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 [...]
I love Before and After photos. It reminds me of the chaos a garden was in when I first arrived and how I had to stretch my imagination to have a vision of a more beautiful space. Being a garden designer in Brighton means I have my fair share of small gardens to design and by far they are the hardest as every material and detail needs to be thought through. I was helped by my clients in this instance as their brief was a tropical atmosphere and they had already chosen a very clean, interesting looking porcelain tile [...]
This garden had traditional rose beds cut into the lawn. My clients wanted a garden design that brought a more relaxed, colourful and abundant feel. They also wanted more of their lawn back to play games with their children. This part of the garden is quite shady so we used rhythmical planting of shade and dry tolerant plants with Hakonechloa Aurea accentuating the curves to brighten up this darker part of the garden.
We designed the whole garden but this little space leant itself to vibrant colours and Mediterranean planting. There was already a fig against the wall which had been hard pruned and it is now our intension to Fan prune it along the wall. Grape, purple Sage, Salvias and Hellenium all combine to give a feast of june and July colour. By this time next year all the plants will have knitted together well. When doing garden design make sure you plan a succession of Events ie flowers that bloom when other types of flowers are on the way out.
Front and Back of a house in Hove. Over time the tropical plants in the back will form a lush cacoon around the scarlet Talking Circle!
The photos below unfortunately don't capture the dazzling, eye watering yellow of a field of rapeseed. Europe grows up to 20 million tonnes of it each year and it is the third most popular oil in the world. It is very high in protein and is also used as an animal feed and biofuel. It easy escapes fields and is along most major highways in England. It is a brassica and can look from a distance like broccoli that has bolted.
Now is the time to cut down deciduous grasses that have been waving merrily all winter with their bright hay colours. Cutting all the foliage down down gives the new foliage space to grow. Incorporating grasses into a garden is a relatively new concept though the first recording of an ornamental grass is as early as 1750. I will be posting lots more pictures of grasses this year because I love them. They are such an antidote to modern life -softening up our concrete and screen-buzzed eyes with their gentle movement and lush, low maintenance sprays. -and reminding us of [...]
Below is the Tibetian Cherry (Prunus serrula). It is an amazing feature tree for a small garden or a cluster of them can become a luminous surreal grove in the dark corner of a big garden. They are not noted for their leaves or sometimes edible fruit but are the King of Bark in Winter. You can't stop touching the trunk either, like it's made from plastic silk if that can be imagined. In the background is the thin vibrant branches of yellow and red stemmed Dogwood.
This surely must be the biggest fig tree in the Uk! My photo doesn't do it justice. It is as high as the house. Can be found in Theydon Bois High Street in Essex. Note: when planting a fig tree in any moderately sized garden make sure you plant it in a large container and only then in the ground - otherwise you will give rise to a monster.