Beware plastic netting in lawn and wildflower turf

One of the biggest problems in designed gardens that I and people I work with come across is plastic mesh buried in lawns R

10 native UK weeds to grow for wildlife

My book Wild about Weeds looks at the wildlife value of many weeds I feel are some of the most beautiful, concentrating on how

Cornwall: rock and stone

Chris and I feel incredibly lucky to have been away to Cornwall for a week in autumn this year given everything that is happen

Littlebury Road through 2020

This year is a difficult one for all of us in many unexpected ways, through it our garden has given me an anchor and a project

Wild about Weeds Photograph Competition 2020 – winners!

There were loads of entries into the first Wild about Weeds 2020 Photography Competition! Entries were incredibly strong with

17 reasons to avoid fake lawns – how bad is artificial grass for the environment?

I never design gardens with fake grass for aesthetic, experiential and environmental reasons. That said, some of my clients do

Late summer in the city

I really like to feel the seasons, feel them with all my senses. That’s why our garden is carefully planted in successio

Sarah Raven’s Perch Hill

This is one garden I have wanted to visit for many years, Perch Hill, home to cut flower expert and grower, Sarah Raven. Based

Trials and titillations at RHS Wisley after lockdown

I love RHS Wisley. I will always credit the garden and the teams who manage it with truly opening my eyes to horticulture. Whe

The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith

For the last month the voice of Sue Stuart-Smith has accompanied me on eleven and a half hours of car journeys to and from gar

Gardening in southern England’s changed climate

Where are we now, into the fifth summer on my allotment, and despite going into this year with optimism after two sun baked su

Why don’t we talk more about patterns in gardens?

I find patterns in gardens fascinating (so much so I wrote a book about them) and I find it strange they aren’t discusse

Come back dragonfly

I spent the whole of yesterday writing outside in our garden for a new project and it’s amazing what you notice by doing

Come into my world: haphazard

On my allotment two years ago I started increasing the number of ornamental plants because I found I had loads of spares, to u

Allotment Month 55: vigorous legumes, squash and pumpkins, tomatoes

Do you ever have the feeling you’re being left behind in gardening? You think your tomatoes are doing well when you spot

Gardening needs diversity

Over the last week I’ve watched what is happening in America in horror and disbelief, largely of course because the systemic

How to make an Aeonium arboreum branch (part three)

I’ve been asked a lot over the last couple of years for an update on my Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ and cutt

How to support vegetables and flowers

I thought I’d jot down some quick notes about how I am supporting the plants that need it on my allotment this year. Thi

RHS’ The Gardener’s Book of Patterns: a directory of design, style and inspiration

The Gardener’s Book of Patterns, published for the RHS (out now) is a source book of ideas for any gardener interested i

How to grow annual Persicaria orientalis from seed

One of the Persicaria we’re not judging on the RHS Persicaria Trial Forum is Persicaria orientalis because it’s an

From plot to place: allotments benefit from a bit of character

Words can’t describe how much I love my allotment this year. It feels to me as though it has morphed into its own place, a d

A right hodgepodge

Regular readers may recall that about two years ago I started planting spare cuttings, divisions and seedlings of plants IR

15 best free gardens to visit in London

Looking for maximum planty wonder without spending a penny? Then check out my fave London garden and parks below. This is a re

How to grow organic rhubarb and cook it – the tastiest around!

I love rhubarb. I love its flavour and I love how easy it is to grow. I always recommend planting rhubarb before anything else

How to prune salvias – three pruning groups

A group of plants I grow a lot in my own garden and in my clients’ garden designs is the perennial Salvias. Salvias are

From the streets: London’s green spaces in Lockdown

Everyone has been coping with the last month in their own way, surreal is a word I’ve been bandying around a lot, it fee

Pot’s Growing On in April? Here come the insects, pretty things and dividing geraniums

I’m sitting outside writing in a t-shirt, spring is here! I mean, it has turned chilly now and I’m defiantly carry


We’re all stuck at home in an attempt to curb the spread of covid-19 coronavirus and if you’re like me, to get thr

Littlebury garden redesign (part two) – Breathing new life into the soil

As I write this the country has for all intents and purposes joined the rest of the world going into lockdown for three weeks

How to divide a miniature water lily

Not everyone has a miniature water lily but they really should! Easy to grow in any still water at a depth of about 30 –

11 ideas to grow your way through Coronavirus self-isolation boredom

Supermarkets have plenty of food to see us all through the coronavirus (covid-19) but in the likely event of having to go thro

How to grow organic purple sprouting broccoli and cook it

It wasn’t until I started growing my own vegetables I even clocked that purple sprouting broccoli existed. In the superm

Allotment Month 52 – March: hunt for the best purple sprouting broccoli, forced rhubarb and colour like no other!

I’m looking at my desk (on which I’m typing) thinking crap, where AM I going to put all of the seedlings this year

Book review: The Five Minute Garden by Laetitia Maklouf

There was a point last year when life was so busy I found spending time in my own garden was depressingly difficult. Gradually

A year in vegetable, fruit and herb photos

We’re taught not to play with our food but WHATEVS, I love arranging veg to show them at their beautiful best before pre

Pot’s Growing On in February? Peat free propagation, houseplant beautification and winter division

Over the last few weeks I’ve been gradually getting ready for spring one little task at a time. I haven’t had the

From plant to seed bank, how Kew Gardens is saving the planet’s flora and us

I’ve been visiting Kew Gardens – like many people I’m sure – since I was a little boy and have been at

Littlebury garden redesign (part one) – Goodbye pots! Goodbye paving!

I’ve been thinking of making changes to our garden for a couple of years. The number of pots we have are getting out of

Growing avocados in London

It’s been widely known that avocados can grow in London for decades, I’ve seen the trees around the city since I m

What seeds to sow in January

In the UK in January, daylight hours are still very short, outside temperatures low and likely to get lower in February. The b

11 steps to a wildlife friendly allotment

I love all life and I’m sure if you’re reading this you don’t need any explanation as to why helping wildlif

Book Review: Rootbound: Rewilding A Life by Alice Vincent

Full disclosure, Alice is a good friend, so going into Rootbound I kept trying to discern if I enjoyed it because I knew Alice

Book Review: Wilding by Isabella Tree

I found the early scene setting chapters of Wilding interesting if frustrating. ‘Rewilding’ land is something I ha

This decade let’s not lose sight of protecting wild habitats

Over the last year we’ve seen a wonderful increase in the number of people demanding action to save our planet and all l

Allotment Month 49: growing up

My fourth year on the allotment has whooshed by and during the very wet start to winter I popped down on a couple of dry and s

Organic gardening pros recommend chemical free roses

As a garden designer, the most popular plants requested by clients – topping lavender, olive trees and lawns – are

From the streets: Bonnington Square, Vauxhall in Autumn

Last Sunday I gave myself the morning off writing projects and decided to visit Bonnington Square on the recommendation of my

Stinging nettles, a troublesome but useful weed

Some people have asked why stinging nettles aren’t in my book Wild about Weeds and the answer is: 1) It’s celebrat

How to grow Begonia leaf cuttings

I love leafy begonias with their wonderful patterns, colours and shapes. In fact, I can’t have enough of them. The only

How to protect tender plants over winter in small spaces

Living in a tiny one bed urban flat here in London, it proves quite a challenge for growing tender exotics. Advice is always t