Slug & snail explosion: How to protect your garden from slugs and snails?

Slug & snail explosion: How to protect your garden from slugs and snails?

The slug population has exploded this year, along with other pests in the garden. This has been mainly due to the hot and dry, then wet and humid weather. But also, with the warm winter we had last year, many of these gastropods didn’t hibernate and continued to munch on plants and breed throughout the year.

Another pest many gardeners have experienced more of this year is pigeons; they have stripped red and black currants completely of their berries and have been eating plants that no other pests would touch, such as Astrantia.

Having spoken to some garden plant experts and suppliers, there is a consensus that this has been the worst year yet for slugs and snails. Many point the finger to climate change and believe the weather patterns we’re experiencing will become the new normal and, if this is right, then now is the time to act!

What damage do they do?

Slugs and snails not only strip the ornamental plants from leaves, they also munch on veg crops and can completely destroy them, devouring seedlings as soon as they emerge. They climb up plants and shrubs, eating fruit berries and flower buds. But, let’s not forget the yucky slimy traces they leave behind!

Lush Hosta leaves completely munched to their stems. 

Snails love all sorts of green leaves, like these Hollyhocks

What can you do to reduce the numbers of slugs and snails in the garden?

Like many creatures, gastropods play their part in our eco-system. They provide food for all sorts of mammals, earthworms, insects and birds. If we remove them, we can do a lot of harm to nature, so it’s best to try to live in harmony with them.

Work with nature to reduce numbers
We would advise against using slug pellets (these can kill hedgehogs and other creatures!). Instead, try to find a more friendly way of cutting the numbers down. Such as:

Install a pond and introduce frogs to your garden
This option will allow nature to take care of itself. Okay, the frogs will eat some of the snails and slugs, which isn’t so friendly for them, but many will move on too and hopefully not come to any harm.

Welcome birds or get some chickens
Birds are great predators for slugs, so welcoming them into your garden will help to keep numbers down. You could take it a step further and get some chickens too, who will happily take care of them for you and you might even get some eggs too!

Introduce hedgehogs
This can be done by welcoming hedgehogs into your garden. Leaving food for them (not milk) and check your garden is hedge-hog friendly by covering drains and holes, checking for them before strimming and removing sports or fruit netting. Read more about these friendly creatures here.

Install garden chuckies
If there’s hot-spots in your garden that are attractive to gastropods, then installing chuckies around planting beds and veg areas will help to dissuade them, as they hate crawling on sharp stones.

Use a greenhouse
Slugs and snails love salad leaves and many vegetable leaves. Installing a greenhouse may help to protect your greens, though this may not be the best environment for some vegetables and plants.

Snails on a Hosta plant

 

Not only will these solutions help reduce numbers of pests and save your greens, but it will also be more wildlife-friendly too – you can sleep easy knowing that you are doing your bit for the environment.

For help on building a garden to combat slugs and snails in a friendly way, get in touch with Papillon.

Can you plant shrubs and flowers under trees?

Can you plant shrubs and flowers under trees?

Yes, you can plant shrubs and flowers under trees, but there are a few caveats and considerations to make. First of all, planting under trees is probably the hardest place to grow plants in your garden. Not only do trees leave no root space, but their leaves reduce light and they are thirsty, leaving little water for other organisms. They also tend to change the soil pH, taking away essential nutrients for other plants. All of these aspects make it difficult to grow plants under them and many, quite simply, won’t make it.

What can you do to make plants survive under trees?

Consider the following…

What type of trees are you planting under?
Large evergreen conifer trees offer the worst conditions to plant under! You will find they will have large shaded areas around them and the soil will be powder dry 12 months of the year. Your plants will need to be drought tolerant. Deciduous small trees with open canopies, such as Rowans (Sorbus) or most fruit trees, will be a smaller obstacle to overcome in all ways.

The age of the tree(s)
More established trees will also change what options you have available to you. Newly planted trees can be underplanted with shrubs that will establish without issue. By the time a tree gets greedy with resources your shrubs will have their roots down deep enough to get what they need.

The aspect of the area
Don’t overlook which side of the tree you’re looking to underplant. Only planting areas to the north side of a tree will be in full shade. The south side of a tree will be in full sun and so that completely changes the list of plants you can use. The west/east sides of a tree will be in part shade, with the areas only being shaded by the canopy of a tree for part of the day.

