Give your garden a design makeover

First published in Country News latest by

WITH winter on the way, now might not seem the brightest time of the year to launch a gardening book. But thinking about it, Worcester garden designer Carol Smith could just have hit it right.

Why? Because the long dark evenings in front of a roaring fire can be spent planning for the sunny days ahead. Something to look forward to beyond the frost and snow.

Although, as she points out in Designing Gardens with Plant Shapes (Crowood Press, £9.99): “The winter scene that we look out at can be just as beautiful (as the garden in summer); skeletal trees and shrub shapes covered in frost or snow; holly, cotoneaster and berberis with their adornment of bright berries being pecked by feathered visitors during November and December and in January and February the early, highly scented flowers on bare stems of sarcococca, chimonanthus and lonicera – all these are strong reminders that life is just around the corner.”

So a garden is not just to be enjoyed while it is at its colourful best, there is a satisfaction that goes into the creation of your own little landscape, be it large or small.

Carol says that often, but not always, it is the purchase of a house with a garden in poor condition that is the trigger for the ‘seed’ of our interest to germinate and start growing. If that is the case for you, then certainly this is the book to set you on the right track to create a glorious garden.

Garden design is her forte and if you can start from scratch, or at least not bother too much about a major overhaul of what is there already, then you are at an advantage.

She said: “There is no doubt a well planned and executed scheme has more chance of success than one that has been developed without a plan, purely because every aspect of the required planting has been considered and carefully thought through.”

During her substantial career, Carol has designed show gardens for BBC Gardeners World, Chelsea Flower Show and at Malvern Spring Gardening Snow on behalf of St Richard’s Hospice and Pershore College.

She is a Royal Horticultural Society lecturer with a stack of qualifications pinned on her potting shed door and if there is one person to get the basic ground work and planning right, then it is Carol Smith.

A book to make anyone think, as they peer out of the sitting room window on a cold, dull, rainy day: “Would it look better if I did it this way?” The answer is almost certainly “yes”.

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