The New Vintage Garden



The New Vintage garden

I am looking forward to a time when we might once again feel attracted to the idea of the beautiful, graceful old vintage garden with its herbaceous borders, follies, pergolas and vintage style walls and steps.

IMG_4571 (Small)  Wall papers are creeping back into house design; floral upholstery fabrics and curtains are re-appearing,  textures, colour and warmth are making a comeback!  I think we have been toying with this longing for colour and good old fashioned beauty when we have planted up the cottage garden look (with soft small headed wild-ish sort of plants such as aquilegias, astrantias, sanguisorbas and other frothy perennials) but we have to be brave to suggest more substantial plants such as big fat peonies, camellias and roses etc to our clients.

Peony photographed by Caroline Garland

Peony photographed by Caroline Garland

The poor old dahlia, which was hated for years, managed to make a comeback through Sarah Raven’s campaign and it has brought late season colour and robustness into some of our planting, but what is wrong with the other unpopular plants such as fuchsias, geraniums, dianthus, erysimums, delphiniums and lupins in our planting for instance?  And what about climbers and ramblers?   The “vintage” garden has stone statues, pergolas, rock gardens, waterfalls. 

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Awful you might think but all perfectly possible to replicate in a garden in London and can look very good indeed provided they are designed with a contemporary eye.   They do not have to look out of date and unattractive.  Why not combine the new with the vintage – York stone with rendered walls and trailing vintage geraniums – SO back in the day but actually so pretty!    Why not combine vintage style gravel terraces with steel follies and water features. 

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And why not bring back ornate iron pergolas with climbing wisterias?  Let’s bring back a bit of “pretty” and “ornate” into our garden design…

This is just the start.  I am going to concentrate on a movement for bringing vintage back into our garden design and I shall be calling it  NEW VINTAGE! 

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