Money and time available
To successfully plant under large established trees, you will need quite a bit of free time and money. The larger the area, the greater the resources you’ll need to put into making the project a success. Often it can be cheaper to remove the tree altogether and instead install screening and/ or replace the trees with young less greedy species.

Other low cost and low maintenance options to consider: Make a barked seating area underneath your tree or even create a wildlife sanctuary where you can let nature take over by not removing weeds.

The Soil
Most planting areas under established trees will be acidic due to rotting leaf-fall. Soil under conifer trees may be dangerously acidic and severely limit plants you can grow. It’s always a good idea to do a soil test and even lime the soil if needed to bring the pH up to 6-7.
A clay soil is usually the wettest; under a tree it can become compacted and solid, not letting water through the top crust however this also means nutrients will be held onto better. Sandy soils will be easier to water but you will struggle to get nutrients to your plants. Beech and yew trees famously add toxins into the soil to discourage other plants. If these are the established trees you’re planting under, you will struggle.

Wind & Pests
With all new planting it’s important to consider damage from rabbits, hares, cats and wind. If these are not a problem where you live then you don’t need to worry. If in doubt either choose wind/ animal resistant plants or protect your new planting area with fencing.

Top Tips

For more top tips for growing plants around trees see our last blog: Top tips for growing plants around trees.

Choosing the right plants
Choosing the right plants will play a massive role in their survival. Each plant must be suitable for the situation around it.

To help with plant selection under trees, we’ve put together a list of plants that can be used in different situations:

Drought tolerant plants for part-full shade (for under evergreen trees):
- Viburnum tinus
- Viburnum x bodnantense
- Euonymus japonicus
- Sedum spectabile
- Pulmonaria officinalis
- Begenia cordifolia
- Eranthis hyemalis
- Narcissus (any)
- Cotoneaster (any)
- Berberis darwinii
- Choisya ternata
- Mohonia x media (don’t use in high winds)
- Populus deltoides ‘purple tower’
- Lamium maculatum
- Alchemilla mollis
- Galanthus (any)
- Hedera (any)
- Ilex (any)
- Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae
- Dryopteris wallichiana
- Matteuccia struthiopteris
- Cornus alba
- Cornus kousa
- Cornus mas
- Parrotia persica
- Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Atropurpureum’
- Sorbus hupehensis
- Buddleia (any)

 

Dry shade / part shade plants (for raised beds or under small deciduous trees):
- Everything in the list above
- Hosta (any)
- Rhododendron (any)
- Hakonechloa macra
- Anemone japonica
- Anemone blanda
- Astilbe (any)
- Leucanthemum (any)
- Thalictrum (any)
- Astrantia (any)
- Origanum (any)
- Acer Palmatum
- Acer campestre
- Carpinus betulus
- Liriope muscari
- Brunnera macrophylla
- Most ferns
- Symphyotrichum cordifolium
- Skimmia japonica
- Viburnum davidii
- Meconopsis (any)
- Berberis (any)
- Ophiopogon japonicus
- Acuba japonica (don’t use in high winds)
- Fatsia japonica (don’t use in high winds)
- Persicaria bistorta
- Phormium tenax (plain green variety)
- Filipendula (any)

 

Drought tolerant plants for full sun
(on the south side of a tree):

- Populus purple tower
- Santolina chamaecyparissus
- Kniphofia uvaria
- Stachys byzantina
- Nepeta (any)
- Jasminum nudiflorum
- Cupressus macrocarpa
- Sedum spectabile
- Cupressus sempervirens
- Perovskia atriplicifolia
- Rosmarinus officinalis
- Euphorbia characias
- Origanum vulgare
- Stipa tenuissima
- Helichrysum italicum
- Lavandula (any)
- Thuja orientalis
- Cupressocyparis leylandii
- Artemisia (any)
- Cytisus
- Euonymus (any)
- Phormium tenax
- Salvia (any)
- Phlomis (any)
- Ceanothus (any)
- Senecio viravira
- Thymus (any)
- Achillea filipendulina
- Cistus (any)
- Salvia officinalis
- Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine'
- Caryopteris x clandonensis
- Iberis sempervirens
- Rosmarinus officinalis
- Festuca glauca
- Elymus magellanicus
- Buddleia (any)
- Acer Rubrum
- Quercus ilex

For more information on planting design and garden design, contact Papillon directly. We have our in-house plant experts who can advise.

