Gordon Ledbetter

Tel: (01) 497 0439

E-mail: gtledbetter@eircom.net

Address: 74 Highfield Road
Dublin 6

Biography

Simplicity is no sin where garden and landscape design is concerned. If there is one golden rule it is surely that: no design should be more elaborate than the maintenance available for its upkeep. Better a garden laid out simply and well kept, than a fussy, complicated one that is impossible to keep.

Good design will immediately appeal to the eye, but what is no less important, if not so obvious, the design should address the question as to how the garden or landscape is to be used. Probably a variety of uses if it is a family garden which will need a the patio next to the backdoor and pathways to avoid tracking over the lawn. Then there is the issue of clothes-line, compost and refuse bins all to be discreetly concealed. Trellis and climbers will do that. But design should clutter the space. Small scale gardens should be designed to create as far as possible a sense of spaciousness, and there are many ways of achieving that.   Holiday homes throw up their own requirements (plants chosen to flower when the home is in use, and will there be maintenance when the owner is away? Tough plants resistant to drought might be the answer). Convalescent and retirement homes by contrast require planting of all-year round interest and wheel-chairs raise issues of paving material and gentle slopes. Sensory gardens and gardens with water (my own special interest) can be a feature in most gardens. Shaded gardens and spaces can be enlivened with the right plants.

Some native planting to encourage the birds and the bees is always worth considering. Every day native habitats of wildlife is being reduced. Wildlife in the garden provides another dimension to contrasting foliage and flowers; water-lilies in a pond and the sound of moving water.

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