Healthy growth is the mainstay of every garden. Why design something that looks great on the drawing board but fails to provide the right environment for plants to thrive? You end up wasting time, money, energy and possibly even harming your garden environment.
The major feature of the M&G Garden 2017 at the Chelsea Flower Show is sustainability. Drawing on the inspiration of the Maltese landscape, garden designer James Basson has used the concept of a quarry as the basis of the garden. Each microclimate within the quarry mirrors the challenges faced by many gardeners. In Malta the scorching sun, searing heat and drought conditions can cause problems to plant growth, whereas shade, excessively wet soil or even exposure to cold wind can test most gardeners and plants alike.
There’s no fighting against nature and plants will adapt to prevailing conditions. James has used native plantings in the garden and likewise, gardening with nature rather than against it gets results. It’s a gardener’s truism that you should always plant according to the conditions particular to your situation. Plant acid-loving plants in acid soils. If they need full sun, choose a sunny spot and if they need lots of water, forget gritty, parched soil. It needn’t be harder than that to start a garden off on a healthy footing.
Planting for growth
Malta has made significant inroads into improving sustainability, as reflected in the M&G Garden 2017. These lessons – compost more, recycle water wherever possible, grow native plants – are ones easily brought home to any garden for the wider benefit of the environment. James' design proves that putting the right plant in the right place creates a healthy environment. Crucially, they will inspire garden lovers to turn what were once problem patches into areas of opportunity and growth.
Enter the M&G Little Garden Awards to win tickets to the RHS Gardens.