Top tips for growing plants around trees

Top tips for growing plants around trees

Planting around trees can be tricky in a garden.  There are many considerations to make, such as the age of the tree, the type and its aspect in your garden.  We have a few tips that will help your green friends survive under and around thirsty trees:

 

Raised beds

A trick Papillon uses in areas where there are trees is to raise the soil level up 300mm+.  This gives you virgin soil to use, which is outside of the tree’s root system. It’s important not to bury the trunk of the tree with soil, so consider using a partition round the trunk to prevent this. Over time, the roots of the tree can work their way into the raised bed but by that time your plants should be established. Raising the soil level up will also bring plants out of harm’s way from soil toxins.

 

Using a mulch & compost 

You should always plant with lots of compost and a high phosphorus feed when planting under trees! Without this, new plants under established trees will struggle. This will give extra help to the plant in an already difficult situation. A thick (25mm-40mm) mulch of bark, compost, manure or bark will reduce water loss, weed competition and add fertility to a new planted area too.

 

Automatic watering

Under large established conifer trees, such as pines or leylandii, you’ll need to water new planting up to 10x more than in a normal new planting conditions. You can set up irrigation to come on automatically every day of the growing season (April-November) for the first couple of years of establishment to make sure your plants are getting the water they need.

 

Choose the right plants

Plants that you choose must be suitable for each situation; there are plants that are drought tolerant and good for partly or fully shaded areas and others that are more suitable for full sunlight. We’ve put together a list of plants to use in different conditions, which will follow in our next blog, Can you plant shrubs and flowers under trees?.

 

For more information on garden design and garden styling please contact us directly.

APL Bronze Award 2019 Papillon Designs & Landscaping

 

Ballater garden recognised at national APL Awards in London

Summer house in Ballater garden | Papillon Designs & Landscaping

Ballater garden recognised at national APL Awards in London

A garden in Ballater, designed by Papillon, has been recognised in this year’s APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) Awards, in the category Overall Design & Build. Garden Designer, Angelique Robb of Papillon Designs & Landscaping, was awarded a Bronze prize for her work on the garden, which was redesigned and rebuilt following the town’s bad floods in 2016.

Recognition came in light of Papillon’s efforts to design a garden, that not only is visually appealing, but also one that is weatherproof.  This was by building a rain garden and adding soil retention in vulnerable areas.  A unique larch-cladded artist’s studio was also built using stilts to allow rainwater to flow beneath it and drain away.  The garden blends into its surrounding environment easily with the use of local natural stone and native plants.

 

Rain Garden Solution

Angelique comments: “Technically, this garden took quite a bit of thought to design.  With an adjacent nature reserve and a slope running towards the property, we had to come up with a solution to drain and absorb rainwater.  Building a rain garden was the best solution, but adding a studio was always going to be tricky, as it could potentially block the natural flow of water and encourage flooding.  So, after researching a few different options, we came up with the idea of building the studio on stilts and we’re pleased to say that it works perfectly! We feel very proud to be recognised by The APL in these prestigious awards.”

The garden was designed and constructed by Aberdeen-based Papillon and is one of 32 projects the firm completed in 2017-2018.  Papillon is an award-winning garden design company that specialises in designing and constructing gardens throughout the North-east of Scotland.  This is the second year running that the firm has been awarded a prize at the APL Awards.

 

APL

The APL Award were held on 15th March 2019 at The Brewery, London.  The awards, which are UK-wide, help celebrate and recognise outstanding landscaping work carried out by the association’s members.  To find out more about The APL visit www.landscaper.org.uk.

For more information on garden design, please contact us directly.

APL Bronze Award 2019 Papillon Designs & Landscaping

 

Rain garden in Ballater | Papillon Designs & Landscaping

WIN Tickets to this year’s Ideal Home Show

Win tickets to Ideal Home Show

Papillon to launch Garden Parties at Aberdeen Garden & Outdoors

WIN Tickets to this year’s Ideal Home Show

Papillon is giving away two sets of 2 tickets to this year’s Ideal Home Show in Glasgow, being held on 31 May- 3 June 2018. For your chance to win and to enter visit our Facebook page.

All you have to do is:
1) Like our page
2) Like the competition post
3) Comment on the post.
Competition closes on Wednesday 23rd May 2018. Two winners will be drawn at random and announced thereafter.

