need for staking."

The key, says Bellamy, is to keep to a limited palette of plants, just seven in a small garden, and plant in repeating groups, aiming for different heights. Seven that would work well are: Achillea Summerwine; Achillea Terracotta; Allium hollandicum Purple Sensation; Eryngium agavifolium; Perovskia Blue Spire; Salvia Amistad and Salvia nemorosa Amethyst.

"In this country we spend more time looking at the garden from inside than we spend in it," says Bellamy. "The classic rookie error is to have the borders too narrow. You make it hard for yourself by doing this because the plants don't have enough space, they fall over, they are shaded by the fence or wall and you can't plant them in groups. …

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