Creating a private oasis

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Although its nice to see your neighbours when you are in the garden, it is also equally nice to have some sense of escapism. Look at your garden and pick out a space that you could use for quiet times, reading or just sitting enjoying the space around you.

A screen is usually the first thing to think of and a trellis screen is easily erected where large planting can take time to establish. Alternatively living screens are becoming more popular and can be moved around your garden as you require. Pre planted, these are ideal as they can be as small or large as you want. Topiary in large pots are effective and over time will grow into remarkable and bespoke pieces. For a more solid and small place to be private, use an arbour piled with cushions and put your feet up.

For those of you who are more creative a willow screen may be the answer. Slimmer than a hedge but just as easy to create they are ideal for privacy giving a sense of boundary and merging with the natural landscape.

Although its nice to see your neighbours when you are in the garden, it is also equally nice to have some sense of escapism.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

The best time to start this type of project is in the winter when willow is dormant. Willow cuttings are harvested in winter and are only available at this time. Although they start off at approx 10-12 inches long in one season you should have a suitable length for weaving.

It is essential to keep the area weed free and to ensure that the cuttings are well watered after planting. Do not plant them near to buildings or drainage pipes as the roots are invasive. Remove and replace any dead cuttings as required and leave them to grow for the first year when they will be well established. The trimmings from each cut can be used for more structures or alternatively they can be chipped for mulch or used as fuel. Although this is not an immediate ‘quick fix' the end result can be stunning and unique to you as the finished screen will be exactly as you have woven it.

More permanent and bespoke ideas for creating screens can be a real focal point in the garden, ask a Bradstone Assured landscaper to build a construction block wall to your desired height within planning regulations locally and 'tile' it with porcelain paving or natural stone product for a real sense of the bespoke to you

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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