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 [...]
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.
June is a productive month to revisit gardens that we have designed and built, especially when the work was done in Winter or early Spring. During that time plants arrivde and once planted the perennials could only be noticed by a few small sticks. It takes all my efforts to assure clients that there is more to come!In this garden the overriding design theme was tranquility. We choose woodland plants to suit the large Cedar in the back garden. At the back the clients wanted a more open prairie feel so we used Sesleria autumnal and because the soil was heavy clay [...]
Sorry for the short blog but I just had to show you this picture of a rose I took in Salisbury last week! Natural light is falling into the already lighter colour of the rose just as a bee dives in.
Even a well designed garden can become tired and frayed at the edges as plants get leggy or do better than expected in a particular spot.We replanted the beds, shaped and sculptured 5 large Pittisporum trees and tried to link the magnificent Magnolia that stands in the middle of the lawn with the rest of the garden by planting the 2 Pittisporum ball shaped plants- Pittisporum Tom Thumb and Pittisporum Golf Ball.These plants will become beautifully round and look as if a giant has scattered its marbles on the lawn.
In my last blog I gave some background to Great Dixter.One striking element to the gardens is both the house and strong, dark greens of the Yew topiary. They provide a strong tonal background to the frothier temporal planting of perennials and annuals.This garden is also well known for its use of rare plants and unusual combinations.They beds are saturated in planting detail and even though the gardens are not big one can spend hours there immersed in each 'garden room'.
We balanced the bright white paths with large limestone rocks, and lush woodland planting like Blechnum spicant, Hellebores, Epimedium and some Armeria maritima.The two green wrapped columns are Australian tree ferns which we are ready to disrobe as soon as the weather improves.In the far back of the garden we have planted Sesleria and Dog daisies to soften the picture and provide a backdrop of movement when the breeze picks up.Japanese acres are dotted about and will blaze with their spring and Autumn colour and give some height under the canopy of this magnificent Cedar tree.
As Autumn leaves us and Winter frosts starts to explode the cells in plant leaves and stems and wilt our Summer's efforts, I am reminded of these photos I took of Autumn plant combinations.Creating a garden design for your garden needs to factor in not just particular plants but how they go with each other- the tones of green foliage, the colours, the height and the frothiness of plants, the season they comes into their own and how they look as they die back.
Highdown- Heritage Garden at our Doorstep Highdown Garden in Worthing is one of the best green secrets in the Sussex. It is the biggest and finest chalk garden in the UK with wonderful tree and shrub specimens and a mecca for anyone who wants to know what they can grow if their garden is chalky and therefore alkaline. It is also a very atmospheric garden, a labyrinth of small and larger spaces with different levels including a fish pond, a larger pond at the foot of the chalk cliff and lawn areas for children. Originally the area was a [...]
Dahlia Magic- The Largest Dahlia Collection in the UK on your doorstop Tucked away just outside Storrington along Fryern Rd is an amazing feat of horticulture -the UK’s largest Dahlia collection. Run by the very passionate couple Phillip Godsmark and Mary-Ann Joyce, they grow literally thousands of Dahlias each year from seeds and tubers. If you pass by in your car, or the local bus (Phillip swears that he has noticed more people sit on the side his farm is on so they can marvel) you will see fields of multi coloured blooms. Though they grow mainly for cut flowers, [...]