No more than seven plants..?

Hi All,

Im a big fan of simplifying things, and simplicity.  In episode 4 of ‘Big Dreams, Small Spaces’ Monty Don relays a principle, that “No garden needs more than seven plants”, qualifying that it doesn’t need to be taken literally.

Does anyone know where that quote or principle comes from?

Has anyone tried a such a simple approach?

Cheers,

TP
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Posts

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    Not seven plants.. no more than seven varieties of plants.  
    Utah, USA.
  • B3B3 Posts: 10,370
    B******s
    I've a good 30 plants in my 'lawn'
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • blameitonthedogblameitonthedog Posts: 122
    edited May 2018
    I became aware of that principle a while back and wish I had heard it before starting on my current garden.  I know that a lot of my dissatisfaction with the overall effect is due to having far too many different plants, despite almost always planting perennials in threes or fives. 
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,043
    B3 said:
    B******s
    I've a good 30 plants in my 'lawn'
    Only 30? :) 
  • Tin potTin pot Posts: 878
    Not seven plants.. no more than seven varieties of plants.  
    Quite right, have you heard of this principle then?


  • B3B3 Posts: 10,370
    I suppose it depends on whether you want to grow as many types of plants as possible  in your patch or  whether you have a design in mind.
    A design is anathema to me but I respect the fact that other gardeners have a different view.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,434
    I think it makes sense, if you are planting with eye to design (not everyone is). I think the idea is that you plant in blocks and the repeated elements draws the eye around the garden. This is esp'ly true of small gardens. It would make for a great coherence.

    I am still learning, but if I ever got to a place where I could be sure of what would work (re sun, soil, bugs etc) I can imagine it could be great for beds. My garden is surrounded by hedging and have about 30 types of hedging plant, which all flower at different times, so I would want to exclude those, personally.
  • Tin potTin pot Posts: 878
    I became aware of that principle a while back and wish I had heard it before starting on my current garden.  I know that a lot of my dissatisfaction with the overall effect is due to having far too many different plants, despite almost always planting perennials in threes or fives. 
    I’ve only been trying to garden about nine months and I’m already feeling there’s “too much” going on.

    I think I probably could reduce the front garden to seven if you don’t count the trees.

    Do bulbs count as one type, if they flower at different times of the year?
  • nultyphilip224nultyphilip224 Ireland,..The Midlands.Posts: 923
    I could not see myself being content with just seven varieties of plants,..i always loved the feeling of being surrounded by tall plants with smaller ones to create interest,..paths with just space for one person to walk and never seeing the complete garden from any angle,..every gardener has the perfect garden in mind and so different from  each other,..imagine a simple garden with sand and a few boulders,..i imagine there would be too much time to think and dwell.

    Philip
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    Tin pot said:
    Not seven plants.. no more than seven varieties of plants.  
    Quite right, have you heard of this principle then?

    Yes.. probably from the same episode as you, I think.  Monty probably made it up.  I don't stick to the rule, but I do try for a limited palette of colors.  All the flowers in the beds that can be seen from the front are purples and yellows.  Or at least, that is the plan.  There are a few randoms in there, like some inherited red roses and a pink weigela that is done blooming before most other things are out.. but mostly everything with summer blooms are yellow or purple.  It gives continuity to the scheme, while allowing me to grow a wide variety of plant types.  
    Utah, USA.
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