Established Garden Design Company Working in the Chilterns and North London




Filtering by Category: Garden design

Custom Built Garden Seating

A recent client brief included the need to disguise a wall and a need for seating in shade. I designed a seating area with planting behind it and specified Yellow Balau hardwood for the seating planks.

Construction was a simple process for the landscaper, and cost effective for the client.  Concrete blockwork was used for the formwork, render, beading then masonary paint and finally wooden slats were added. Raised beds were formed in the backrest to the seating, with membrane and top soil then added.

We have planted the shady area of the raised bed with ferns, and added tree ferns plus some grasses and palms in the sunnier part of the small space.

The client is already thinking about a custom made table for the area!


Pond design and build

A really rewarding project for me this summer has been the replacement and re-build of a pond. Having studied pond design, and aquatic planting for my garden design qualifications, its not often that you get to create large water features from scratch.

I have found a wonderful new trade supplier of aquatic plants which really added to the maturity of this project from day 1 - The photos are from the first week after planting!

My plant of the Month - May

It is Chelsea flower show month - my favorite month of the year when everything in the garden is bursting forth with lime green growth and promise.

My plant of the month has to be Wisteria - I wait for months for the early signs of the hanging blooms - and know that only after a hard prune in late winter will I be rewarded!

I am lucky to have renovated one of my client's glorious wisteria's a few years ago so when my own is disappointing, I can visit to see theirs in all of its glory. It is Wisteria sinensis, and has the best fragrance.

Spring is here and Chelsea is around the corner!

My Plant of the month - April

My plant of the month has to be Amerlanchier lamarckii (Snowy mespilus).


This wonderful small tree or shrub has the most amazing light flowers in spring and makes a really elegant multi-stem tree in time..... the new leaves are bronze-tinged and these turn to green and then an orange red in Autumn. You also get purple fruits - so whats not to like?

It ticks all of the garden designers requirements of flower interest, fruits and autumn colour.  It likes some sun but is really effective in semi-shade or even woodland settings, and is Beth Chatto's favorite woodland plant. I use this in a lot of my planting schemes as a small, value shrub and will always use 3 or more to create that spash of colour in Spring and Autumn.

It's finished - 1st garden build of 2016 complete!


Going back to a previous blog at the start of March, my brilliant landscaper Rian (Silverleaf landscaping) finished the really complex build of the design last week and we planted the front garden/driveway up over two days with Olive trees, Tibetan cherries, Liquidamber and Pinus mugo plus many other shrubs and perennials. I hope you agree its looking great and will prove to be a really practical scheme, that also softens the house with planting and new practical terracing.

I can't wait to see the planting fill out over this summer now!



Are they driveways or 'gardens'?!

Driveways seem to be a common theme in my work at the moment and its worth noting that they need to be thought through and designed carefully to maximise the visual impact of the design.

First of all the surfacing needs to be 'SUDS' compliant to ensure good water percolation through the driveway surface to prevent runoff and too much stress on local drains when it rains - this is a legal requirement.

Second, the driveway should feel like a garden with generous planting beds, vertical accents in the foliage, trees and shrubs. Our cars are getting bigger but good planting design around the main parking areas will be worth the investment to complement the front of the house and soften the effect of the cars sitting outside.

Here is a peak at a new design that I have just presented to clients - very tricky in terms of the fall/heights and getting the right balance of planting to hard landscape!