Design Ideas – inspiration or sweat?

Design ideas come from everywhere and everything, sometimes you immerse yourself in an idea, work at it and develop it, then it sits in the back of your mind and simmers slowly. I find the ‘simmering time’ vital as  you take the idea, push and pull it around, change it completely and then come back to your original idea and develop it in a totally different way.  Others come in a flash seemingly out of nowhere with no obvious link to anything.

Front Garden - Before

Front Garden – Before

I was asked to undertake a design for this small east facing front garden in Edinburgh with a “formal but not uniform style including evergreen plant structure”.  An interesting but tricky brief from the client.

I was visiting a friend in Sussex and we went to look around a plant nursery and the idea came in a flash from a picture on a wall at the plant nursery.  It was of ‘O-Karikomi’ a Japanese planting technique.  Trees and shrubs are clipped into large curved or round shapes which can be grouped together or can be grown into a uniform mass, giving a clean, crisp and uncluttered style.


I took inspiration from the concept of ‘O-Karikomi’ and played with different sizes of  evergreen Buxus balls and the space within the garden,  and placed them around an existing beautiful  prostate purple Acer. This gave me a formal front garden design, without a uniform style, as different sizes of Buxus were planted in a seemingly random way. The client loves it.

Front Garden - After

Front Garden – After.
Design by Polley Garden Design

Front Garden - After. Inspired by O-Karikomi'.

Front Garden – After.
Design by Polley Garden Design








  • Follow Polley Garden Design

  • Latest Posts

  • Archive

  • category