Established Garden Design Company Working in the Chilterns and North London




Filtering by Tag: driveway design

Frosty mornings.....

What a lovely day to be out and about - away from the design office and seeing my gardens in the depth of winter!

I was up on the 2 acre garden we built from scratch 2 years ago, doing some more shrub planting and I was amazed at how good the grasses and shrubs looked in the early morning sunshine and frost. I love using grasses for their winter structure and form, and  the cornus were also looking stunning - with glowing reds and yellow stems in the soft sunlight.

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!


Plant of the Month - July


My plant of the month for July is a one horse race - Agapanthus. I like them so much that even my company logo is an Agapanthus flower

These large strappy leaved plants from South Africa are considered boring by some but for me epitomise summer. The leaves add a dark green lush texture to borders and used near terraces in beds or in pots, both the white and blue/purple cultivars are stunning. The anticipation for flowers of the first emerging buds to the growth of long stalks with buds on is considerable, but once open the flowers will last 2-3 weeks as a minimum.

All they need is some tomato feed based plant fertiliser mixed with water to set good flower buds for the following year. Make sure however that you don’t buy non-hardy varieties – or allow hardy varieties to sit in cold wet soil for the winter as they will rot and die. Saying that, I always end up replacing about a 1/3rd of my stock year to year! Slow growers – they are worth the wait once the flowers are out!

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.