If you ever have a few hours to spare, Denmans gardens near Chichester are worth visiting. They are the personal gardens of John Brooks, one of the most influential designers of the 20th Century.What John does so well is create wonderful forms from plant life that form a live tapestry. As you wander around the winding paths you discover a combination of trees and shrubs that have taken years to grow into the combinations that he must have had in his mind years before when he planted the garden.The gardens are a homage to interesting leaf textures and shapes and the [...]
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.
For the last 40 years the Dutch have been at the forefront of very interesting pubic natural planting designs. I came across this municipal area on the site of a busy road in front of some apartments near Narden Bussom just outside Amsterdam. The key elements are large swathes of single species planting linked together with other swathes of differently coloured and textured plants. Perhaps it is a little too bright and tacky on the eye but cycling past this every day would give you a lift. The benefits of this style is that it gives the eye a place [...]
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.
Juliet Sargeant won a Gold Medal this year with her Anti-slavery garden brining awareness to the bonded labour being used throughout the world (It is estimated that their are more slaves now than their has been in the entire history of the world combined) She told me she was 'sick of pinks and blues' and went for a hot pallet. She has used bright red Lupins, copper coloured Verbascums, pastel coloured and bright orange Geums, Kent Pride Irises and purple Heuchera and Fireglow Euphorbia for the hot colours with Sesleria grass and Ammi Major (the white carrot flower) as a [...]
I love this combination for its colour and also variety of shapes. Every plant has at least 7 major contributions to a garden -its colour,fragrance, height, insect attractiveness,shape, movement and changeability through the seasons.
This wonderful combination, by my garden design colleague Juliet Sargeant, combines the electric blue of Agapanthas with softness of Stipa tenuissima.
This is one of the most striking plant combinations I can imagine - Red Sedums and Sea holly