The garden looks great at night, as can be seen from these photographs.  I am always amazed at how different a landscape can look at night.  In many ways the can client can have two quite different schemes for the price of one.  Especially if they have large patio doors or other big windows looking out onto the garden.

This is the view looking away from the house of the finished garden.
The photinia topiary are now in stainless steel pots, as the ground in this area is very boggy.
The view is much opened up now that the 2m high brick wall is gone, and the rendered walls give a light contemporary look to this outdoor space. You can also see the successfully finished (and clamped!) glass water feature in the background (more evening photos of it lit on the way!)
As can be seen from the photograph, the temperature is well below zero. It would be a good idea to always protect newly planted plant material if it is of a more tender variety. 
- If frost damage does occur, it is important to protect your plants from defrosting too quickly in the morning sun.  If the plants can't be moved, then the best way of doing this is by covering them with a thick black plastic.
- It's also a good idea to feed damaged plants with a balanced fertiliser, this will definitely help to encourage healthy growth.
- It's also important to watch out for snow damage (there's enough of it at the moment!).  To prevent your trees, shrubs and hedges getting disfigured you should try to shake off any excess snow from their branches.
- Something to avoid: walking on snowy grass!  It can damage the turf underneath and leave marks on the lawn.

We've just sent off our application for the 2010 RHS Tatton show, very exciting!  The picture above is the 3d garden visualisation we created using sketchup and photoshop.  A friend (Dan Archer is very kindly going to lend us a great contemporary sculpture, for the week, to finish off the garden. 
We've decided to name the garden 'Tranquility Island' - the idea behind it is that it's intended as a retreat from the hectic pace of everyday life.  The snaking sleeper bridge represents the journey through life as a spiritual quest.  While arrival at the enclosed decked area is a metaphor for the fulfillment of achieving higher states of consciousness.  

The garden is very elemental - it uses water, timber, stone and plants to create a harmonious series of spaces.   We have tried to be environmentally conscientious with the design (the offcuts of boulders we're using would otherwise go to landfill), all the materials are going to be locally sourced to avoid unnecessary transport.

The preliminary planting plan for the scheme is ornamental with a Mediterranean flavour, we're going to use a selection of grasses and perennials set in large drifts.  We also want to include 3 - 4 large trees as a backdrop - hopefully some beautiful old olive trees.

Even with the wettest November on record, and with this current cold spell, we have managed to complete this striking elemental garden.  We are always excited about schemes which we can build without using concrete or other modern products.  This scheme features timber sleepers, huge slices of stone boulder (some as big as 2m x 1.5m!), water and an interesting selection of plants.  
The plants shown above are euphorbia, phormium and cortaderia.  We will have to wait until March to plant the marginal plants (plants like caltha and various iris). 


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