Author Archive

Winter Garden Structure

In temperate and northern climates architectural plants are most evident during the skeletal winter months, when all is laid bare. So what is an architectural plant? Structure and form are its two common elements. Visually strong and ever-present, architectural plants are the backbone of every planting scheme and are the first and most important choices to be made by the designer. They create the framework that supports the entire planting plan and are therefore usually large shrubs, grasses, bamboos, ferns, hedges or trees. They may be deciduous or evergreen, but chosen for permanency in the [...]

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Landscape Design Style: Should You Specialise

Is specialising in one particular landscape design style a good idea?  Aspiring garden designers, just like any students of a new discipline, may have dreams or ambition to design other than domestic or commercial landscapes. The world of landscape and garden design is just that: a big wide world full of opportunities and challenges. Your design course will give you a thorough grounding in the history of garden design through the ages, in climates and conditions some familiar, others that may be completely alien to the environments and climates you have experienced. You will learn how to manage [...]

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A Moment at Dusk

Taking Inspiration from Nature.  I took my dog Oliver for a favourite walk at dusk this evening. It was 5.15pm and still just light enough to make out the path which runs high above and parallel to the sandy strand edging the bay. Known as 'green lanes' around here they are tractor-wide grassy tracks flanked by dry stone walls and hedges. They criss-cross and meander through paddocks and fields, unseen and away from asphalted roads and used almost exclusively by farmers checking on livestock and moving them from pasture to pasture to graze in peace. From the air these tracks are visible, [...]

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Autumn/Fall Plants: A Design Palette of Bright Orange, Chocolate, Latte, Mustard + Green

The colour green underpins the whole of nature; without green plants we would be unable to breathe or eat. So it is the predominant colour in gardens linking each plot to the surrounding landscape. Even in a highly urban setting there is likely to be one tree or patch of grass within sight. I've noticed that autumn greens often contain more blue than the yellow-infused sharp lime greens of spring. Green also acts as a brilliant foil for every other colour and it is the warmest of these colours that come into play in the autumn or fall season in temperate climates. For some autumn is a sad [...]

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Gardening Jobs: Thinking of Becoming a Garden Designer?

Did you know that most people in their 40's / 50's, looking at gardening jobs as a possible career change, choose garden design?  There are myriad reasons for choosing to study landscape or garden design.  Perhaps that is why you are reading this article? While some may be a school-leaver or new graduate entranced by the notion of working with plants in the great outdoors. Most are mid-life change of career students who simply want to get back to nature. Perhaps you are seeking a new career direction, want to escape the rat race.  Can't stand working in an office a moment longer, need a new [...]

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