Seasonal plant allure from Beth Chatto Gardens

Nothing can beat an outing with a new  customer to look at a garden.  It’s the best way to get their bounce-off  reaction to planting combinations and their sense of delight or displeasure to colours, textures and overall form and shape.  A project I am working on at the moment is a small town garden,…

Go and Sow with these 10 Top Tips

I have vowed that this is the year when I will make my garden dance.   It is a silver lining to have time and I would like to share what I know with you. 1.  The sowing wheel is brilliant it tells you when you can sow, depth of planting seeds and spaces between…

A Potager of sorts

 At the entrance to our garden there is a courtyard.  In it a  raised  square flowerbed edged in green oak.  The design reason was to cut down on the square meters of bricks that we laid out in the garden as pathways and to provide a sunny terrace.

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 terrible meadow sowing attempts

There is a patch of ground in my garden that has definitely got the upper hand.  It started as a sulking vegetable plot full of stones and rampant sun flowers.  That era over, the next was a green manure crop of Phacelia tanacetifolia.  Budding up, I failed to cut off the flowers and the next…

Review of Deckchair Gardening by Anne Wareham

In “The Deckchair Gardener”  Anne and her mischievous and irreverent Gnome make it plain that all of us gardeners out there have been had, utterly had by the gardening nonsense that we have been reading over the years.    What was  gospel truth is taken by the collar  and shaken to show up some crazy…

Dig your soil? Or then again, do not

Earlier this year I went to the Garden Press Event buried in the depths of the  Barbican.  Humming and hawing over whether to go, it seemed a long jump from home.    Wrong wrong wrong.  On arrival, a bright pink cupcake got pressed into my hand and spluttering, I fell into the hands of the…

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…

Bulbs – try out the dolly mixture planting style

Bulbs are opportunists.  Most come from the far Eastern end of the Mediterranean, from rocky scree where early  snow melt gives a source of water before summer drought.  The busting into leaf and flower comes from energy suppled by a modified root and shoot system stored in their fleshy cells. Photosynthesis and pollination accomplished, they…

Pennisetum Red Buttons runs away with me

I have been having a love-in with Fountain grasses for quite a while.   Pictured here is the one that I have run away with in my not so big garden.  It is Pennisetum massaicum ‘Red Buttons’. First eye-balled it at the Chelsea launch in 2010 on Neil Lucas’s Knoll stand.  Stalked after that,  including…