Why your windows are the most important part of your garden….
What do you see when you look out of your window? If you have a middle-sized town garden, there may be all sorts of things you can’t do anything about – such as next door’s garage, street lights and any number of sheds or buildings. But you can still make sure that the first thing you see lifts your heart. As I made my morning tea today, I looked out of the kitchen window and saw an iris that I planted two years ago. It’s flowering for the first time.
Design a town garden ‘from the house’
Chelsea Gold medal-winning garden designer, Charlotte Rowe, says that it’s important to design town gardens ‘off the house’. She sees doorways and window frames as ‘framing the view’. If you live in a temperate climate, you will see your garden out of the window far more often than you will actually be in it.
Our starting point for our garden re-design was to place the main bed – the biggest one and the one where I make the most effort – in front of the kitchen window. We can see it every time we go down the stairs (there’s also a window from the stairs) and every time we make a cup of coffee. This has been one of the changes that has brought us the most joy – and it’s great that people walk into the kitchen, see the main bed and say ‘garden’s looking nice.’
A distraction can be as good as a cover-up…
Even if you can’t do anything about an ugly view, you can still distract from it. In the 1970s people tried to hide views with rows of conifers, but now you’re not allowed to dwarf your neighbour’s garden with a sky-high row of dark green trees. But it can be just as effective to plant something pretty that distracts the eye rather trying to cover something up.
Create a ‘still life’ as a focal point from your window…
Make your windows part of your garden’s colour scheme….
Sunday Telegraph gardening writer, Francine Raymond, ties her planting scheme into the colour of her window frames. Her themes are grey and blue (above).
But if your garden is to sparkle, then so must your windows….
As I’ve said in a previous post, even the most distressed or vintage style looks at its best when it’s clean. The view from a clean window is always better than one that is spotted or smeared. I’m not a great one for cleaning windows – it’s one of those chores I keep meaning to get around to. And once I start fiddling with spray cleaners or vinegar, then I soon get bored of the repetitive wiping. Karcher sent me a Window Vac WV2 to review, so I wondered whether it would make the job quicker and easier. I’ve done a comparison, using my potting shed windows (see my Youtube video). I cleaned two windows the way I normally do, and two with the Window Vac. There’s no doubt that the WV2 cuts the window cleaning time in half, and does a much better job. For the full review, see here.
Of course, it’s a major job to decide to repaint your windows, so I’m not suggesting that you call the scaffolders in now. But it’s less of a job to dig a bed – or make a current bed bigger. And if you don’t like it, it’s even less of a job to turn it back to lawn. Or maybe it’s just worth thinking about when you plant a new plant – ask yourself ‘what will it look like from the windows?’ Do let me know your window tips, and I’d really appreciate it if you could share this using the buttons below. Thank you!