Enter here:

Terms & Conditions for Papillon’s Facebook competition (run from 10th May – 26th May 2018) to win 2 x 2 tickets to the Scottish Home Show:

1. The promoter is: Papillon. Company name: Papillon Designs & Landscaping Ltd (company no. SC376012) whose registered office is at Skye Steadings, Kingswells, Aberdeen, AB15 8RN.
2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of Papillon Designs & Landscaping Ltd and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or the competition.
3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PapillonLandscaping
6. Only one entry will be accepted per person.
7. Closing date for entry is Wednesday 23rd May 2018. After this date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:
Entries must like and comment on the competition post to enter. The winning entrants must be following Papillon Landscaping on Facebook to enter.
9. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
10. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
11. The prize is as follows:
2 x 2 tickets for The Ideal Home Show 2018, being held from 31st May 2018 – 2nd June 2018 in Glasgow at the SEC. The tickets will be valid for one day only from 31st May 2018 – 2nd June 2018. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
12. Winners will be chosen at random from all entries received and verified by the Promoter.
13. The winners will be announced on Facebook, within 48 hours of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
14. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
15. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
16. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
17. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by Scottish law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Scotland.
18. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
19. The winner’s name will be available for 28 days after the closing date by emailing the following address: info@papillonlandscape.co.uk
20. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
21. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Facebook and Papillon and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found here.

Papillon Launches Garden Parties

Garden parties by Papillon

Papillon to launch Garden Parties at Aberdeen Garden & Outdoors

Papillon is to launch a range of Garden Parties for all at Aberdeen Gardens & Outdoors, which is taking place on 7th April 2018 at Crathes Castle, near Banchory.  As well as launching our Garden Party tutorials, we will be carrying out two live demonstrations at the inaugural event on Hanging Baskets and Maintaining Your Garden - Chemical-free.  We'll have a stall there too and will be selling kits for hanging baskets as well as succulent (plant) chocolate boxes!

 

Garden Parties

Our Garden Parties will offer a range of different garden-themed topics for groups of 5 or more or as private tutorials. Plant Expert, Aarron Long of Papillon, is heading up the project, which will include the following tutorials:

  • Organic Veg Growing
  • Creating Displays and Containers
  • Plant Nursery Basics
  • Beds and Border Design Basics
  • Winter Interest Planting
  • Specimen Planting

The parties are aimed at those with an interest in gardening, who are keen to learn more. 

For more information, please contact us directly. 

Spring preparations to take your garden into Summer

Spring garden blog

What to do in your garden this Spring to prepare for Summer

Papillon Garden Designer, Zuzana Habsudova, talks through Spring tasks that you can start now to prepare your garden for the summer ahead...she talks plants, pots, colours, paint and wildlife in our latest blog:

When the bright whites, blues and yellows start poking through the 50 shades of grey in our gardens, one can feel the heart jump. This cheery moment in spring kicks our brain and we start dreaming of our outdoor spaces transformed into picture perfect.

This is the exciting time for reshuffling the planting borders and refreshing colours on our fences, sheds and furniture. But this is also the time of dreaded chores, as weeds start pushing through, and patios await cleaning and sheds clearing.

If we have no budget for ripping the garden out and starting afresh, we have to make it work within the resources we have. And if Carol Klein or Alan Titchmarch are not our relatives, we just have to stick to our talent and handiness.

Think colour

So, it is the bright hues that seem to uplift our mood, right? Well, let’s start with adding colours to our gardens then. There should be no worries of getting it wrong; it can always be repainted next year.

Think of how interior designers work with choosing a colour for wall and floor and then they match chairs and tables to it. How they use cushions and indoor pots to highlight or contrast with the walls. In the garden we have fences and sheds, offset with planting and furniture.

Blue chair

Use colourful plants in your gloomiest corners

Any enthusiastic gardener is eager to get into the soil right after winter, because they know a good preparation is the key before any planting can take place. But what if you lack just that tiny bit of excitement to start with weeding, digging, feeding and scrubbing?

Let’s rethink the traditional spring clean. Don’t kill that keenness the spring bulbs sparkled in you. Go to a garden centre and pick a few flowers that smile at you. Plant them in your gloomiest corners, or pots. Start enjoying them, as you do, weed around.

