1. Use Repeating Drifts of Color to Create Rhythm
Sissinghurst Castle is well known for it’s color themed gardens. The White garden designed by Vita Sackville-West uses white flowers and pale grey foliage to great effect. It has become one of the most famous gardens at Sissinghurst.
The Cottage garden at Sissinghurst uses large drifts of hot colored flowers — yellows, oranges, and reds — against a back drop of dark green hedges. It is wonderfully bright and over flowing with cottage garden favorites.
Repeating pockets of peach/pink toned flowers are perfectly matched with the bricks. These large drifts create a sense of rhythm along the length of the border.
The Rose garden has large drifts of purple and blue toned flowers creating great color harmony. These flower drifts pull the whole picture together.
I used repeating drifts of rose campion along the side flower border. The repetition of color and form creates rhythm in the garden and pulls the design together.
2. Use Evergreen Hedges to Divide Your Garden into Smaller Rooms
The notion of creating garden “rooms” isn’t new. There is something magical about not being able to see a garden all at once. I love to explore and see what lies behind every wall and hedge.
Sissinghurst is a great place to see the concept of “garden rooms”. Tall yew hedges divide the space into separate gardens that can’t be seen in a single glance unless you are viewing the garden from the tower.
I have used evergreens in my own garden to divide the space into separate rooms. An arborvitae hedge runs along the entire length of the side yard and separates the garden from the road. It is an effective way to create a private garden space.
Huge yew pillars create a focal point in the Cottage garden. Imagine this garden below without the yews and you can appreciate their contribution to the overall garden design.
Boxwood is used to great effect at Sissinghurst. Here a boxwood framed walk beckons you to walk along the alley way to see the statue at the end.
I have also used boxwood to separate the side garden area from the main yard. Although the boxwood are still small, they will soon grow large enough to provide a divider between the two garden areas and help to distinguish one garden room from the next.
3. Use Containers in the Garden to Add Interest after Flowers Fade
Containers aren’t just for a patio or balcony. They are perfect for filling in gaps left when flowers fade in the garden.
At Sissinghurst, containers of red impatients are placed at equal intervals along the Lime Walk to add interest after the Spring flowering bulbs have faded. They are difficult to see in the photograph below. The Lime walk is at its peak in early spring. After Spring, large containers of red impatients add some much needed color.
A large copper container is used as a focal point in the Cottage garden. The design is simple, but effective. The orange flowers within the container echo the hot color theme throughout the Cottage garden.
I have used containers to add interest on my deck. This helps to create a cozier sitting area. And containers add great design flexibility. Your choices of color and texture are virtually limitless.