Gardening Zones for Europe, US, Canada, China, Japan & Australia

  With the recently updated USDA gardening zones for the USA more than 80 million gardeners will find themselves declared a half zone warmer this week. This is the first update to the map since 1990 although the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has stopped short, of confirming this is a trend towards global warming. For more information on 'gardening zones' see MICROCLIMATES: HOW TO CHANGE YOUR GARDEN’S CLIMATE Europe Gardening Zones Map USA Gardening Zones Map Canada Gardening Zones Map China Gardening Zones Map Japan Gardening Zones Map Australia Gardening [...]

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Garden Images: 10 Professional Garden Photography Tips

Garden images Tip 1. On cloudless days to obtain the best garden images, try to visit the garden early or late in the day to get the best light. ‘The Golden Hour’ is consider to be some of the best light for garden images and many phone apps such as ‘Sun Position’ by Stonekick tell you the start and end times are for that day. Garden images Tip 2. A breeze is the garden photographer’s worst enemy. If you’re hoping to do some close-ups, check the five-day weather forecast, and try to go on a day when the wind strength is low – preferably 6 mph or below. Take a Wimberley Plamp (Plant [...]

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How to Design a Garden: Does Form Follow Function?

Does Form Follow Function?   A long-term and continuing debate has been whether form follows function, or function follows form? Initially, as a trained artist, but novice, student designer, I felt instinctively - and arrogantly - that the functions of the garden could follow its form; in other words, I would be able to design the ground patterns and layout I wanted, and could then translate these into a garden that fulfilled the functions required by the client. This approach is not entirely without merit and remains a luxurious possibility. Particularly if you are presented with a completely [...]

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How to Design A Garden: Nature As Inspiration

Designing with nature requires the designer to develop heightened awareness. Not just of suitable plants for a specific location, but for the genius loci (spirit of Place).  The climate, prevailing wind direction, aspect, gradient, soil, indigenous vegetation, geology, all affect the design choices. Every garden is unique and your job is to recognise, explore and exploit this genius loci, this sense of place. Such wide-ranging knowledge will equip you with the confidence to make selective decisions about the garden. Nature can be a great help. Use it. Make notes on-site about every detail, [...]

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Poisonous Plants: A Garden Designers Guide

A Garden Designer’s Guide To Poisonous Plants On average, two gardeners a year die in the UK as a result of poisonous plants. There are poisonous plants lurking in almost every garden, dangerous to humans and animals alike. Many poisonous plants are far from obvious except to the expert. Those discussed in this blog are by no means exhaustive, but illustrate a range of concerns that should be foremost in the designer's mind. You need always to be sensitive to these dangers, whoever your clients may be and especially if they have young children or pets. Awareness is also in the interests of [...]

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