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 in pushing the look of their garden by using the largely undiscussed power of pattern. A percentage of the sales contributes toward the RHS charity.

“Wallington’s book will have you looking at your most familiar surroundings from a completely different perspective… An extensive collection of inspirational images and thoughtful words that will get you reaching for a pencil and paper to begin planning your next garden project.”
– Benjamin William Pope, head gardener, Gardens Illustrated

“This is the first in-depth exploration of [pattern] in relation to gardens.”
Juanita Coulson, The Lady

I was surprised that there are virtually no gardening books that talk about pattern, yet it’s as important as colour, texture and shape in the garden and a linking thread between all of these things. Pattern is so important for making a garden work.

On my travels I’ve also found that there is much still to learn about pattern from different cultures and their gardens around the world. I’ve included some discussion and examples for Ancient Egyptian, Islamic, Moorish and Japanese gardens.

“This visually enticing book by a rising star of British garden design draws attention to the patterns that occur both naturally and artificially, in plants themselves, in hard landscaping, and in outdoor furniture or art. With a cornucopia of images of planting combinations and layouts, this book shows that a unifying pattern can give your garden the continuity and integrity it needs.”
– Clare Foster, Homes & Gardens

Throughout writing the book I found that my view of the world was changed, seemingly permanently, as I am still spotting patterns where I didn’t before. My hope is that by reading the book and seeing the examples, it will help to share some of this perspective with you and to offer some impactful new plants, planting schemes and other garden ideas to try out in your own garden.

“An exhaustive deconstruction of how garden design works.”
– Mandy Bradshaw, The Chatty Gardener

The book is split into different chapters, starting by exploring the way in which colour, texture and shape can be used to create patterns, and how pattern can in turn be used to manipulate perspective and to create cohesion in a space. The book then breaks down all components of gardens and outdoor spaces large and small by looking at:

  • Plants with strong pattern to their look
  • Plant combinations in formal and naturalistic plantings
  • Patterns across larger planting areas and garden layouts
  • Mazes, meadows and lawn art
  • Examples of different hard landscaping features and the patterns within them from patios, paths, steps, walls and fences
  • Furniture, fabrics and paint
  • Water features including rills, fountains and swimming pools
  • Architecture, landforms and wider landscapes, because conversely patterns on these will have as much of an impact on a garden as patterns within it!

“From ambitious, large-scale features such as parterres to smaller arrangements of flowering plants, this gorgeously illustrated and practical reference book is full of inspiring ideas. Whether you want to create a garden with a natural feel, or a more formal design, Wallington’s suggestions lend themselves to spaces of all shapes and sizes.”
– Juanita Coulson, The Lady

You can order The Gardener’s Book of Patterns here now or find it in most good book shops.