Shapes and textures matter to Beth Chatto

The gravel garden at Beth Chatto is inspired by a wadi or dry river bed.  I know this because Dan Pearson told us last week at Essex University where he delivered a lecture for the Beth Chatto Education Trust.  The reference is clearly drawn with  banks and eddies of planting, separated by a wide gravel…

The questionable matter of choice in choosing the right plant

Last weekend an old friend came to stay.  We talked about garden design and his question was “don’t you have too much choice?”.  My  firm principle is to work with what is there.  Most of my customers have large country gardens which may have gone awry.   Beneath the quick revenge that nature takes, there…

My 10 top tips for a successful PLANTING PLAN

This week I have mostly been spending time on  planting plans and fending off the breath of chaos breathing  down the back of my collar as I juggle with 6 or 7 different projects.  It’s worth sharing some knowledge. THERMOMETER:  Plant choice is worked out with my customers who can have as little or as…

10 reasons why I hate planting plans

1.  They create unreasonable expectation. 2.  They are totally static and nature is not. 3.  Planting plans have people drooling for the ultimate moment of peak perfection for that lovely flower only to have to stare at the wrong foliage or dead die back for almost all the rest of the year. Please do follow…