Then weed a bit further. Clean that dead foliage left them from winter and prune that overgrown shrub in the way. Split that over-sized perennial and plant its offspring in a pot. If desired, enlarge the borders. Buy that Scottish-proof plant you’ve just admired in the magazine and mix fruit shrubs into ornamental borders. Scatter annual seeds to fill any gaps before plants start touching each other.

Colourful flowers

Paint colour

Now repair that broken fence and give it a new coat. The darker it is, the grander the plants in front of it will appear. And don’t just go for dark brown or grey. Try aubergine, olive, or navy blue. Paint trellises, frames and stick them amongst planting. Fix mirrors on the walls to ricochet the effect.

Then sit down and ponder over the colours of your furniture, while someone comes to clean your paving.

If you like the neutral, rustic looking furniture, add colour with outdoor cushions and carpets that can be left out all summer long. Flowerpots can help to bolt the carpets down, adding waterfalls of spilling greenery.

Purple chair

Combine Colour

With bold colours on your boundaries, shed and furniture, any green tones of planting will work their miracles. Just think of painting your trellis purple and planting lime-green climber (hops) on it. Or behind that forestry of green that you have, paint your wall burgundy colour. Then add reddish-purple blooms to the first image and orange-red spikes to the second.

 

As soil gets warmer, keep adding colour with annual herbs, fruit or veg, so that the taste buds gets satisfied too! The yellow-orange flowers of marigolds and nasturtiums, as well as the blue-stars of borage are not only edible, but also help protect your veg from pests and diseases.

Mix Veg and Fruit with Ornamental Flowers

By mixing your veg and fruit with ornamental flowers you are creating an ornamental kitchen garden that the French call potager. But the flowers can also be the ones produced by your veg. It’s usually the garlic chives that we think of when talking about flowering veg, but remember the white umbels of carrots and yellow/white blooms on brassicas when you forgot to harvest on time?

 

And there’s so much colour in the ordinary veg! Look at the yellow and red stems of chards or green and purple bulbs of kohlerabi. There’s purple kale leaves and lime-green seashell-looking romanesco. Just imagine these poking out through creeping purples and whites of thyme and camomile.

Colourful planters

Encase colour

Trailing and running plants are also ideal for pots. Fill them with dwarf runner beans and trailing strawberries to admire the cascading flowers and later taste their produce. Stick a standard rose for fragrance or red currant for nibbling in the middle of these pots.

Pots again can be unified in colour and work as features in your garden, or they can be muted and let the plants steal the show. In that case you might think of evergreen grasses, which keep their bold hues throughout the year and their colours range from intense blue through chocolaty orange to golden green.

 

Protect wildlife with colour

The more cheery and ecological your garden, the more it attracts wildlife. The bees will happily work on your flowers, leaving you to enjoy your cake in peace. Predators, like birds, will munch on your slimy pests that will not get the chance to taste your cabbages and hostas.

The paint will seal cracks in wooden fences and trellises and preserve them for longer. Re-painted furniture will feel like new and so will the pots and raised beds. You will learn the beauty of up-cycling and you’ll have more time for your garden.

But this doesn’t mean more work in it. Pretty much the opposite. By letting the flower colour creep into your neglected bowling green means you’ve cut down on mowing and feeding. By mixing veg with flowers you let them take care of each other. The wilder you let the colours mingle, the less maintenance there surprisingly is.

 

Colour in all seasons

And when the summer’s planting season is over, the colours will remain in the fences and furniture. The dying, bronzy foliage will contrast with the vibrant walls and pots and we will be excited for the next spring to come!

For more information on garden design and how to protect your garden, please contact Papillon directly.

Happy gardening!

Papillon picks up two Gold Awards at APL Awards

Osborne Place
APL Gold Awards
Kitchen garden Ellon

Papillon picks up two Gold Awards at national APL Awards

Papillon has been awarded two gold Awards at the APL Awards 2018.  The awards were received in two categories for garden design and construction work the firm completed on two North-east gardens in Ellon and Aberdeen.

One of the Gold commendations was received for a town garden project at Osborne Place, Aberdeen under the of Projects valued between £35,000-£65,000 and the other was for an outside kitchen project in Ellon, under the Hard Landscaping category.

Angelique Robb, Director at Papillon, comments: “Although we didn’t win these categories outright, we are thrilled to have received two Gold Awards. The awards are highly regarded in the industry and it is a great boost for the whole team. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to design and construct these gardens. We put a lot of thought and research into our work, so it’s always rewarding to see them come to life. These particular gardens involved intricate design and careful planning to ensure the gardens work for the owners and within the landscape surrounding them too. We feel very proud.”

