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This was the first little garden to be built on Beechgrove Terrace and it's a salute to the old fashioned Parks Department style of garden. Every spring a range of bedding is planted out in this garden. We use pansies, polyanthus, primula, etc. - all the types of bedding you find in garden centres in the spring. The beds are laid out very neatly and along with bulbs gives masses of colour at a time of year when the weather can be quite poor and the rest of the garden can look dull.

Whilst hardy bedding plants are brightening the garden in spring, the greenhouses are full of newly germinated seeds and young plants that are destined to be the next big sensation. All the old familiar half-hardy annuals are growing on: petunia, marigold, bidens, geranium, lobelia to name but a few favourites. All of these are planted out when all risk of frost has (hopefully) passed, generally the end of May for this garden.

To re-create this style, keep these pointers in mind:

  • The planting design should be very formal and geometric.
  • This type of garden has to be scrupulously tidy and the planting must be so dense that you shouldn't be able to see any soil in the beds.
  • Ideally the display should be dazzlingly bright and eye catching. It's a real achievement to get it right and people are bowled over by it. This doesn't always happen though - a cold June can slow the progress of the bedding or lots of rain can damage the flowers.