A Tale of Two Sustainable Gardens

Interested in making your garden sustainable but don't quite know how to do it? Take some tips from two experts who practice what they preach right in their own backyards.

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Work in Progress

This sustainable garden in Westphalia, Germany is modest in size, but it includes a rich range of planting — ornamental and native species, selected for interest and their ability to thrive as good neighbors, are intermingled. A system of pathways provides easy access to them.

Barton, who first developed the garden with his wife years ago and continues to work on it today, says:
"In its early days, this was a family garden, but since our children left home it has evolved into something else."

"We develop areas as we gain new ideas, but the basic layout of the garden, as a series of "rooms," remains the same. We have structured the spaces with beech and box hedges, or with fences; and have created a range of small, informal seating areas to provide different views across the garden. In the main, we use perennials and shrubs, with some annuals added as necessary."

"For inspiration, we visit gardens, often in the Netherlands and southern England. However, we were originally inspired by a visit to a small private garden in Germany, the owner of which was the president of a local society, the Gesellschaft der Staudenfreunde, of perennial enthusiasts."

Sustainable Pond and Garden with a Wealth of PlantsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Key Ingredients

White water lilies (image 1); Siberian iris (image 2); European Beech (image 3)

Not-so-subtle Standouts

Angelica (image 1); European hornbeam (image 2); Ragged robin

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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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