Tony Murrell: Garden trends for Autumn

This autumn promises to be an exciting time on the garden design front, largely due to favorable conditions for installing plants and a softening of the terra firma for ease of landscaping.

While many have embraced the virtues of growing food in spring and summer, a natural progression may be to attempt mastering the landscape. This season sees a trend towards creating spaces that offer extra sensory experiences through careful plant selection.

Here are some real beauties that will bring a sense of drama, movement and excitement as well as protection from the elements.

Miscanthus grass, majestic and oversized, works well in big landscapes and small courtyards

Carpinus betulus hedge, Hornbeam hedge, you cannot beat this classic for deep green summer foliage and copper brown during winter.

Cotinus coggygria grace, smoke bush, very desirable and easy to grow, and the colour will amaze!

Achillea, colours of the rainbow, brings a country look into town and visa versa.
English classic, Quercus Robur fastigata or upright English Oak makes a wonderful avenue specimen and suits both classical and modern landscapes.

Pyrancantha brilliant plant has been around for a very long time in New Zealand however I feel that it is greatly under utilised. This impenetrable hedge is great for security between public access paths and homes. The density also provides privacy and protection from road noise.

So how do we continue to enjoy our garden and not let it get away on us?

  1. Keep the garden perimeters relatively small
  2. Feature plant species en mass, (multiples of the same variety).
  3. Unless you have pets and children keep the worlds best "rest for your eyes" Lawn, as paths or geometric shapes that are not necessarily too big.
  4. Consider having your garden furniture painted, this will protect the fibers of the wood from the elements and give your outdoor pieces a new lease of life.
  5. Look at new colours and ask for advice on complimentary combinations.

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