Hardwood fencing and more

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It is always great to work with fine materials, and this week we’ve had the chance to create a beautiful hardwood fence for a Muswell Hill garden. The brief was to screen the neighbour’s new extension adjacent to the patio. I suggested we used horizontal hardwood slats to give a contemporary effect, with sleek horizontal emphasis.

To complement this, we built a 3m long garden planter from hardwood decking boards. The planting was for a sunny south-facing site, so we chose a selection of drought-tolerant plants. The fragrant star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and honeysuckle (Lonicera ‘Hall’s Prolific) will grow up the fencing and give great pleasure during those long summer evenings spent dining in the open.

Adjacent to the patio we replanted a south-facing flower bed with a range of drought-tolerant plants. The backbone of the bed was a mix of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, including Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Abbotsbury Gold’. This is one of my favourites, with its pale grey-green crinkly foliage contrasting with deep purple branches. It can be trimmed, topiary-style, to form a dense hummock or alternatively can be left to grow to its full height of 3 metres. It’s excellent when planted as a hedge.