Ann Mollo, a town gardener with an award winning garden in Holland Park, London, knows how to get the most out of a small town garden. Her plant-packed gardens bring a country feel to the inner city, through careful planning and consideration she advises city dwellers how to make the most of their gardens.
A way to quickly transform a standard long and narrow city garden is to create curves and corners. A winding path or a concealing screen creates a sense of intrigue and adventure. Mollo also uses obelisks and tall plants, which suggest something interesting further up the garden.
It’s also best to work with what the garden has to offer naturally, rather than trying to force the wrong plants to blossom. If the garden is shady and the amount of light that comes in is reduced by overhanging trees, then choose plants that love the shade. Mollo suggests foxgloves, camellias, and Solomon’s seal which will give masses of flowers, as well as ferns and hellebores, which all thrive in shady areas.
Furthermore re-seeding the lawn each spring will mean the grass is full and rich and green, it may seem small but a healthy lawn will dramatically change the overall appearance of a garden. If there are problems with poor quality soil, just grow flowers in pots and drop the pots into the spaces in the garden.
Many city dwellers are despairing after the damage this summer’s heavy rains have done to their gardens. Mollo suggests planning ahead by staking small and vulnerable plants as soon as they appear and cutting things back so they’re not too top-heavy. The garden is more resilient than you think, but planning for the worst will help the garden through the tougher times.
To see more of Ann Mollo’s work and garden go here