How to Design a Garden using a Focal point or Borrowed View

hi welcome back to garden ninja today’s
video is all about borrowed views now I’ve got a section in the garden which
has been masked off by this huge huge hedge for many years now I know there’s
a view behind it but I thought it would be a good idea to demonstrate how you
can take a borrowed view of another landscape or a Vista and bring it into
garden now it’s going to be a lot of work and hopefully the transformation is
going to be incredible! First things first I need to remove sections of this
hedge to then start to take in that borrowed view which is going to involve
a chainsaw and some very very careful work from me full of safety gear you get
part of this hedge down now I’ve checked that all the birds are
finished nesting and I’ve got plenty more hedging for them to go and habitat if they need be so don’t worry about the environmental impacts as loads
with the plants going in to help wildlife but come on let’s get cracking! I’ve just finished taking down the hedge it’s
taken about a day it’s been a right nightmare but all the materials are
going to be recycled I’m gonna use the wood for firewood and I’ve left all the
vegetation on the top of the exploding atom garden so are any wildlife to
escape and go and habitat or in other parts of hedges but now it’s time to fit
the big design feature which is a moon gate! So I’m gonna be using a moon gate that
you’ll often see in traditional Chinese garden design ow a Moon Gate is a
circular structure that is gonna pull your view through that moon gates and out
into the borrowed view so it’s taking the big Vista behind me pulling it in to
the smaller garden giving that illusion of depth in space but without
getting completely lost in the Vista so I hope that makes sense
and as you see me put the moon gate and start to plant up you’ll see how it all
comes together so need to get a wiggle on because I’ve got plenty to do! Now there was a shed here before and a
a load of overgrown shrubs I’ve cleared it all out I’ve just could with
this fence here but it’s in a bit of a worse for wear state so I need to
replace it it’s had a look around and usually I prefer to fix things and
maintain them but in this instance knots about 20 years old
I think we’re better off replacing it so I’ve got two new fence panels I’m gonna
pop some posts to fix the fence panels to it and that will give me a really
clean foil or backdrop for the rest the planting now I don’t want the fence to
stand out I want it to blend in so that’s the whole purpose of this garden
is that your eyes drawn through the moon gate and around surrounding plants so the
fence panels on our way and they look much better than the old ones
like I said before I’ve chosen these purely for function I could have gone
for more aesthetic decorative fence panels but what I don’t want to do is to
take your attention away from the moon gate and the planting on to the fence
problem so this is purely functional only designing a garden you always
happen to balance function versus aesthetic if you’re gonna choose
something that’s aesthetically beautiful it’s probably going to be a focal point
that draws your eye you can’t have your eye drawn to everything so you have to
make the balance between function and beauty in this case planting in the moon
gate of a beauty and unfortunately this fence panel is just functional so I’ve
assembled the moon gate it’s ready here and I’ve concrete it in the post that
it’s gonna get secured to but I can’t lift this one on my own I’m gonna have
to ask for some help someone else help me hit stop and then screw it into those
posts! I’ve got some really exciting specimens
behind me and all of these are going to be planted
off around the moon date so it’s a relatively formal structure we’ve got
the rectangular bed we’ve got the hedge that have renovated fence panel and then
the circular form of the moon gate and what what to do sees a lot of soft the
beige is planting amongst some evergreen shrubs to give it a really light touch
I’m going to be using evergreen shrubs such as Virbunum and Spirea and I
call these car park shrubs and people often overlook them because they think oh it’s
just a viburnum I’m going to show you how you can use them to maximum effect
and you probably won’t even recognize them when I’m done the purpose of this
is to make an area that feels really calm textured and relaxing and neither’s
evergreen shrubs to give it the weight to support that heavy structure of the
moon gate and I don’t mean support the weight physically I mean to balance it
so without the evergreen structure I’m just going for all these soft herbaceous
plants such as the Carex, Geraniums the Heleniums and Rudbeckia it’ll feel a
little bit too light and need something meaty to flank that moon gates are
kind of pull it into the garden so it’s got a real purpose but all will become
clear as I start to plant up next so now it’s the really fun part which is to
take all of the plants from the design and start to lay them out! If you’ve
watched my other videos you know that I always lay them out first
take a step back have a look see how they work because whilst you may plan it
out paper and it looks brilliant the real key see how it looks in real
life so I always lay them out stand back maybe have a cup of coffee make some
adjustments before I commit them to the ground this is a fun bit so come on
