Tag Archives: Design

15 sensational plant combinations you can try at home from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

One of my bugbears around Chelsea time are the naysayers proclaiming the gardens are unrealistic and impossible to recreate at home. You know what I always say to that? Poppycock! (Incidentally, what is a ‘poppycock’ or am I best not asking?) Continue reading 15 sensational plant combinations you can try at home from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Living on a prairie (part 1)

This year I took on my allotment and I designated one bed for garden design experiments. Deeply inspired by Planting in a Post Wild World and then seeing that principle in action at Nigel Dunnet’s design in the Barbican I’m focussing on creating a plant community with drought tolerant plants and grasses. I’ve grown everything from seed or plugs as I do with all plants to fully understand them. So this year it’s (as expected I should add) looking quite bare… Continue reading Living on a prairie (part 1)

Brighton’s futuristic municipal planting

I don’t know what they put in the water down in Brighton (where I work) but I suspect it’s either Maxigrow or – more likely – homemade organic comfrey tea. The public parks around the city are filled with adventurous and sustainable plant communities that look ripped from the pages of a design magazine, especially around the Skate Park. Continue reading Brighton’s futuristic municipal planting

Form factor – our garden in June 2016

The best thing I’ve added to our border this year (I think so far) is Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ – it hasn’t even flowered yet, it’s the leaves. I had no idea the leaves would be so plump and large. In amongst all of the smaller leaved plants, they’ve added the necessary contrast in leaf form our border was missing. As they say, the best things in gardening happen by mistake. I’ve tried to capture this in this photo: Continue reading Form factor – our garden in June 2016

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

Book Review: Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners by Christopher Lloyd

As a novice gardener, there are gardening concepts we all struggle with (dappled shade vs light shade, free draining but water retentive etc). Once you ‘get it’ you get it, until then the answer can elude you, like walking a maze in heavy fog. You know the solution is obvious but damned if you can find it. Continue reading Book Review: Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners by Christopher Lloyd

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

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

Clapham Manor Street front garden

At the Chelsea Flower Show 2014, one of the gardens I loved the most was the London Square garden, inspired by the many London squares around the city. And the plant of the year for me was Cornus Kousa variety I believe is a chinensis, within that garden. So it caught my eye that this small front garden on Clapham Manor Street had a very similar look. I loved walking past it each day coming back from work. Continue reading Clapham Manor Street front garden