Client coaching: Helping a client refresh an 8 year old Shades of Green garden

I often keep in touch with clients for a few years after a fully planted garden is handed over and return visits are used to provide advice about garden maintenance and to teach clients new gardening skills/techniques. Due to the severe illness and eventual bereavement of one of my clients, the Japanese-inspired meditation garden I designed in 2011 was left to it’s own devices until March 2019…

At the start of this month I was contacted by the widow with a request for help and guidance to refresh the garden, as she was getting married again and the garden was going to be the backdrop for the ceremony. How could I refuse?! Time was limited so we agreed to work together for an afternoon when I would show her how to prune the plants that needed it and provide advice on other problem areas. This is how it turned out:

Before 1: Fallen leaves and moss were making the gravel and cobbles areas look messy and a number of shrubs needed some remedial pruning

Before 2: The cloud pruned Ilex crenate had been maintained but the Phyllostachys area was overgrown and starting to wander

After 1: Gravel areas were raked to loosen the surface and dislodge weeds and unwanted moss was removed from the stepping stones. A leaf blower was then used to remove the detritus and residual pruning material

After 2: Bamboo canes were thinned and lower leaves and side shoots were removed to reveal the polished pebble ‘stream’.

It only took 1.5 hours of concerted effort to get this small garden looking very much better, and now the client and her new partner have the knowledge and maintenance skills to continue to tidy up the garden and keep it looking good into the future. All in all, a very satisfying afternoon!

You can find photographs of the newly built garden HERE.

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