Category Archives: Public gardens

Visiting other gardens is one of the best ways to expand your gardening and garden design knowledge, and to gain inspiration. Here are some photo blogs of the ones I’ve been to.

24 Things at the Chelsea Flower Show 2016

This is my third year at the Chelsea Flower Show and it remains an emotional experience. Excitement, inspiration. Admiration for the designers. Threaded with regret for my wasted years of not focussing on garden design. Only counterbalanced by a tiny sparkle of hope from the RHS education programme that tells me it’s not too late. Continue reading 24 Things at the Chelsea Flower Show 2016

PHOTO GALLERY: Barbican Conservatory, London

Brutalist, futurist. Despite the concrete, the Barbican exudes such atmosphere and style that you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into an alternative reality. This is a place where plants have been used to transform one of the worst looking buildings into something very special indeed. The Barbican is part Gardens of Babylon, part video game. Continue reading PHOTO GALLERY: Barbican Conservatory, London

Rousham: getting to the heart of landscape garden design

As I arrived at Rousham, the single other visitor was leaving and I had the entire place to myself for the duration. The only people I saw were two of the gardeners quietly weeding and pruning in the walled garden, and (I think) the lady of the house walking her dog (other dogs not allowed, understandably). Continue reading Rousham: getting to the heart of landscape garden design

Photo Gallery: My favourite garden design inspiration from my travels

This gallery contains a selection of my favourite garden design from 2014 and 2015. Photos are from the last two Chelsea Flower Shows, Sissinghurst, Nyman’s, Great Dixter, RHS Wisley, Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Cragside, Biddulph Grange, Sky Garden, Garden Museum, various local NGS gardens, Regent’s Park and random locations in London and Brighton. I hope you find it all as inspirational as I do. Continue reading Photo Gallery: My favourite garden design inspiration from my travels

Regent’s Park a high summer stunner

I can’t be very observant. I’ve been visiting Regent’s Park my whole life but only paid attention to the incredible planting last summer. Thousands of roses, tropical paradise borders, Japanese areas and more. It’s like visiting Kew Gardens without the fourteen quid entry fee. One of London’s best free attractions. Look… Continue reading Regent’s Park a high summer stunner

NGS 2015 – one of the greatest things to hit British summertime

Quite unexpectedly, one of the highlights of my year snuck up on me and I now look forward to it more than a raspberry Magnum on a hot day – the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Simple in its premise, garden enthusiasts open their little patch of Earth to the public in exchange for charitable donations. You get to nose about and appreciate private spaces, charities benefit. Perfect. Continue reading NGS 2015 – one of the greatest things to hit British summertime

Sissinghurst & Monks House – intertwined lives endure in the gardens

We visited Vita Sackville-West’s Sissinghurst Castle and Virginia Woolf’s Monks House on separate days during our Sussex holiday in July, and although I learnt at the latter that they knew each other, it’s only now, on reading further, I find out that they were lovers. Virginia, so smitten she wrote an entire novel about Vita. I am shocked, this is all news to me. Continue reading Sissinghurst & Monks House – intertwined lives endure in the gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in early summer

My fourth trip to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the first time at the start of summer when everything is bursting into life. I was visiting for another RHS Level 2 study weekend about veg and fruit production and protection in an enclosed environment. You won’t find any of that here, only plant eye candy. Continue reading Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in early summer

15 Things at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Last year was my first trip to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it changed my world. This year, it didn’t have the same gobsmacking impact, but I could appreciate what I was seeing much better. The gardens I enjoyed more – the ones I liked the most had a story, like a fantasy world set piece, which is what I think a garden should be. Because… why not! Continue reading 15 Things at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Chelsea Physic Garden in Autumn

Today I made the most of my new Royal Horticultural Society membership and visited the Chelsea Physic Garden next to the Thames. It’s a living, breathing museum and really does feel like that – it’s the most outdoors museum I’ve been to, complete with labels and educational messaging next to every ‘exhibit’. If you want to know where aspirin comes from, you can actually see and touch the plant right here. Continue reading Chelsea Physic Garden in Autumn

RHS Wisley Flower Show 2014

Yesterday I went to RHS Wisley for the flower show, in particular the National Dahlia Society’s annual show and I hadn’t prepared myself for the garden itself, stupid fool that I am. But that added to a magical experience, it was like discovering Kew all over again, a secret garden of Eden, its existence I knew nothing about. Immediately it is one of my favourite places in the world. Continue reading RHS Wisley Flower Show 2014