In gardens and public spaces the sustainability of planting design is ever more important. But it isn’t just the survival of the plants that we should be attending to – it’s the survival of the balance in a community of plants. Otherwise, as soon as you turn your back the planting will deteriorate. I will looks at a number of different designed planting communities in relation to the site conditions of soil, ground preparation and climate and discuss how the planting has changed over time – or, in more recent schemes how I expect change to occur. Some of these will be long term projects, such as Broughton Grange planted in 2000 and The bicentenary garden at Wisley planted in 2007, the prairie at the barn 2011, and I will talk about failures as much as successes.
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