let’s plant them out! So here we have it finished moon gates
and took down that really overgrown hedge i have transformed this area into
a real focal point i’ve used a pallet of really soft herbaceous perennials that
will give interest throughout the year and it punctuated it with some evergreen
shots to give structure throughout the winter months the base the moon gate
we’ve got things like the Viburnum Spirea but over time will mould the way
around for joins and make it look at the moon gate is sitting within the plants so have a look down here now this is
Sedum matting and you usually find this on green leaves but I’m using it here
because the gate next to dispense opens out and swings across a part of this
broader if I plant up things like Ferns and geraniums and herbaceous stuff
they’re just going to get battered so it’s a really good idea to work out
what’s gonna happen around the space so I know this is going to be a heavy
traffic area with the gate opening and closing for like the week from Sedums
perfect it’s not going to grow very tall but it will mat out cover this area and
because it’s a succulent and you’ve also got these tiny flowers it’s great for
wildlife food spring summer and winter it’s a really good choice for an area
such as this so what I’ve done is chosen a mix of herbaceous perennials with
different flowering windows and what I mean by that is that they will flower at
different times thought yeah and it’s a really good trick if you’re new to
gardening because it extends the season of interest it means that you got
something to look at every month throughout the summer hopefully through
to the winter as well so you’ve got things like the Verbena bonariensis with
the purple flowers that will give like a haze throughout summer really tall
you’ve got Luzula a forest grass that will give you that spring
early interest we’ve got the Sedum it gives you year-round interest with the
other green matting you’ve got things like Spirea we’ve got Shield Ferns in
the shadier areas we’ve also got Heleniums that I’ve grown without plastic
earlier this year for the exploding atom garden Cape Fuchsia we’ve got an
Kniphofia there which will give a yellow spike in the middle of summer
we’ve got a whole mix of things and if you want to know more about them check
on my blog because I’ll have all the detail of all these plants and the
aspects that they’re good for. Now it may seem vicious what I’ve done with this
hedge I’ve taken it back really hard and if you want to know how to do that I’ve
got a guide the ultimate guide on how to trim hedges I’ll show you how to do that
carefully but already you can start to see some of the new growth bursting
through and they only cut that back about two weeks ago what will happen
over time is Hawthorn and the privet hedge that are renovated will start to
push out again and it will act as well as a screen and also like a low wall
against the moon gate which will then draw your eye even
ever through the moon gate chain so what I’m doing with the moon gate is drawing
your view. Without it you’d still have a beautiful backdrop it could feel
overwhelming so the moon gate is helping to focus that view give you a purpose
that’s a really key garden design feature. Now you could use any structure to call
your doing this is a really nice example because it frames that view and I’ve
also mirrored that shape of the moon gate and some of the fronting with the
daisy-like flowers from the circular shape of thing it’s all about slowing
down the interest so you’ve got the view and the focus here and then all the
panting was slowly around if you just have the view without any of this it’s a
bit of a one-shot one-hit wonder bang there it is now another top tip I’m
going to give you now is about giving yourself sneak peeks in your garden and
if your garden transitions from one area to the next why not give a sneak peek
so here behind me I’ve removed part of the hedge that separated the other lawn
from this part of the garden so when you come in from the house you get a sneak
peek of the garden here in the moon gate and when you’ve at the moon gate you get
a sneak peek of the other areas of the garden and it’s a really clever way
inviting someone to start a journey throughout the garden if and I’ve left
the hedges here whilst this would have looked beautiful I wouldn’t get the
benefit of the sneak peek from the garden over there or from here into the
rest of the garden so think about your journeys and the view points throughout
your garden and how you can give sneak peeks to other areas. Now I’m not saying that everyone’s gonna
have an amazing Vista that you can borrow such as this one here what I am
showing you is that even the small garden whether you’ve got a borrowed view or
just a focal point you can really make sure your garden packs a punch even in
the small space by using extended seasons of interest with you planting
the focal point and making sure that you repeat the style or the pattern or the
shape you can make a small garden feel really immersive for the detail vibrant
and exciting to be in if you buy this video why not subscribe to my youtube
channel but there were loads more garden design hints tips and hacks whether
you’ve got a tiny postage stamp garden or a couple of acres I’ve got top tips
how to make the most out of your garden Happy gardening!

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