For many of us, the image of the cottage garden with its warm colours, its links to a time gone by, and its self-sufficiency is idyllic. Yet this style of garden is in reach of us all, however small or large the plot. While the romantic image of the cottage garden may have certain defining features, the beauty within the design is there are no rules. With a little planning and minimal upkeep you can create the garden of your dreams. Features of a Cottage Garden This traditional style of garden was born out of practicality and most people will [...]
By planning our gardens with sustainability in mind, we help to preserve natural resources and take some of the pressure off the natural environment. Thoughtful landscaping can encourage wildlife, reduce water use, prevent soil erosion and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides. By planning with nature in mind you can use the plants and materials which best utilise your garden plot while also best helping the natural environment. Sand and gravel are two of the more commonly used materials in garden design and with a little thought to how you employ them and their source you can make [...]
Trees add so much character to a garden. The abundant varieties of trees and shrubs available means even the smallest of gardens can enjoy the pleasures trees add to any plot. However, research is key to finding the best trees for your garden, the varieties best suited for your garden space and soil, plus the amount of sunlight the garden receives. Consider the height a tree will reach as it matures and how this will affect the rest of the garden and any nearby buildings. Think about what you want from the tree, as perhaps you may want it for [...]
I helped my client Paul Craig design his garden. He already had some interesting and original ideas and together we decided on the right plant for the right place. We used a round corten steel sculpture for a focal point and chose unusual plants like tree ferns, Senecio Angle's Wings and Cannas in amongst more traditional prairie planting making sure there was colour all through the seasons. The Deschampsia Goldtau grass, surrounding the new pool, captures the afternoon sun.
This April, Leonarslee Gardens will open after a year's closure. For acid plant lovers it is akin to Willy Wonka flinging open his gates. To find my full article please read after the photos. Leonardslee Gardens To Open Again The greatest woodland garden in the UK is set to reopen in West Sussex with an excitement for nature lovers akin to Willy Wonka opening up his doors. With spectacular displays of Azaleas and Rhododendrons, Leonardslee is world famous. Andrew Staib, principle garden designer for Glorious Gardens Sussex, goes on a tour of the gardens with Head Gardener, Ray Abrahams. For [...]
One of my garden design mentors is Nigel Phillips. Have a look at this lovely garden he designed a few years ago. He takes all the best ingredients of classical garden design and the few twists he adds come from his sense of place and the knowing what will delight the client.
You have to look the hardest in February for beauty. January is survival time, March and April throw themselves at you but in February, Spring is around the corner yet nowhere to be seen or felt. You can make a start by going to a nursery to find plants in colour now and plan a surprise for yourself next year.
Charleston House - Where the Bloomsbury Group applied all their sense of humour, spontaneity and creativity to the inside of a humble English Cottage. The interior brims with painted baths and wardrobes, tables, chairs and fireplaces. The garden is equally quirky and fascinating having been kept in the spirit of the owners with many original sculptures still in place.
Regent's Park has many wonderful secrets and here are a few of them, including a bronze sculpture in St John's Garden. Spot the images- the oldest tree, an oak, in the park, the strange nodules of Taxodium distichum (no one knows why they appear), the unusual Helleborus 'Silver Dollar' and an old Horse Chestnut silhouetted against the sky.