Creating our Knot garden

posted in Me & my garden

Creating our Knot garden

The story of our Knot garden starts in June 2010. We had a really grotty small courtyard beside the house full of ground elder. I’ve done loads of knot gardens for my clients but have never had one myself… Here was my chance! I absolutely love knot gardens & the possibilities are endless. They suit all styles too – contemporary & classical. Knot gardens were first created in Medieval times & they were known as Embroidery for the earth – how fab is that?

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My initial sketch – it’s very simple as the area is small & I didn’t want it to look too fussy.

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Here it was the week before we moved in. I liked the old bricks but everything else had been neglected for years so was a complete mess. I wanted to create a bit more privacy from the cottage next door too as the wall wasn’t quite tall enough.

The bricks have been relaid. I used bay trees for the centres of each diamond with a weed proof membrane & local gravel on top for contrast & to keep weeds well away. We’re north facing so no alliums or lavender. Ready pleached stilted hornbeams in pots waiting to go in against the wall & screen us from the neighbour. We’ve kept the old retaining wall on the right, I’m not keen on it if I’m honest but it’s way too expensive to replace.

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Wasn’t it pretty in the winter? Big mistake! I didn’t protect the bay trees & we lost the lot as they were imported from Italy & simply weren’t acclimatised. The gap in the knot shape if you’ve spotted it is where we unearthed a manhole cover – very frustrating!

I replaced with photinia which were grown in the UK & are tough as old boots. Both the box & my dog were due a clip when this was taken!

3 years on and we’ve tweaked it again. The brick floor got really difficult to keep weed free so we changed it to a grey stone to match that we have in our extension. We also installed a lovely water feature by Capital Garden Products that looks just perfect – we are delighted!


Knot garden & zinc water feature by Jo Alderson Design

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