naturalistic-planting Julie’s own garden is a haven for wildlife and humans alike, and is living proof that small can be beautiful! The L-shaped house in Harrold, North Bedfordshire, enfolds a small garden (around 12m x 12m) which was laid to lawn and overlooked from the street when she arrived 5 years ago.

The first job was to provide privacy, so a Beech hedge was planted along the roadside boundary. This is a great choice for a village or town garden as it grows fast, though it is easily maintained. In winter, the russet leaves cling to the branches giving beauty and cover right through until the new lime-green leaves burst out in April.

In the sunniest corner a square patio provides space for a large table and chairs, and a fabulous Lucy Smith lizard fountain-head spouts water lazily into a pool. Such a cooling sound on a hot day. The garden is criss-crossed by limestone paths which are softened by the naturalistic borders packed full of perennials, grasses and roses. Espalier apples screen the small greenhouse and veggy patch in a very decorative fashion. Even in a tiny space it is possible to produce delicious, organic crops for the kitchen.