A pretty challenging year all round in 2020 and also a busy one - my thanks go out to suppliers and contractors who kept going in restricted times, and to all my lovely clients who entrust me with their gardens.
Wednesday 23 December 2020
Monday 17 August 2020
A hilly site brings its own challenges. This sloping front garden in Weybridge, Surrey, has three partially submerged retaining walls built with sleepers, with the above-ground rocks performing a more cosmetic job of keeping the soil in place.
Thursday 2 July 2020
Giving these Pittosporum tenuifolium Golf Balls a trim this morning, I reflected that while it's a pretty unassuming plant, it's also probably the first shrub on the team sheet for most of the planting schemes I design.
It seems to do well in the London clay soil, and is happy in anything except deep shade. They're good mixers too: the bright-but-not-showy green leaves blend well with other greens and different textures. They can be clipped, not too tightly, into spheres, or left to grow out into shaggier spheres - they're a naturally tidy plant.
And versatile: I've planted them as standalone shrubs, as hedges, as focal points in a border, and as Buxus substitutes. And they're evergreen, so look good all the year round.
Sunday 14 June 2020
Midsummer flowers, from my own garden for once, revived by a bit of midweek rain -
Saturday 18 April 2020
The patterned tiles were chosen from the Sorrento range supplied by Fired Earth. The intricate detailing might have been overwhelming in a larger patio but in this compact space they brought light and texture.
The cedar bench was designed by The Urban Hedgerow built from scratch onsite by Graham Thompson of Creative Landscapes London, creating enough room to seat 8-10 people comfortably - or for fewer people to stretch out on cushions. The fence to the right was also built on site using materials from Jacksons Fencing and the corten steel screen, covering an unsightly gap in the rear wall was supplied by Stark and Greensmith.
|We installed uplights in the raised bed to highlight shapes of the bamboo and other plants after dark.
|The dark blue colour of the fence echoes the colour scheme inside the house. Exterior wood paint from Little Greene.
|Plenty of seating with the bespoke cedar bench and the bistro table
|Left: the old softwood deck was replaced by the patterned tiles, right. The built-in deck provides plenty of seating without clutter, and uses the existing wall of the raised bed as a backrest.
Friday 17 April 2020
It's a visual feast in the garden at the moment: spring flowers dancing in the breeze and adding delicate pastel shades to borders, verges and containers.
Thursday 19 March 2020
Your outdoor space, whether it's a balcony, courtyard, or garden, is precious. It could become a lifeline and a haven in the next few weeks and months for anyone who is self-isolating, whether as a precaution or in quarantine.
|Various succulents can live happily in a shallow bowl.
Thursday 12 March 2020
An early spring visit to the walled garden at Felley Priory, Nottinghamshire today. Parts of the priory date back to 1156, and today, the garden is justly renowned for its incredible topiary, the snowdrops (now just going over) and the summer herbaceous borders.
I was particularly struck by how beautifully tended and cared-for the plants were overall, from the carpet of hellebores to the magnificent wall-trained Magnolia grandifloras. Well-stocked nursery, too -
Wednesday 22 January 2020
Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire', as in the container at the top of this post, is used extensively in winter gardens such as those at Anglesey Abbey, above, the avenues of flamecoloured stems creating a dramatic display. Anglesey Abbey also has impressive stands of bright white birch trees and at this time of year, the ground is carpeted with snowdrops. Red- and purple-stemmed Cornus will also give the same effect - see the winter garden at the Cambridge Botanical Gardens, below.