Create a Parterre Garden
A parterre is a pattern of boxwood or similar hedge plants, with the areas between filled with other plants. Traditionally, the hedging would be the permanent plants, and the infill made up of annuals and vegetables.
- Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
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When to Start: Spring
At Its Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 4 hours for the small parterre, measuring 3 ft. x 4 ft., above
- small boxwood plants, 'Suffruticosa'
- 1 bay tree (Laurus nobilis)
- shrubby herbs, such as rosemary, lavender, curry plant, cotton lavender and thyme 3 plants per segment
- organic matter
- landscape fabric
- measuring tape
- short stakes or pegs
- sharp knife
- gravel or slate chippings
Prepare the Soil
First, decide on the design you want and sketch it on paper — this parterre is a simple cross pattern. Then clear the area of grass and weeds, and add organic matter, such as garden compost, to improve the soil's structure. Silver-leaved herbs like well-drained soil, so if yours is heavy, add plenty of organic matter. Level the area carefully with a rake.
Lay and Secure Landscape Fabric
The entire area should be covered in a good quality landscape fabric to suppress weeds and keep moisture in. Pin down the edges securely or slide them under the existing turf.
Mark Out a Hedging Plan
Use a tape measure and chalk to mark out your pattern. Space the hedging plants at 8-inch intervals; insert short stakes to mark their positions. The plants will quickly spread to form a dense hedge.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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