Garden News 30th March

Page 4

Sizzling planting schemes combine with cool, tranquil ponds in this Cheshire haven Melissa Mabbitt Garden writer


ool water is the main feature of Wendy and Howard Platt’s garden near Warrington, with fiery herbaceous planting counterbalancing the

Before 8 Garden News / March 30 2013

serene pools to make this a garden of opposites. Yet it’s one that connects seamlessly. Wendy has been instrumental in the design of the garden since she and her husband took over Laskey Farm 17 years ago. The one-acre garden has been in Howard’s family for four generations, and the couple have continued a passion for horticulture started by Howard’s father. Wendy said: “My father-in-law was a very keen gardener, very inspirational and a great bloke. My interest in gardening was borne out of necessity because when you take on a place like this you have to carry on with it. But the more I did, the more I learned

Gardeners Wendy and Ho ward Platt Address Laskey Farm, The lwall, Warrington, Cheshire WA 4 2TF Been in the garden 17 yea rs Size 1 acre Soil Very fre e-draining Open for NGS Saturday Au 11am to 5pm. Also by app gust 17 and Sunday August 18, ointment June 17 to Augus t9 and the more and more drawn in and engaged it made me.” Very much still a working farm when the couple moved in, they gradually redeveloped the site, converting yards into garden and transforming the huge lawn into flower borders. Wendy explained: “It’s such a big flat space, the challenge has been creating different areas. If the gardens are on one level it’s difficult to create a journey. Because we had a huge swathe of lawn we kept chipping away at it – adding more features to create more interest.” The highlight of the garden is the complex of pools, interlinked by a flowing rill. Havens for

wildlife and ornamental fish, the waterways are planted with statement marginal plants such as gunnera, bullrushes and marsh marigold. The plants are sunk into the ponds in pots to keep them happy. The water garden is Howard’s creation, who built the first ponds seven years ago. They also made several additions to the design more recently. Wendy explained: “We incorporated new parts and the rill. We used to have problems with the water turning green, but now the new parts act as a water purification system. “The water goes through a reed filtration system, filtering through gravel beds and plant roots.

Photos: Neil Hepworth

Fire and water...

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