The Garden With No View

Design of the garden with no view effectively copes with two commonly encountered types of site: it is intended for a garden in a town, where there is nothing beyond the boundary to which one would want to draw the attention; and it is wider than it is deep, so the boundary facing the house is relatively close.

In overcoming the latter condition, the prime task of the garden design must be to detract attention from the garden boundary, and one of the best ways will be to introduce a flowing pattern that will lead the eye around the space and create a feeling of movement. The treatment of the boundary itself is important: a fence with small, vertical slats is far less dominant than one with wide slats, for example. Hedging, fronted by a flowing planting scheme, would be a good choice, but avoid planting conifers, as these will inevitably draw the eye.


With such a broad, wide garden shape, it can be a help to divide off one section of it to create a more intimate and sheltered space to sit in. This has been achieved here with a trellis supporting fan-trained fruit bushes.

To compensate for the lack of view, there needs to be plenty of interest within the garden. Here the plants supply most of that interest, but set into an anchoring framework. For example, light-reflecting edging plants outline the curves of the lawn, and a raised planter for annuals and bedding is set beside a semi-circular bed.

If a focal point were to be introduced in the form of a statue or a seat, it would be best to site it to one side, so that it draws the eye diagonally, to increase the apparent size of the garden.

Plenty of shrubs, climbers and plants with colored foliage ensure that the garden with no view will look attractive all year round. It includes a shrub border, ground-cover for shady areas, and a striking collection of bedding plants for seasonal color. Because this garden has no view, the planting must contain plenty of interest, and must hold the eye within the site. It assumes a soil that is light and not very fertile, and slightly acid. The garden is very much a gardener’s garden, including many choice cultivars of plants and interesting pairings of fine shrubs.

A principle feature of the garden with no view is a shrub border facing the house. Here the colors are kept pale and cool to help give the impression of a bigger distance between it and the house than there really is. Blues and whites come from comes from ceanothus, wisteria, lavender and an edging of dianthus; pinks come from lilac and viburnum. Through the latter twines a late-flowering clematis, to extend the season of interest.

Stronger, brighter colors are used near the house. A bed of purple- and grey-leaved plants – a purple sedum, artemisia and rue – forms a permanent focal point in your garden. The raised planter offers the opportunity for a succession of colorful bedding: here, in late spring, wallflowers and polyanthus mix with tulips, but later these could be replaced with summer bedding of fuchsias, pelargoniums and dahlias.


Wallflowers & tulips in front of the house

The tree’s underplanting is green and white, including some variegated plants to add brightness in an otherwise rather shady place. The epimedium and hellebore also have the advantage of glossy, light-reflecting leaves. Adjoining the brick paving is a bed which suits plants for moist, shady places; this is planted with ground-cover, including polygonum, ajuga and lamium.

On the other side of the garden, espalier-trained fruit trees disguise the fence, and a trellis dividing off the vegetable patch is made productive with fan-trained blackberries and loganberries, through which twine annual sweet peas.











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