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07 Dec 2021

KILDARE GARDENING COLUMN: Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary

In the garden with Jo

KILDARE GARDENING COLUMN: Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary

The Yeo Valley Organic Garden, Gold Medal Winner and People's Choice show garden at Chelsea

This week I wanted to do something a little different and handed the reins over to one of our resident designers to give you a little insight into what she does and how she goes about it; and her favourite styles and what trends she sees for the year ahead.

Kathryn Payne is one our design leads here at Caragh Nurseries and works wonders in gardens. Her qualification is in design with a diploma in spatial design, and she has been creating stunning gardens for lots of our clients.

I asked her what she had chosen garden and landscape design as a career, and this is what she told me:

“Garden design for me is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. It’s bringing the twinkle in the eye, achieving interest and balance visually but also about the experience of the space. A good garden should draw you in and have layers of interest in its planting style, but also in its material choices and functionality. There is no sense in having a garden that isn't liveable. A garden should enhance the lifestyle of those that are fortunate enough to create and occupy it for a lifetime or an afternoon”

In looking at her design style, it is clear that Kathryn has a very keen interest in sustainable design but she has also picked out the following as being key components to her designs ;

Pollinator Meadows : 'With our beautiful greenhouses of perennial pollinators and grasses handled in planting schemes to create a balance of nature and style'.

Water Features: 'Garden design to create a sense of calm and beauty, integrating multiple sensory elements from sight to sound and smell'.

Honesty to Materials: 'Layering of textures and colour to achieve a rich tapestry across the whole of the garden space from planting beds to terraces and furniture details'.

Pocket Forests: 'We've all heard of the Japanese prescription for 'Forest Bathing' (spending time in woodlands); but what if we could bring it into our every day, unlimited by scale or size of space'.

Jewel Tones: 'The luxury of deep tones isn't limited to interior trends, richly coloured herbaceous borders add depth of interest and marry so well to modern but basic materials: think corten steel, charred wood and copper elements'.

Kathryn has been paying particular attention to this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the interesting textures and colours that the different time of year brings to the palette. She has been particularly interested in adding the prairie and woodland style of planting into contemporary spaces, adding a wonderful decadent twist on the paired back designs that we’ve seen in more recent years.

She is interested in the adding of texture and tone into areas of the garden whilst keeping a keen eye on how the garden works for the occupants and also how the garden works sustainably for now and the future. She was particularly interested in the RHS COP26 garden, inspired by the UK’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference which shows the potential of our gardens and outdoor spaces to play an integral part in protecting our planet and our future generations.

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