Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Show gardens of our own

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 18.20.04

Emanuela Alladio of Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design shares her top ten tips for creating a stunning garden worthy of an RHS show garden in our own homes.

1. Frame the view: most gardens are viewed from the house and in order to work they need to relate back to it. Key details of the architecture of the house need to be repeated within the garden and views out should be nicely framed and lead the eye, inviting exploration to discover the garden.

2. Keep it simple: material choices should be kept to a minimum. For instance, one type of stone used in different finishes for inside and out or for areas of the garden with different characters, and use repetition in the planting too to create a sense of harmony.

3. Create a private haven: introduce a secluded area that feels intimate and tranquil where a glass of wine can be sipped or where it is possible to sit and relax. Introducing vertical elements such as a semi transparent screen, a wall or a tall hedge works wonderfully, creating an unexpected space that breaks down the emptiness of a garden and spurs us on to walk and discover what’s beyond.

4. Create something that looks good in every season:
June is the month of the year where every garden looks at its best, with lavender, geraniums, alchemilla, roses etc. all flowering and in prime condition. Yet these plants can fade quickly leaving an empty gap for many months to come. Try and avoid planting plants that fade so quickly and choose instead a good backbone of evergreen shrubs and perennials that offer a long season of interest and maybe even some pretty seed heads for the winter.

5. Disguise the ugly bits: every garden has a view or wall that shouldn’t be looked at. Use plants and paths to lead the eyes away, encouraging focus elsewhere.

6. Boundaries are key: use hedging to frame a sharp and clean lawn or a well-defined border. This will produce neat shapes that help keep maintenance to a minimum and make the garden look crisp and fresh.
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 18.20.25
7. Let the plants speak for themselves: don’t overcrowd, but give them space to breathe and become established. Think about it in terms of layers of vertical interest and bring some taller perennials towards the front to break the mould and create a dynamic border and more interesting look.

8. Be bold: choose more of the same thing, so for instance put together two plants of the same colour (such as bronze fennel and black phormium) to create a good textural foil for the rest of the garden. A similar result can be achieved by repeating similar shapes at different levels (such as round pots, round lawns, allium heads etc.).

9. Don’t be afraid of grasses: grasses add a softness and a texture that is invaluable to any garden and they have very good longevity too, especially the ones with interesting seed heads.

10. Use splashes of colour to draw attention: but keep the overall picture harmonious by restricting the colour palette. The effect to be achieved is pleasing and not a muddled mix!

Garden 2
Profile: Alladio Sims
Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Ltd was established in 2015 after Jon Sims and Emanuela Alladio collaborated on a Silver Gilt winning show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The two directors continue their collaborative approach throughout their practice with Jon’s background in interior architecture giving distinctive spaces and Emanuela’s passion for plants and photographic eye adding great texture and contrast.

essence info
Alladio Sims Garden Landscape Design Limited
Unit C Willow House, Dragonfly Place, London SE4 2FJ