Like all good first blog posts, lets keep this one short and snappy. Possibly a Bloglet?
If, like me, you are interested in plants and gardens, you'll probably have your favourites. Favourite plants, perhaps for sentimental reasons. Favourite gardens, which may engage you so profoundly that you can't understand the genius required to devise them in all their intricate details, or elegance so refined it is almost inhuman.
Plants impact on our lives phenomenally, from our food to fuel and (as this alliteration is amusing me), to our furniture like the oak desk I am writing this on. A world without plants would be a short one and a rapidly miserable existence.
In the UK, we are very lucky to have the most diverse range of plants available to gardeners anywhere in the world and as such, we have the greatest potential for plant combinations and living furnishings to our outdoor space.
In a professional capacity I visit lots of gardens and encounter hundreds of thousands of plants each year. In recent years I've started to make notes of design features I like in gardens, individual plants and plant combinations that engage me. I take lots of photographs and I sketch a little too to document my thoughts and observations. As this has developed, I have realised that two things have happened;
1. I can see more and more patterns in my preferred aesthetic as I find a style that suits me as both a viewer and a user of plants.
2. I see with greater clarity, the value of something said to me back as a student in 1998, by a man far wiser than me; 'Deny yourself nothing!'
The context of point two, it should be stressed, is in terms of plant selection, with a secondary statement adding, (paraphrased) 'you don't have to like it to use it. If it is the right plant for the job, then it is the one you should be using.' I've recognised that while there are some plants that I am not a particular fan of personally, if they are the right plant for the job, then they will feature in my palette no matter what my aesthetic prejudices would otherwise tell me.
Don't be shy, be bold, be brave and deny yourself nothing!