Our year-round interest is enhanced by focal points of oriental ornaments and dark wooden structures.
Gritty sand and repeated compost and pine bark mulches over several years have dramatically improved the soil.
Work to maintain our garden is spread across the year. With over 3,000 plants, including 450 azaleas, 120 acers, 100 camellias and several conifers and trees over 25 years old, we have found that careful, timely pruning is the main skill needed to keep our plants and garden looking pleasing from one year to the next. Fortunately, many of the plants we have chosen are very amenable to pruning. Conifers are kept to a height that can be reached without ladders. Many acers are pruned in the winter and the new growing tips are pinched out in the spring.
We prune to maintain size, shape, form and to keep plants healthy and in proportion with one another. We have found that the life of many our plants has been extended by pruning since it prevents, or delays, the onset of overcrowding that would need the removal of some of the plants. In 2011, during a Gardeners’ Question Time feature from our garden, panellist Ann Swithenbank declared that she was going to re-evaluate her own pruning methods since Tony and Marie’s plants were so healthy!