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In 2006 I formed Glorious Gardens, gathering together skilled practitioners to offer not just design but implementation of these designs and maintenance packages where we could look after the gardens once we had created them.

Throughout my career I have designed gardens to inspire people with the heart aching beauty of nature, with shapes, colours, moods and proportions to pleasure the body and calm and delight the mind.

I am also an artist who works with colour and abstract shapes and I bring this sensitivity to the 4 dimensions of a garden.

I am very good at listening to clients and I’m able to draw out the essence of what a client wants for their outdoor space.

Garden Design for Autumn- Using Colour and Texture


With Spring bulbs and Summer flowering shrubs making sure those seasons work in the garden, designing for Autumn needs to be subtle and draw upon not just colour but textural and tonal contrasts.

This first picture below I took in West Sussex at Petworth house. A very good hot coloured combination as the weather gets cooler.

The Cardoon, purple Asters and Miscanthus grass is one of my favourite combinations for a late Autumn border, majestic and detailed.

Sedums and silver Artemesia provide a vivid backdrop for the sultry coloured Chocolate Cosmos






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Front garden design using Pittisporum

We completed this garden design and build about two years ago.

We decided to make a real feature out of the beds by the side of the drive by planting a row of 5 Yew columns.

However the fence was very unsightly behind the Yews so we made a bold decision and chose all the major, different coloured Pittisporums that can grow to minimum 8 foot. Now it has become a very attractive and unusual hedge with the small frilly leaves of the Pittisporum contrasting with the dark columns of Yew.

We then make great curves of box hedging with box balls amidst quite abundant and colourful planting to give a Wow factor for anyone coming in from the main road.

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Garden Design in Brighton-Before and After

A while back this space apparently used to be Lord Sackville's tennis courts.
(Sackville of Sackville Rd) . Then it became a neglected suburban garden full of Bay trees.

My clients wanted their garden to be a social space both for adults and children, with lots of colour yet low on maintenance.

We designed the seating area around a Corten Steel fire pit with lovely golden Cedar wood to match the house and the Summer house. We decided on a deep grey to offset both the wood and the greenery. Two pendulous Birch trees give atmosphere and a third dimension to the area without obscuring light.

We used Corten steel edging of the lawn to link the whole garden together.

Planting around the seating area has a 'mound' theme of Pittisporum Tom thumb and Pittisporum Golf Balls with taller more languid planting bursting through like Fennel, Crocosmia Red Devil, Phlomis italics, Stipa gigantic and Lobelia Queen Victoria.


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Garden Design for Autumn- Colour and Texture

Over the next two weeks I will writing about Autumn colour and tone.

Against a backdrop of fading light and yellowing leaves the colour of flowers in Autumn seems its most intense.

Also by leaving the seedheads on Phlomis italics, Globe Artichoke and Eryingium, back drop planting with majestic grasses like Miscanthus and choosing bright colourful plants like Crocosmia, Dahlias, Asters and Sedums Autumn creates its own amazing tapestry which somehow is easier to contemplate than the restless and rapid growth of a summer garden.



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Garden design- Looking for Structure

One of my mentors, Amanda Patton, works on the basis that the structure of a garden needs to be beautiful even before any plants are put in.

Though plants are the blood and soul of a garden if the structure is not right the space will look unformed or cluttered. As with oil painting the longer one spends getting the proportions right the easier the colours can be added, and even if the colours aren't right the picture still hangs together because of the underlying geometry. 

This integrity is vital especially in Winter as the deciduous plants are pared back to their bones and Perennials hunker down underground.

Looking for structure around me, anything can inspire the layout of a garden. I once designed a pot based on the peel of an orange, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture's front entrance gives a sense both of the majesty of an oak tree yet shows the way we harness and hold fast that power, the radial glory of a tree fern's leaves can provide a layout for a vegetable gardens and the upward pyramids of the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, NSW shows how a simple repetitive form can inspire myths.

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