A couple of weeks ago, I had the great good fortune to spend a couple of hours with George Carter, a nationally and internationally renowned garden designer, specialising in formal gardens inspired by the simple geometry of the 17th century. His style works equally well with old and new buildings and in large country gardens as well as small urban spaces. He is a prolific author and he has won many RHS Gold Medals at The Chelsea Flower Show.
After a happy afternoon with George in his garden, I came away with a much greater understanding of the benefits of creating subdivision, even within the smallest space. Subdivison makes the plot seem larger, can hide the true extent of a garden and creates a sense of expectation and surprise. Garden ‘rooms’ may be implied rather than physically divided – walls can be suggested by posts, box balls, box edging or simply a change in surface. These different ‘rooms’ can be further emphasized by changes in planting style.
Where hedges are used as outdoor ‘walls’, these become the architecture of the garden and by making portals in the hedge, the garden becomes more architectural space and more spatially interesting. George Carter illustrates this perfectly by inserting a timber frame and door into a hornbeam hedge – simple, dramatic and intriguing.
I recommend that you follow the link to his website: www.georgecartergardens.co.uk