Spring is inspiring aesthetic gardening in Twickenham

Spring in Twickenham comes with creative gardening, and some of the best have shared their tips to keep a garden looking beautiful.

Deborah Biasoli, a garden designer based in Twickenham, emphasised the interests of small urban gardeners who want low maintenance.

She said: “When you think about spring you use general groups of plants, such as those with long flowering periods or bulbs which take up little space; you need a rounded interest to see the garden in all seasons.”

Deborah offered planting plans for the year; she suggestions include using plants which start flowering in spring and continue through summer, such as Nepeta Walker’s Low and Geum Totally Tangerine.

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Evergreens are also popular throughout south west London; according to Biasoli.

In particular, those with interesting Spring foliage such as Heucheras and Pittosporum Tom Thumb (evergreen with purple leaves) have been favoured.

Deborah also recommends climbers with scented spring flowers, such as Akebia Quinata (chocolate vine) and Clematis Armandii.

Small trees with spring blossom and autumn colours, including Amelanchier Lamarckii and Prunus ‘The Bride’ (an ornamental cherry tree), are also big hits.

Originally from Brazil, Biasoli admires the UK’s gardening culture in which many people find artistic creativity and sentimentality within their green space.

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Shirley, from York Street in Twickenham, who tends to her continually evolving garden twice a week, felt that gardeners need to understand the unique characteristics of the area’s environment.

She said: “The soil here is very acidic, so camellias and rhododendrons thrive.

“You have to let plants spread.

“Cherry blossoms don’t last more than 30 years, but I have a photo of my little girl at four years old holding ours, so it’s a very sentimental centre piece.”

Peter Morrison, also from York Street, draws inspiration from his travels to Japan, Italy, and South Africa.

He said: “Everything you see I planted, the garden is best in spring as it dries out a lot with climate change, and you have to adapt your plants.

“My bamboo does very well and so do my Acers (Japanese maples); for inspiration I always look to see what grows in everyone else’s garden.

“The soil is key, we are near the Thames so it is mostly clay, and Mediterranean plants grow best in clay.”

Like Shirley, Peter’s garden represents more to him that a creative space.

He said: “My garden is also one of memories.

“I plant flowers in remembrance of loved ones, so I take care of it like I would have done with them.”

Peter keeps an ultrasonic clicker to deter foxes, and assists the ecosystem with bird feeders, also deadwood for insect and slugs, which are food for hedgehogs.

His neighbour Clare Hennessey said: “I got into gardening during the lockdown, Peter really helped and inspired me.

“I enjoyed digging up a lot of plants to create a blank canvas; most tropical plants like palm trees seem to work well here.”

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New gardening trends have emerged in recent years, with more growers highlighting the need to consider biodiversity and ecological concerns while enjoying their hobby.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), concerns are growing nationwide among gardeners regarding climate change, wildlife, and high garden maintenance.

The no-dig method is becoming increasingly popular, so as not to disturb the soil and alternatively utilise organic matter.

More rural gardeners maintain ecosystems via wilding – enabling plants to grow in less controlled conditions; dividing for example hellebores and snowdrops, mulching to prevent evaporation, and assisting the evolution of wildlife such as pollinators, insects, and hedgehogs.

Meanwhile more gardeners in urban areas focus on garden aesthetics and prefer lower maintenance.

For references and further information on how to manage your garden, see:

Featured Image- Cherry blossom centrepiece.

Credit for all images: Ina Pace

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