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Prettiest Pavements

Prettiest Pavements

Planting up a beautiful pavement garden is usually the last item on a gardener's agenda, yet such a garden can set the whole tone for the rest of the home and garden. The problem with pavement gardens is that they are often separated from the rest of the garden by a wall, and if ‘out of sight, out of mind' comes into play it is the plants that suffer. On the other hand, such gardens are often more exposed to the elements, like baking midday sun, wind and cold, which roses can handle with ease when they get the right basic care.

These two gardens show just how well roses, in combination with other hardy plants, can work on a pavement. They delight passersby and make coming home a pleasure.

Simply squared

The design of this pavement garden, which is outside the rooms of a dentist and on a busy corner, is simple and effective. It is a series of squares within squares, starting with a square pond and with successively larger squares radiating outwards.

The main feature is the dense shrublet rose ‘Deloitte and Touche', which forms the outer square. ‘Deloitte and Touche' is an excellent choice because it flowers profusely, with arching stems that spread outwards. The layout provides enough space for the roses to perform at their best, unhindered in their flowering and growth. The result is a traffic-stopping feature when they are in full bloom.

‘Deloitte and Touche' is separated from the low growing hedge of Duranta ‘Sheena's Gold' by a red brick path that forms another square, making it easy to access the roses, as well as the Duranta. The inner square around the fountain is planted with miniature agapanthus. Gravel completes the street facing section of the garden. The alternating textures, hard and soft, clipped and informal, add to the charm of the design.

All the plants, including the Eco Chic roses (which are black spot resistant) are low maintenance. An automatic irrigation system is essential as the bed is in full sun. This design could also be used as the central feature in a larger garden.

Romantic road show

The large pavement area between the road and the boundary wall of this estate called for bold treatment that would complement and enhance the simple lines of the high white wall. The space has been broken up by alternating rectangular blocks of beds and lawn, with the geometric design emphasized by a clipped, low growing hedge of Duranta ‘Sheena's Gold'. The plantings in the beds alternate between Margaret Roberts Lavender, pink floribunda roses, and ‘Iceberg' roses inter-planted with gaura. A series of urns provides height and leads the eye all the way along. The charm of the planting design lies in its repetition of pink, white and lavender, as well as the unifying yellow of the Duranta. The colour white in the planting scheme, provided by the ‘Iceberg' roses and gaura, creates a visual link with the wall. (Unfortunately, the gaura is likely to outgrow the roses, causing them to bloom less and less. Ludwig Taschner suggests it might be better to plant 60 cm floribunda standards with gaura beneath them. This would provide the mix of pink and white, but with enough space for the two to thrive.)

Informal floribunda roses work very well in this formal design because they soften the geometric lines. It is interesting to note that the roses in this garden require less maintenance than some of the other plants, such as the Duranta hedge, which requires clipping, and the lawn, which requires mowing; the roses are happy with regular feeding and watering.

The precise matching of colours, the use of contrasting textures and the geometric layout softened by romantic urns make this pavement garden a stunner.

The ‘Deloitte and Touche' rose is the main feature of this square pavement garden.

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Comments (2) Comments
Comment by Natalie on Tue, Oct 16th, 2012 at 3:20 PM
Loved both pavement gardens - would be great if more people did something to pretty up around their homes and make more of SA a gardening paradise.
Comment by Dayan du Plooy on Thu, May 24th, 2012 at 3:37 PM
HelloMy husband and I absolutely fell in love with the formal herb garden in your May (I think) edition of the Gardener magazine (which we so look forward to receiving in the mail each month). We live in Glenvista, Johannesburg South and was wondering if you have anyone up here who would be best able to advise us on doing this in the space that we have?Your help would really be appreciated.RegardsDayan
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