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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

How to create a garden that looks great all year round.

When I'm designing a garden, I always try to ensure that there's something to look at and hold your interest all year round. This is particularly important with the popularity of glass doors looking onto your space every day. You really want to see some colour or greenery to help lift your mood. I try to think of these compact urban gardens as pictures, framed by the doors, with focal points, colour and texture key to creating the visual interest.


E8 Urban Santuary Garden Photography by Ellie Walpole Landscaping by Acacia Gardens

I've photographed my E8 Urban Sanctuary Garden at different times of the year to show the development of the garden over the last year or so and to highlight the importance of planting for all seasons.


This garden was newly planted in July 2021. You can see that there are still a few gaps between the plants, the Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy) is yet to establish on the back wall and the Corten steel screen is in the process of weathering.


E8 Urban Sanctuary - newly planted July 2021

By November, the plants have filled out into their space and the Parthenocissus has covered the brick wall and taken on it's beautiful Autumnal red and bronze tones. I've chosen a high proportion of evergreen plants to ensure that the grasses, climbers, shrubs and colourful Heuchera provide interest even into the Winter months.


E8 Urban Sanctuary November 2021

I think my images from February 2022 show just how much colour there is in this garden, even in the depths of Winter.


Urban Sanctuary - February 2022


Returning for professional photographs in May 2022 the planting is at it's colourful best, creating a vibrant and inviting picture that you want to enter.


E8 Urban Sanctuary - May 2022 Photography by Ellie Walpole

By November 2022 the garden has taken on more muted colours but there is still plenty of visual interest from the colourful Parthenocissus, the striking white bark of the Betula (Silver Birch) or the curved edge mirror on the back wall which creates the illusion of space. The planting has really withstood the drought conditions of the Summer which is fantastic.



My next visit is due in May. I planted some Spring bulbs last Autumn so I'm really looking forward to seeing these and how the rest of the planting has matured.


Thank you to the beautiful landscaping from Acacia Gardens and the fantastic photos from Ellie Walpole.







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