Helen Elks-Smith shares top tips to create a ‘bold’ border on Your Garden Made Perfect

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The landscape gardener appeared on this week’s Your Garden Made Perfect on BBC Two, alongside garden designer Manoj Malde and presenter Angela Scanlon. 

During the show, Helen and Angela visited Gravetye Manor in West Sussex to tour its extensive gardens.

While exploring the gardens, Helen marvelled at the combination of colours featured in the green space.

She said it was key for gardeners to consider their “colour palette” when choosing plants. 

Reflecting on the dramatic display, she said: “Someone has chosen opposite colours, they have these gorgeous rich purples and vibrant oranges.”

Helen praised the garden border displays and said the use of repetition was an effective technique.

In the garden, salvias and dahlias had been planted to create repetition in the borders.

“It gives that really nice rhythm and balance,” said Helen, adding “it feels really cohesive.”

She said gardeners could simply repeat the colour of a plant with various varieties, but said the “repetition becomes stronger” by “repeating the form” and featuring the same greenery.

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Helen added that it was also an effective technique for “tying an area together” and created “strong, bold, repetition.”

Helen and Angela also discussed the effectiveness of perennials for creating long lasting structure in a garden. 

The pair chose to plant a persicaria, which is a hardy perennial.

“Within one season, they’re really going to bulk up,” explained Helen.

The small perennial makes an ideal plant for filling a border.

Having dug a hole too deep for the perennial, Angela then advised viewers to avoid digging a hole deeper than the soil level of the original plant pot.

During this week’s episode, Helen’s garden design was chosen as the preferred creation by Laura, a chartered accountant, and her husband, Demi, who worked as a high street buyer.

The couple from Bushey in Hertfordshire sought inspiration for their uninspiring garden.

They wanted the garden to provide a space to entertain family, while offering an appealing area for their three young children to play.

Helen removed a large elevated patio area before replacing it with decking.

The patio was replaced with decking across three sections of the garden.

The greenspace featured a designated area to barbeque, with a pergola and planters filled with herbs.

To watch this week’s Your Garden Made Perfect, go to BBC iPlayer.

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