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5. How to change your garden...height

​Gardens are made up of many different details that we take in when we look at them. Our eyes see colour, texture, shape and form, and height in a garden gives interest and variety. Height attracts the eye and can focus our attention away from ground level which means that we can see beyond the garden. So a distant view, the skyscape etc can all become part of the visual feast that a garden can give you.



By having tall elements, you can accentuate areas of your garden that you want to draw attention to. For example, a tall feature behind a much lower one can help the eye to catch it as the eye is naturally drawn to look up and down when seeing something tall, meaning that whatever is at ground level will be seen. A tree behind a water feature will help catch the eye and bring attention to the water feature too.

Many different aspects create height - from plants and trees, to some of the features mentioned in earlier blogs - structure and focal points.


Trees - they seem an obvious source of height but it's important to remember that trees come in different heights depending on the genus, and even the species. For example Malus 'Snow Cloud' grows to 7 meters, while Malus toringo 'Scarlett' only grows to 2.5 metres. Some trees have a natural habit with a wide spread which makes a large canopy while others are very perpendicular, as any 'fastigiata' species will be. So theoretically there is a tree for even the smallest of gardens - research to find the right one is key. You're also going to be contributing to the environment by planting a tree, and if you have a large garden and have space to plant more than one tree you'll be doing an even big favour - see more info at onetreeplanted.org.


Don't forget that trees still need care once planted. They will need to be watered in the first year while they establish their roots, and they need to be staked correctly when first planted. Once established they still need care, particularly if they need to be maintained for the size of space they have been planted in and any dead, diseased or dying branches need to be removed.



Shrubs - some shrubs can get to very tall heights, but only if that is the characteristic of that genus/species. Again research is essential in finding the correct plant to meet the requirements that you have. Usually with height will come spread with shrubs, so it careful thought of where to plant so that there's space for it to reach its full potential.



Features - these are usually stand alone items in themselves but they can be 'nestled' into planting. A tall sculpture surrounded by soft planting can look extremely effective, while a tall archway on a path will attract attention and draw you into the garden. Our blogs on Structure and Focal Points give additional information. 


If you would like us to personally advise you on adding height to your garden, why not call or contact us 

6. How to change your garden...light
4. How to change your garden...repetition

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