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Composters And The Like, In Garden Design

peter donegan, gardens

I’m sometimes hesitant to recommend composters in gardens. Partly when it comes to those spaces a little more dimensionally challenged, but more often it becomes a dilemma [or not] when it comes to gardens that are set to become a little more eloquent in their [after works are complete] appearance.

Where do you put that thing that should not be seen or just does not fit in ?

I get the point where biodiversity, wild flower meadows and potato peels not heading to landfill is the route we should all be travelling. But equally, there is a lot to be said for damn good-looking sexy gardens and I’m not too sure that hedgehogs and piles of leaves fit in with the latest Brown Thomas collection, if you get where I’m coming from.

donegan gardens

When we think back on the eloquence of 17th and 18th Century garden design the thought process was quite different from todays. The messy fellows namely the herbaceous, the vegetables and fruit gardens, were to an extent hidden. It may have been within a walled garden, behind rows of Buxus semprevirens or quite simply to the far left of the sunken garden; And though the layout did vary hither dither, the immediate view from the home was one of grandiose stately and proportionate beauty with consideration for each season in it’s very evident pre-planning.

With that in mind why, would I wish to place a grey plastic cube or other so visible within my space outdoors ?

Sometimes, the space simply just does not exist for one to fit into the great wish list. Equally there is a case where practical straight lined paths to the shed, bypassing the washing line as you go is not in any way the greatest way to showcase the prettiest in the room.

My composting area is constructed a bit like above, from pallets bolted together. I have chosen to surround the outer with a wall of Bay Laurel [Laurus nobilis] hedging – it also means masses of the herb free gratis – the dark glossy green foliage now forming the back drop for what is a bright coloured red bench. Minimal it maybe, but my garden is set on about 1 acre, allowing me a little more freedom and space to play with.

And play with it I do. It is a constant tesing ground for designs and concepts that may pop into my head…. just, to be sure, to be sure 😉

red garden furniture

Irrespective of budget and garden size, I’ve always felt the better gardens completed are those where the client divulges the full want list. This may or may not include a composting bin or other. But the trouble aesthetically, is always when one tries to squeeze something into a space after the garden has already been designed to suit.

Food for thought ?

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