building around water

Undated Handout Photo of one of the gardens designed by Ulf Nordfjell. Location in Southern Sweden, the garden is owned by the Hakansson family and is on the Farstorp Estate. Showing his trademark clean lines and soft planting, all of Ulf's gardens are in tune with the local natural surroundings. See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Jerry Harpur. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.
Undated Handout Photo of one of the gardens designed by Ulf Nordfjell. Location in Southern Sweden, the garden is owned by the Hakansson family and is on the Farstorp Estate. Showing his trademark clean lines and soft planting, all of Ulf's gardens are in tune with the local natural surroundings. See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Jerry Harpur. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.

RENOWNED Swedish garden designer Ulf Nordfjell, who is creating the Laurent-Perrier garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is well placed to offer a few tips on how to modernise your garden.

Swedish design goes much further than Ikea, thanks to Swedish garden designers like Ulf.

It is possible to bring Swedish design to your garden, giving it a more contemporary feel with clean lines and good use of symmetry, he says.

“Sweden doesn’t really have the same tradition as the UK in terms of its gardening.

“England has a much richer history with many different styles, ranging from old and traditional to extremely modern,” he explains.

“In Sweden we favour clean, simple lines and like to create the feeling of space.

“Most notably, Swedish gardens must be adaptable to the harsh climate, so we use materials that can cope with that such as granite, concrete, timber and steel.

“We have extreme winters and long summer days and so have to carefully select plants that can cope with these conditions.

“In the summer when it stays light until late, you can go out and do your gardening at 3am.”

Sharp lines can emphasise any structures in the garden and are unusual as they are so rare in nature. They can also draw the eye to your focal point, he observes.

“One way to do this is by pruning hedges.

“In the Laurent-Perrier garden, I have pruned quercus hedges, which are underlined by low walls of travertine.

“These draw the attention to the pergola, where there is an elegant water feature.

“Water can be a great way to add character to your garden. It adds movement and you can build around it.”