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…

Nature is inspiring

Arrest yourself on a country walk by drinking in the surroundings:  shimmering leaves, whispering grasses, exuberant colour of stems or twisted torso of bare tree.    Nature throws out high design.  Where we live, the

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…

Do ‘water features’ set your teeth on edge?

    Musings in our house  have turned to the magical quality of  water, to where  to put it in the garden and what the influences and inspiration might be.    I will walk you round the history and psychology of water in the landscape, but for starters,  I am giving rosettes for my three…

Advice on fruit trees: which type to grow

Fruit trees are magnificent and lovely even without the eating.  Garden designers hunt around for architectural plants and most fruit trees have this this quality in spadefuls.  A few winters ago, I was tasked to renovate a small old orchard and my tree surgeon, who is a trained artist, pruned the old trees.  Out with…

How to bud a rose

Well why would you?  Its quite simple – roses can be grown by taking cuttings but to graft a bud onto the rootstock of Rosa Laxa means that vigour and sturdiness is engendered in the new rose plants.    And as to can I be bothered?  – what could be more exciting than rescuing a…

10 tips for getting the wedding garden ready

Here in Suffolk we are getting a garden ready for a wedding this September.   It may come behind the cake, the frock and the marquee but any keen gardener will want their patch to look perfect.  The budget for this end of the party will be minimal and so how do you plan for…

10 tips for the direct sowing of flowering annuals

Long  ago we had a cat and an attic in Peckham.  Seed trays were lined up to bask in the light beaming down through the sky lights.  The cat got up there and thought we had left her a litter tray.  It put me off seed sowing for years. But there is no better way…

10 tips for indoor seed sowing for the Allotment

The idea behind sowing into pots and the like, is to steal a march on the seasons.  Since outside is  Narnia, it is the only way to garden at all at the moment.  You do not need a greenhouse.  Below are 10 handy tips: Just remember what a seed needs to bring it out of…

How to choose a tree for the diminutive garden

The 21st garden can be a shrinking violet of a patch.   There is practically no room to swing a cat, but you still want a tree.   This is the last of three posts on choosing a tree for the small, smaller and by now diminutive garden. In my mind’s  eye, the plants I…