Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster



1 July

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit the garden at Whaplode that won the Best Small Garden in this year’s Spring Gardens Competition.

Pamela McNeil is a gardener after my own heart. Not only has she transformed a diminutive plot into a winning garden, but in this area she has managed to include just about every element you are more likely to encounter in a much larger patch of ground. Water feature, gravel bed, planted containers, solar lighting, vegetables, wildlife, a more than adequate patio, even a pocket-sized greenhouse, together with a whole host of interesting and colourful plants, are fitted into what could have been a very awkwardly sized and shaped back garden.

Pamela has discovered that planting on fences and walls can effectively double the size of a small plot, so these have all been used to maximum advantage. Her choice of subjects is by no means indiscriminate, however, and since she and her husband moved to their brand new home five years ago, she has become a keen and discerning plantswoman. Her latest mission is to find suitable replacements for one or two shrubs lost during the hard winter; unfortunately her latest discovery, tibouchina, would be far too tender in winter, even for a warm fence, but could find a home in her delightful little greenhouse.

Good luck, Pamela, long may you continue to enjoy your labours of love.

Daphne Ledward

This piece originally appeared in the Spalding Guardian