The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 15 Some garden pictures

Pictorial sitting place

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There is a place near my house where a path leads down through a nut-walk to the further garden. It is crossed by a shorter path that ends at a Birch-tree with a tall silvered trunk. It seemed desirable to accentuate the point where the paths cross; I therefore put down four square platforms of stone "pitching" as a place for the standing of four Hydrangeas in tubs. Just before the tree is a solid wooden seat and a shallow wide step done with the same stone pitching. Tree and seat are surrounded on three sides by a rectangular planting of yews. The tender greys of the rugged lower bark of the Birch and the silvering of its upper stem tell finely against the dark velvet-like richness of the Yew and the leaf-mass of other trees beyond; the pink flowers and fresh green foliage of the Hydrangeas are also brilliant against the dusky green. It is just one simple picture that makes one glad for three months of the later summer and early autumn. The longer cross-path, which on the right leads in a few yards to steps up to the paved court on the north side of the house, on the left passes down the nut-walk, as the second illustration shows. The Birch-tree and seat are immediately to the right, just out of the picture. Standing a little way down the shaded nut-walk and looking back, the Hydrangeas are seen in another aspect, with the steps and house behind them in shade, and the sun shining through their pale green leaves. Sitting on the seat, the eye, passing between the pink Hydrangea flowers, sees a short straight path bounded by a wall of Tree Box to right and left, and at the far end one tub of pale blue Hydrangea in shade, backed by a repetition of the screen of Yews such as enclose the Birch-tree.