Wednesday, July 18, 2012


 WHERE planting is concerned small gardens concentrate the mind. Focus on those which are reliable, which perform well and which if possible, contribute interest over an extended period.  Trees for example, may be chosen not just for leaf but also for flower, interesting bark and possible fall color.  Shrubs to include are those which, in addition to unusual flowers, produce berries at the year's end or which may be evergreen.  Both of course, make excellent hosts for all manners of climbers, not least clematis.  Even perennial flowers may have particularly fine foliage to be followed with unusual and dramatic seed heads.. 

Take advantage of any vertical surfaces. to double as supporters for climbing plants.  Horizontals too, such as the uppermost area of shrubs, fixed ropes and wires. The very tops of boundary walls and fences, may all be employed as homes to climbers. Planting need not be confined to traditional borders.  Raised beds, forming attractive features in their own right, may be used to accomodate a whole range of plants for which there may otherwise be insuficient space.

They are especially good for alpines and those subjects which are in need of sharp drainage.  All manner of containers from terracota pots
and classical urns to troughs and discarded sinks, can be employed either singly or in groups to form attractive, colorful arrangements.

An advantage to this type of gardening is that pots may be set aside, or replanted,  once their season of interest has passed.  Do not overlook the potential of exterior walls, as well as being clothed by climbers, they may be furnished with hanging pots, baskets or window boxes to lift and brighten what might be dismissed as uninteresting facades.

Gardening in a 
Lance Hattatt
pages 14-15
Parragon Publishing


I usually write/say what is necessary in the beginning,  this time I went the other way.  The book was a present, I  checked it out, 4 years ago and put aside not meaning much at the time for your humble servant.

What a pleasure it was reading it again slowly, with the feeling I was looking at an x ray of the garden, my views and practice, without ever thinking or imagining like this.

You certainly  noticed It was not written by me, the language, vocabulary, tone, register, the whole. Perhaps the best is a lack of superlatives and exaggeration.  Simple and clear. 

While reading, I decided to illustrate with  photos  of my Caribbean garden what  the British author describes as some of the elements of the small garden, that inventory apart, mine seems to comply perfectly.

that is that


  1. I notice the same Lance Hattatt name (same person?) has a blog in Romania and often comments on a blog in Tuscany. Sounds like a good book to look at - quite the art to speak well, but not be into superlatives, like the HGTV-cupcake contenstant types. I like the criteria you set out of interest over long time frames, vertical surfaces, etc...seems more seasonal interest here where we get winter needs to be in containers, changed by season, not in ground.

    1. Same person.

      One thing about containers. In many of the few gardening blogs in the Caribbean, often in huge spaces, I observe plastic/rubber orange containers.

      I do not understand it. If I had more space I will certainly have no containers, it is a pain for watering, not to get into what UV rays do those.

      As Chief garden police, only metal, terracota, fiberglass, concrete and such will be allowed.

  2. Interesante leer a personas que no son rebuscadas, de tal suerte que podemos estar viendo nuestra propia vida con todo lo que ello conlleva.

    Un abrazo amigo.

  3. Gracias...Si supiera que uno de mis problemas con alguna gente es la necesidad de no hablar mucho. Cada vez me cuesta mas..i eso se refleja cuando escribo.

    Un abrazo desde el Caribe.

  4. Hello:
    Thank you so much for sending me the link to your blog. I was absolutely delighted and thrilled that you should single out one of my gardening books in such a very kind and positive way. Thank you so much. And, indeed, thank you for becoming a Follower of our blog 'Hattatt'. We returned to Budapest from Tuscany late last night and so have had little time so far for catching up. However, we are delighted to subscribe to 'Antigonum Cajan' by email.


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