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, [...]
We completely cleared this small Brighton courtyard, laid grey Indian sandstone and brought in three cloud pruned Olive trees. (It was a miracle we got them through the house.)On the steps we used a bespoke ornamental tile and the Olives are underplanted with Allium Purple Sensations, Libertia peregrinas, Geranium White-ness, Verbena bonsariensis and Gaura. This underplanting will take over from the Alliums to provide lasting summer and Winter interest.
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 [...]
I took these photos of Cow Parsley around the lower lake at Sissinghurst. Cow parsley - Anthriscus sylvestris- is achingly beautiful in a wild setting but not great in a garden bed as it spreads and is a nightmare to contain. However a good mix of plants in your garden should include the umbellifera shape as it softens formal hedges and topiary, compliments other flower shapes like daisies, balls, bells and spires and gives a general frothy and floating effect. There are lovely well behaved alternatives. If you want height you can go for Fennel or Angelica. If you are [...]
Here is a garden we did earlier this year. Until some of the flowers get going, the leaf texture is what we concentrated on in the design for early Summer. There is the frilliness of Fennel, the fleshiness of Canna Lillies, the bright orange and yellow of Heleniums and Hemmerocalis, the silver of Artemesia and Cynara and the purple of Lobelia 'Queen Victoria' and a Black Adder Phormium. With a mixture of exotics plus traditional plants like Fennel a Perennial Design can really be a woven tapestry of shapes and colours.
It is not often one sees a huge field of Dahlias. This one I passed two weeks ago in Storrington and had to stop the car. Dahlias were originally imported from South America for their edible roots, went through a period of being in fashion and then out again. In the last ten years they have multiplied in the variety of colour and form one can buy and have a strong ability to keep their vividness from the end of August till November. They can be planted in random points in your bed design or in large clumps of 5 [...]
Here is some colour to knock your January socks off! Penstemons which will flower from early summer all the way to the first frosts, the delicate fronds and flowers of the Silk Tree, Dahlias, the tropical Canna Lillies and the annual Amaranthus. Now is the bet time to start planning your perennial beds - there is no rush to go out and buy straight away so you can take your time looking through books (or these days, Google Images!) Maybe think about a 'hot' border this year - passionate and vibrant oranges and reds - they look great especially next [...]