A commercial planting project for Hartismere School in Eye, Suffolk

I was approached by the school to revamp their existing borders. These were full of overgrown prickly shrubs that were dull and difficult to maintain. There were also large gaps where the existing shrubs had died but had not been replaced.

The borders needed to be colourful and engaging but not high maintenance. The entrance borders also needed to create more of a statement than the existing worn grass.

I used a mixture of shrubs and perennials. Smaller shrubs were chosen to avoid regular pruning. The planting plan allowed for future growth and ensured that the correct planting density was used. A common mistake in planting schemes is to overplant at the start to avoid gaps. However, plants need space to grow and if the planting is too dense then a vicious cycle of pruning will start.

Plants will not make good specimens as they compete with each other for space, light and nutrients.

Evergreen shrubs were also chosen to avoid too many leaves falling and needing to be cleared away. ¬†Colour was created using prairie-style planting that needs little maintenance and will provide colour and interest through late spring until early winter. Many of the perennials used were evergreen or semi-evergreen such as Ruckbeckias, grasses and sedums which mean the borders are never completely bare, even during the winter.

The photographs here were taken in the autumn after the planting had been done in the previous spring.

The design created offers an attractive yet functional alternative showing a more creative look to borders than is often seen around commercial buildings. For a free consultation, please get in touch either by calling 01508 558743 or email info@smgardens.co.uk.

Design plan for a commercial garden, Eye, Suffolk