When I first looked at August's Design Workshop subject, I didn't think I had much to offer as my garden isn't subdivided into a number of rooms. We only have a couple of small pieces of trellis plus a small pergola and I haven't been that successful so far in finding the right plants to drape over them. However, one morning I was having coffee in the garden to mull over things for the day and it struck me I do have some examples to offer you where I'm using plants as screens to disguise some of the garden's problem areas.
I wrote about my poor conifers last week. They've not only been planted to frame the view down to the bottom of the garden, but to also block a sight line from the bedroom windows of the house behind us. If the trees weren't there, our favourite spot on the patio for coffee and meals taken outdoors would be overlooked. It's one of the reasons why I'm having to think carefully about their replacement.
Our house came complete with lots of boundary fence. One side is still to be dealt with properly as a lack of soil means there's a long way for plants to grow. However, you can see I'm starting to make use of the rampant qualities of this Clematis montana var. rubens 'Elizabeth' to disguise the bare boards. The fence on the other side of the garden has been easier to deal with, though again I've chosen a plant with the reputation of being a bit of a 'thug' to clothe it. For once I think Rosa multiflora 'Rambling Rector' is a good choice. It grows about twenty feet and has vicious thorns, flowers profusely in June/July and has small red hips in the autumn/winter. Thus its season of interest is good and its less likeable characteristics are perfect to act as a deterrent to anyone caring to climb the fence from the public land next door. Any stray branches that decide to grow into the garden instead of along or over the fence get trimmed back when needed. In addition it acts as a support to a couple of Clematis (C. 'Kermesina' and C. tangutica), plus the winter flowering honeysuckle Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty'.
The more utilitarian areas always pose a problem for incorporation into the garden. They're needed but can be a bit of an eyesore. I'm lucky that I have a long six foot wide stretch of gravel and path to one side of the house where I've been able to create a nursery area complete with cold frames to nurse my seedlings and quarantine new purchases. This area also houses the dreaded but ubiquitous wheelie bin that local councils now provide for rubbish collection. It sometimes also acts as a temporary store for potting compost when I'm planting up my pots in spring and autumn. These objects have been softened by the use of some large planters incorporating the tall Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' to add height. A small pergola has also been fixed to the house - this was installed to frame the view into the garden when walking down the side path, but it also helps to disguise the view from the garden too.
So, I've been able to use some of the problem areas of my garden as opportunities to be a little more creative and to add more interest. It's just a matter of selecting the right plant(s) to provide the solutions.
Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop is hosted by Gardening Gone Wild.