Author Archive

Container Gardening

Designing With Containers – Avoiding Tacky! Almost anything that holds soil and can have drainage holes inserted maybe used for containing plants. Retail outlets stock a vast range of traditional ceramic, terracotta, glass fibre and stone pots, window boxes and containers, some attractive and some hideous. It's important that they are frost proof, so check those imported from Mediterranean or far eastern countries as they may not be. Be careful of pots with a narrow neck, as the plant will be almost impossible to remove once its roots have developed. Avoid plastic pots. They are ugly, clash [...]

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Autumn/Fall–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 and [...]

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Changing Course

Thinking of Becoming a Garden Designer?There are a myriad reasons for choosing to study landscape or garden design and perhaps that is why you are reading this blog. You may be a school-leaver or new graduate entranced by the notion of working with plants in the great outdoors. Perhaps you are seeking a new career direction, want to escape the rat race of commuting, can't stand working in an office a moment longer, need a new and exciting challenge, or just want to be your own boss.Often it is several of these. It is never too soon to make a start and it is certainly never too late. I speak from [...]

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Design Ideas – Taking the Rough with the Smooth

Rough grass is an immensely useful tool for the garden designer. How is it defined? It is simply grass that has been allowed to grow taller than adjacent smooth lawn grass, or that may already exist as paddock or naturally occurring grass in a virgin plot. Cut a few centimetres above a tightly mown lawn it allows you to reinforce strong geometric curves in a ground plan, contouring and sculpting the surface and rendering the flow and rhythm of the pattern highly visible. The rough grass accentuates the velvety smoothness of the mown areas. In large gardens – and even in moderately-sized plots [...]

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Design Inspiration -Renewing the bond with nature

Almost every day I walk (or rather run) my dog Oliver in the grassy dunes backing a small, unspoilt white sand beach called Shanawalla. This pristine little wilderness of about five acres changes quite dramatically through the seasons. In winter, after weeks of relentless rain, natural lakes of rainwater form and remain until March or April, so that you have to navigate your pathways carefully to avoid a lake or pond cul-de-sac. Curlews, oystercatchers, grey herons and white cattle egrets paddle about, picking up whatever food they can find, sheltered a little from the prevailing south west winds [...]

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