The UK-wide awards help celebrate and recognise outstanding landscaping work carried out by the Association of Professional Landscapers' members.  This year's ceremony was held at The Brewery, London on Friday 16th March 2018.  The Awards were sponsored by Bradstone. 

What to do with a sloping garden

Sloping garden blog

What to do with a sloping garden...

After years of designing, constructing and excavating sloping gardens, we can conclude that slopes present their own special challenges.  But don’t fret if your garden has a slope; with smart design and good construction these challenges can be overcome.   Here, we talk about how to embrace a sloping garden and make the most from it. 

The benefits of a sloping garden

A natural contour in a garden provides visual interest. This can be exploited by working with the ground’s slope to create distinct areas within the garden. It can, for example, allow for a raised decking area for relaxing and dining, overlooking a lower lawn area where kids can enjoy playing games.

Also, a slope can offer natural vantage points within garden, of both the garden and beyond, and these spots can make perfect sitting areas. 

Where a garden is sloping up from the house, you can show off attractive features within the garden which can be viewed from inside the house. Conversely, where a garden is sloping away from the house, less attractive features, can be hidden out of sight.

Water features are particularly effective in sloping gardens, where the natural gradient provides the chance to create meandering streams, pools and waterfalls. Not only do water features add beauty, they can also help with drainage, an important consideration in designing a sloping garden. 

Steps and bedding
Sloping garden
Sloping garden example

Designing a sloping garden

Start by thinking about what you want from your garden. For instance; a decking or patio area for relaxing and entertaining? A lawn where your kids can enjoy playing games? Or maybe an area to grow vegetables or cut flowers?

Once you know the features you’d like, it is then a case of figuring out how best to use the space to accommodate them. And with sloping gardens smart use of space is key.

It is also important to think about how your garden will be viewed. As mentioned above, depending on the slope, you’ll have the chance to either show off or hide away features, so consider carefully what you want to see, and what you don’t want to see, when looking out on your garden.

 

Naturally sloping dry river bed

 

Important considerations when building a sloping garden

Constructing a sloping garden can be tricky, especially where there is a significant slope. When building levels and terraces within the garden it is important that all retaining walls are soundly constructed. Good drainage is vital, and it is important that weep holes are included in all retaining walls. 

Drops between different levels will be inevitable but aim to minimize them to ensure that your garden is safe. Also, steep steps and paths are potentially hazardous, so think about how best to make your garden accessible and easy for all to move around. One simple solution is to curve steps and paths across a slope to lessen their severity. 

Making sure that your garden is easy to get around will also make maintenance easier. Consider adding ramps between levels, which will be helpful when using a lawn mower and other gardening equipment.

Sloping garden with stone

Soil Erosion & choosing the right plants

Soil erosion is an issue with severe slopes, but this can be tackled by picking suitable plants. Drought-tolerant plants with deep roots are most effective for stabilising steep slopes, so consider ornamental grasses and wildflowers, ground-covering geraniums and a large variety of shrubs and trees.

For good ground cover on slopes, creeping conifers, cotoneaster, lonicera and heathers work well. Ivy and vinca are also commonly used but be aware that they can become invasive.

To help retain moisture, build small horizontal levels into the slope to make watering more effective. In time these small levels will become less visible.

 

Don’t be scared, sloping gardens can be great!

Yes, a sloping garden presents its own unique challenges, but hopefully you can see that with clever design and good construction these challenges can be overcome. In fact, sloping gardens offer up opportunities that you don’t get when working with flat gardens. So, embrace your sloping garden and create something wonderful!

Raised deck and terracing
Sloping garden using stone

For more information on sloping gardens or general garden design, please contact Papillon directly.

How to make a bottle bird feeder

How to make a bottle bird feeder

Looking for something creative to do with the kids this mid-term? 

Why not task them with building a bottle feeder, which is sure to keep not just them happy, but also those colourful garden visitors too.  It's a great way of getting kids outside and getting them involved in nature and it's a fairly inexpensive project for them to do. 
With thanks to Sainsbury's bank blog, we bring you this quick and easy guide on how to do make a bottle bird feeder: 

Bird feeder guide | Papillon garden design

Enjoy mid-term and have fun!