Latest Blogs

This April, Leonarslee Gardens...
One of my garden design mentor...
You have to look the hardest i...
Charleston House- Where the Bl...
Regent's Park has many wonderf...
To my mind there are five gold...
A garden can still look good i...
A good garden design needs goo...
The whole front garden was jus...
Sorry for the short blog but I...
Even a well designed garden ca...
This pond in East Sussex had s...
Just to cheer you up with a do...
We balanced the bright white p...
If you ever have a few hours t...
When you look out your window ...
As Autumn leaves us and Winter...
In the gardens of East Dean, W...
Believe it or not we only fini...
Highdown- Heritage Garden at o...
We completed this garden desig...
A while back this space appare...
Over the next two weeks I will...
One of my mentors, Amanda Patt...
Designing small gardens has it...
When I first arrived in this g...
In this garden we finished in ...
Normally when you design a pla...
Originally this garden had abo...
This was the perfect muddy mes...
A garden design for the front ...
I am not always a fan of sculp...
My Italian friend, Paola, sent...
Last week we looked at Beth Ch...
Even though it is increasingly...
Vietnam is home to more than 1...
I took these photos of Cow Par...
Being a garden designer means ...
Garden Design in the UK- using...
For the last 40 years the Dutc...
Here is a garden we did earlie...
With the smouldering greys, br...
The Prairie gardens has been g...
Anyone for chicken? A friend's...
This garden space was looking ...
Autumn is upon us. Here is a b...
    You may remember...
My client had an extremely slo...
This garden had traditional ro...
 Juliet Sargeant won a Go...
  This newly built pool ...
This garden, which won't c...
Two garden design aspects that...
Have you thought of a tropical...
I've been saving these images ...
Here is some colour to knock y...
Maybe you will never look at s...
If you could have any sculptur...
I took these photos in Terra B...
Silhouette art in the garden o...
Formal shapes in a garden coul...
Summer has pumped its juices i...
Front and Back of a house in H...
I love this combination for it...
These poppies on the hill abov...
I was in Italy this week for m...
I was in Barvaria recently vis...
A bee whose eyes may be too bi...
Arundel Castle Gardens are won...
Sometimes the delicate vulnera...
The photos below unfortunately...
This church and cemetery can b...
The colours of Spring are almo...
The Willow tree, Salix, has ov...
 Spring is filling up all...
Now is the time to cut down de...
Last year's growth provides th...
The world is waking up and the...
Get your garden ready for Summ...
We visited our friend's farm l...
Nature sculptors chaos and wea...
Below is the Tibetian Cherry (...

Look out for Miniature Garden Designs

My Italian friend, Paola, sent me this photo from Simione in Northern Italy. This exquisite little garden has formed in a metal ring used for inserting parking prevention posts. I love the microcosm created from at least four different plants, from little seeds drifting on the wind, landing on a scrap of soil. Weeds are the greatest pioneers and even in the cracks of pavements they can give us hope- little green creatures full of innocent determination.

 

 

Continue reading
1554 Hits
0 Comments

Garden design- Designing a dry gravel garden

Last week we looked at Beth Chatto's series of lakes that she created.

This blog looks at her dry gravel garden.

When you visit her garden in Essex the first thing you see is a lovely assortment of Mediterranean looking plants ribboned with gravel paths.

Forty years ago this was just a car park. Then Beth decided to experiment with dry tolerant plants she had seen in her travels so instead of importing vast amounts of top soil she used the pre existing poor soil and stones as the foundation of the planting beds.

In the last 40 years this area of her garden has become world renown as she has not had to water it. In the 70's in England this was unheard of but with her interest in companion planting and carefully selecting plants that she knew originated from a dry environment she brought garden design and ecology effectively together.

Her book 'Drought Resistant Gardening' shows a woman interested in the truth of effective gardening. She kept information on the health of plants and how much maintenance the areas required with a real trial and error scientific rigour.

These days ever garden designer tries to reduce their ecological footprint and go with nature rather then force things to grow where they don't want to. She was one of the pioneers and just an hour east of London you can see the living manifestation of her insights.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
1920 Hits
0 Comments

Inspiration for designing your garden -Beth Chatto

In 1960 Beth Chatto set about transforming a wasteland on the edges of her husband's family fruit farm near Elmstead Market, Essex.It is now a world renown garden.

Her skill was not to fight nature but use species that suited the terrain and soil conditions, creating the intersecting lakes, bog and dry gardens. It seems obvious now but at that time gardeners were still making a garden look like they wanted without regard to the time and effort and expense it needed to have something grow where it didn't want to.

One of her mottos was how could a plant thrive under difficult conditions.

She is nearly 94 and apparently still zips around on her mobility scooter as she lives within the garden.

These pictures are just of the largest lake. This weeks later blogs will also focus on her dry garden. and planting in the beds.

 

Continue reading
1724 Hits
0 Comments

Garden Design using the soft colour palette

Even though it is increasingly popular to have vibrant reds and oranges in your planting scheme, take a look at these photos.

The softest of pink Roses, with interesting companion planting.

Blue and purple compliment the pink blush of the Rose with Phlox, Campanula, Forget-Me-Not and Irises.

Plus the white of Digitalis and Aquilgea with the frothy white Ammi Majus freshen clean up the palette.

Then to round the colour scheme off there is pink Persicaria bistorta Superba and Thalictrum, all floating on a body of green foliage.

This is definitely a mid summer garden. You could have Tulips and Purple Sensation Alliums for the earlier months and then move on into late Summer with Dahlias and Asters.

 

Continue reading
1702 Hits
0 Comments

Vietnamese Garden Plants

Vietnam is home to more than 16% of the world's species despite its slender size.

Travelling around I felt like I was in a vast tropical glasshouse and it was hard to put the camera down and just be in the moment.

Below we have the very origins of a pineapple fruit, waterlilies that grow in the countless private ponds the Vietnamese raise catfish in, one of thousands of Papaya trees in a plantation that we walked past plus the enormous leaves of a water palm from the Mekong Delta, traditionally used for waterproof roofing.

 

 

D

 

 

 

Continue reading
1852 Hits
0 Comments