Nanna Stærmose

08 Sep 2020 14:33

“My garden must be beautiful all year round”

Danish garden designer Birgit Helbo has created a garden with a kitchen garden and perennial beds in a beautiful, symmetrical whole, and with a greenhouse for both relaxation and cultivation.

Birgit Helbo lives on the island Funen and has a garden beyond the usual. 43055 square feet in total, landscaped with hedges that divide the large garden into many smaller garden spaces. She calls the garden strict and refers to the stringent symmetry that is repeated throughout the plant.

“It is important to me that the garden is beautiful to look at all year round. In the winter, when the beds are empty, the stringent architecture emerges in the form of the low wooden frames that surround the beds in the kitchen garden. In the summer, the framework dissolves when plants sprout in full bloom, ”says Birgit Helbo.


Small greenhouse, great utility

Birgit Helbo has placed her greenhouse in the corner of the garden where the evening sun's last rays roam the house.

"It's lovely to sit in there and get the last sun of the day," she says.

Even though we are in January, her description of Juliana's Botanica brings images of bright and warm summer evenings to mind. Unlike the rest of the garden, the greenhouse is a smaller model of 88 square feet. It is furnished with two wicker sofas, where four people can sit if they sit close together. Birgit Helbo always plants the tomatoes closely together, so it gives a cosy, cavy atmosphere.

"The tomatoes yield less when they are close, but I like to have a small jungle in the middle of the kitchen garden," she says.

On the floor of the greenhouse, she has burnt tiles, and the house has toughened glass throughout, giving it the aesthetic finish that is so important to Birgit Helbo.

“It is really incredible that such a small house can give so much joy, and it means a lot that the house has a good side height. It gives a really good sense of space, she says.



The greenhouse is placed in the 2583 square feet large kitchen garden. The house is placed diagonally in the corner. Two pathways lead to the house, which means no matter what path you are on you can see the corner and side of the greenhouse. In that way, you see all the beautiful sides of the greenhouse.


When the beds are newly sown, you see the stringent symmetry.

Photo: Ulf Jeppesen

Birgit Helbo’s kitchen garden has berries, flowers, herbs and vegetables. She does not spend a lot of time maintaining the kitchen garden during the summer. The greatest job is sowing and transplanting in spring and harvesting in late summer.

Photo: Ulf Jeppesen


Inside the greenhouse it is a jungle of plants and, of course, a couple of seats, from where you can enjoy the glory.

Photo: Ulf Jeppesen

Birgit Helbo’s large garden is divided into smaller garden rooms.

Photo: Ulf Jeppesen

Therefore, you need a plan for your garden

A landscape architect’s drawing costs between 600 – 1800 pounds. This may sound like a lot, but it is a good investment, and you avoid expensive mistakes in the nursery or bad solutions that eventually have to be redone.

A landscape architect’s drawing does not need to be realized right away. Decorating the garden can be a long-term project. A landscape architect’s drawing makes it easier to make the garden along the way because you always have the big picture of what the goal should look like. This ensures that you stay on track and that the garden ends up getting an aesthetic overall impression. 

Your garden should suit your needs. Write down what you want to use the garden for. Do you have children who need a swing set? Do you grill a lot in the garden? Do you primarily want to grow vegetables? How much work will you put into caring for the garden? Etc.


Source: Birgit Helbo