Period Living

NATURE’S CUES

Emulating or taking cues from nature is an enduring trend in garden design. This natural-looking style encourages us to work with and not against nature – in a sustainable, evolving way. Championed by many designers in recent RHS Chelsea show gardens, it is a plant-driven style that aims to be a bit wild at heart and to not control, but rather to closely observe and guide the planting scheme.

Whether on a large or small scale, a naturalistic style can suit a range of gardens. The key is that the plants are grouped for the habitat, so you need to know the climatic, soil and light conditions.

A natural history

It was gardener, journalist and author William Robinson (1838-1935), known as ‘the father of natural gardening’, who radically changed Victorian gardening. He advocated naturalistic planting through his writings, including in 1870, which catapulted him to fame, and , which

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