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Steven Compton shares his gardening inspiration to Devon Life

PUBLISHED: 16:35 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:43 20 February 2013

Steven Compton shares his gardening inspiration to Devon Life

Steven Compton shares his gardening inspiration to Devon Life

Is your garden in need of some TLC? Fresh from winning a gold award at RHS Chelsea, Rural Stonework's Steven Compton provides some inspiration.

A Gardeners World

Is your garden in need of some TLC? Fresh from winning a gold award at RHS Chelsea, Rural Stoneworks Steven Compton provides some inspiration.

Whether you are designing your garden yourself, or drafting in an expert to do the job for you, there are certain key aspects which need to be considered the topography of the land, the impact of the elements, working in harmony with the natural environment, and how the garden will be used and by whom. Ultimately, however, the aim is to create an environment which brings pleasure to those who use it.

Being a stone-obsessive, I tend to favour more wild and rural gardens, where the stonework is the template for the garden. This can be in the form of a standing stone, stone-walling, a sculpture or a water feature (a pond, stream or fountain).

In my opinion, some form of water feature is an essential element of every garden. It influences the entire ambience of the setting - whether it is through the sound of moving water or the serenity of reflection. The mellow bubbling of a rill or a stream can be really therapeutic.

Japanese-inspired Bamboo water features work well in almost any garden. They can take many forms, from the constant trickle of water from a single bamboo cane, to the rhythmic, hollow knocking of a Shishi Odoshi, otherwise known as a deer scarer.

In my own garden, I have observed how a simple pond can bring so much interest to a garden. Children are fascinated by the array of life, from newts, tadpoles and frogs, to damsel flies and water-boatmen. Establishing a seating area near to your pond, hidden or camouflaged, can be an attractive addition to your garden and enables you to watch the wildlife in and around your pond, with little disturbance.

Even in a smaller garden, a hidden area or sculpture adds mystique - whether you have to stoop down under sprawling Clematis, or weave your way through some shrubs to discover a comfortable, secluded reading spot. Features hidden amongst foliage add interest and variety.

Stone walls can be incorporated in both formal and informal rural gardens. They can be functional, in that they divide areas or levels, or can be purely aesthetic. Personally, I love the feeling which is evoked by an old, dilapidated dry-stone wall, bowed and bulging, covered in mosses, lichens and sedums.

Steven Compton is the owner of Rural Stonework, winners of Gold at RHS Chelsea.

Rural Stonework

9 Berry Road


North Devon

EX33 2EY

07887 656405,


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