The pictures on this page show the garden in its first spring and early summer.
One thing to note is that I planted this garden up very fully. Normally, there are recommended spacings for plants which allow them room to grow to their mature size.
I deliberately did not follow these recommendations with the perennials in this garden. I wanted the garden to look good, as soon as possible. So I planted everything quite closely.
I don’t think there is anything fundamentally wrong with that approach. It means that as the garden matures, you need to remove plants to allow others to thrive. But with most plants that is not a problem. Those you remove you can simply plant elsewhere, if you have the space. Alternatively, you can give them away or even sell them.
It is much less easy to remove trees and woody shrubs, so it generally pays to allow them something close to the recommended space to grow into.
Another great advantage of close planting is that you minimise weeds. If your chosen plants are filling all the space, there is nowhere for weeds to colonise.
I also think this is a good approach if you are new to gardening. Admittedly, you’ve got to buy or propagate a lot of plants to start with. But you can really get a buzz from creating a mature looking garden in a short space of time.
These picture show the garden developing from May to August in its first year of development. Click on the first one below and then click on the arrow to scroll through the series.
Martin Cole has been an avid gardener for more than 20 years and loves to talk and write about gardening. In 2006 he was a finalist in the BBC Gardener of the Year competition.
He previously lived in London and Sydney, Australia, where he took a diploma course in Horticultural studies and is now based in North Berwick in Scotland. He founded GardeningStepbyStep.com in 2012. The website is aimed at everybody who has been bitten by the gardening bug and wants to know more.
Gardening Step by Step has been cited by Thompson and Morgan, the UK’s largest mail order plant retailer, as a website that publishes expert gardening content.
Check out my comprehensive step by step guide, with plain language explanations and ultra-useful images and illustrations. This is for you if you love dahlias and want to the best out of the dahlias you grow.