The main reason for growing dogwoods in your garden is that they provide great winter interest with their colourful red, purple and yellow stems. To achieve this effect, they should be pruned in early spring. First of all take out all dead and diseased wood and any small and spindly growth. Then prune all the remaining healthy branches back to the first pair of healthy buds nearest to the base and then take out any crossing or twisting stems. The aim is to achieve a simple open structure to encourage colourful new stems to emerge the following winter.
The garden was completely overgrown with fences falling down under the weight of rampant honeysuckle and clematis montana and ad hoc planting with no consideration given to providing interest throughout the year. A wooden trellis across the end of the garden was built to provide privacy from the communal path across the ends of the gardens and planted with evergreen honeysuckle, clematis and fragrant rambling roses to provide a vista from the back of the cottage.
A new pergola was also commissioned to better show off the existing climbing roses and new wisteria and clematis were also added.
The planting is structured with evergreen shrubs and roses and complimented with bee loving cottage perennials such as nepeta, astrantias, scabiosas, salvias and hardy geraniums. Mass planting of pink and purple tulips and white and pale yellow narcissi add a splash of colour from March through to May.