• Intelligent Design

    28th October 2010Garden DesignStephanie Donaldson
    Pretty but competitive planting

    Pretty but competitive planting

    Professor James Hitchmough is one of the designers responsible for the planting that will be used at the Olympic Park.  I recently heard him give a talk at the Garden Museum about a planting system he has developed after observing how plants grow successfully alongside one another in the wild. In a nutshell (as I understood it), the way to get the maximum number of  plants to look good over the longest period, is to plant in layers with spreading  and mounded plants closest to the ground and increasingly taller and narrower plants creating the upper layers.  That way, nothing gets crowded out and plants can coexist happily.  Looking at my herbaceous borders, I realise that the reason I have to keep replanting is that many of the plants compete rather than coexist. Maybe the next replant will last longer than 3 years.