Archive | Garden design

Less Effort Gardening

Even the most enthusiastic gardener has limits on their time and for many people gardening has to come behind all sorts of other commitments. But everyone deserves a great garden and we all want the maximum impact from the effort that we put in.    Many people think that a garden with lots of intersting plants […]

Win my ‘Box of Tricks’ video gardening tutorials

GREAT NEWS: during February 2018 you can win my Gardening by Design ‘Box of Tricks’ video gardening tutorials absolutely FREE in an Amateur Gardening Magazine competition.  There are ten copies of the videos on offer.  The competition is run online by the magazine and their terms and conditions apply. click here to go to the […]

Garden design – the practicalities

Winter is a time to think about any changes you may want to make to your garden layout for next summer and there are some key practical questions to be answered before you get onto the creative, artistic part of the project. I always advise people to look at gardens, large and small, for inspiration […]

What is hard landscaping in the garden for?

November can be a dank and drear month not very conducive to pottering in the garden but it is a good time to evaluate the overall layout of your garden, free from the fluff of foliage and flowers.  A key element of the layout of a garden is hard landscaping so this month’s ‘garden ponder’ is […]

Parterres & Knots – still relevant today?

Parterres and knot gardens date from the 16th century in France and England respectively and are usually associated with National Trust properties and other large country houses.  In fact the photograph shows one half of the impressive Parterre Garden at National Trust Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire   However they have a lot to offer the […]

Do you need a prairie sized border for Prairie Planting?

Prairie Planting has been popular for a decade or so now and is a new take on the traditional Herbaceous Border, but with less effort.  The aim is to provide flower power throughout the summer and right into autumn and end up with a good number of plants that will dry off but remain upstanding […]

Does your garden need a message?

I spent a day at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July and have since been pondering the question “does your (or my) garden need a message?”.  Readers of this column will know that I am a firm believer in looking at other gardens for ideas whether these are permanent gardens or show installations.  One […]

Shadow Play with Plants

Bright sunny days make for delightful garden visiting but for an amateur photographer like me, inexpertly using a smartphone camera, the exaggerated contrast between sun and shade is quite a challenge.  So on a few recent occasions I have searched out planting that deliberately accentuates shadows for decorative effect and taken some rather neat photographs. […]