Archive for the ‘garden design’ Category

Before and after – Somerset

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

I don’t usually post before and after pictures however some clients sent me some pictures of their garden a couple of years on from initial planting.  They also had just opened their garden for the first time as part of the village open gardens event and sent me an email full of enthusiasm:

…”Having not had any previous experience, we were a little apprehensive as to whether people would be interested.  As it turned out our fears were unfounded and we received very favourable comments from most of the 280+ visitors.
In order to explain the story of this comparatively recent garden, we produced a manual with “before and after” pictures. It also contained photocopies of your planting plans and the alphabetic plant note pages. We also had a copy of your letterhead to show that we had had professional help….”

The garden is full of texture, colour, movement and interest now.  There is less grass to mow creating more time and space for a bit of vegetable growing.

Masterclass with Dr. Nigel Dunnett

Friday, June 8th, 2018

I was both taken by surprise and transfixed by Nigel’s introduction:

‘We are bound into nature, we are tied tight to nature, this bond is buried and hidden in people explaining our affinity for nature, it is in our core, it is inescapable. Nature makes us feel complete’. Bold statements, I love them!

He says his mission is to provoke positive emotions in people (i.e. Joy), offering an immersive experience; ecology and biodiversity are secondary. Think back to the stunning Olympic park plantings, mass pictorial meadows on derelict sites with paths mown through and check out his more recent roof garden at the Barbican.

Then there is his skill in ‘layering’ where the planting schemes change through the season like a never ending roman candle firework, finally coming to rest in the winter with a strong structure (a garden should be judged in the winter not in the summer).

I have come away from the day with my head buzzing with plant combinations and the challenge to increase my plant densities, cramming my borders in search of an even better roman candle effect.

Secret garden

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

We transformed this sloping walled garden by taking the radical decision of removing a huge overgrown pergola that divided the space and then pruning  many of the shrubs and putting in some stone retaining walls.  The garden has been opened up to create an outdoor kitchen with hoggin paths that link to a theatre space (a yurt space in the winter), there is also an enlarged upper terrace and several of my willow pieces installed around the garden.

Working against a slope

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Steps, retaining walls and levelled lawn optimising space in this garden where there is an overall 10 metre drop.

Client recommends plants

Friday, August 4th, 2017

I spent a delightful morning re visiting a client in her organic wildlife garden.  It is now two years after planting and some gaps have appeared in the borders, these have been put down to to snail and rabbit damage combined with a high water table.  Astrantia, Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ and Viola ‘Roscastle Black’ have failed whilst Thalictrum, Periscaria amplexicaulis ‘Fire Tail’ and Veronicastrum prove to be not only tough, but they don’t require staking and the later two are particularly good for the insects.


In another part of the garden, we happened across this  happy accident!  Agapanthus and Stipa tenuissima

Wildflower meadow ready for seed harvest

November colour

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

It is November and there is still plenty of colour in the garden, thanks to a record breaking warm October .

Geranium sanguineum & Geranium psilostemon, Verbena,  Dahlia, Erigeron karvinskianus, Aster frikartii ‘Monch‘, Abelia grandiflora, Fuchsia, Salvia greggii ‘Lipstick‘, Cyclamen hederifolium, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve‘, Osteospermum and Penstemon ‘Alice Hindley’ continue to provide fresh flowers whilst some roses and Anenome japonica manage one or two last flowers.

Of course it isn’t all about flowers, autumn colour  is very good this year both in the herbaceous borders (e.g. Hakonechloa macra) and shrubberies (e.g. Viburnum burkwoodii, Hydrangea).  Textures of foliage and brightly coloured berries all add depth of interest to our gardens too, for  example the wonderful berries of Rosa moyesii, Rosa glauca, Rosa rugosa, Cotoneasters & Crataegus prunifolia or the cut foliage of many Geranium contrasting with grasses, Dianthus, Cyclamen

Growing well – Devon

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

This garden was planted in spring 2015 and it is very exciting to see how well it has established, the hedges have bushed out well and need just a couple more season’s to start approaching the desired height.

The pools attract hundreds of  dipping swallows, a spectacle to behold!

Circles – Poundbury

Monday, July 4th, 2016

A new garden on the Poundbury estate just outside Dorchester.  This garden is a slightly awkward shape, dominated by a lovely high curved wall, beyond the wall is another high brick wall with a circle embellishment that the clients were keen to reflect in this garden.

The new garden will be lushly planted around gravel circular areas for year round interest and enjoyment.

Summer border

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Clients border looking good 2 years after design / planting – Allium sphaerocephalon, Catananche, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Persicaria, Scabiosa…

Gravel steps – Nr. Bristol

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

This is a garden I designed in 2014 and was installed by the clients during 2015.  We were dealing with a slope and had the issue of underground services close to the surface.  The oil tank was moved, patios at the back enlarged and new retaining walls built.

My clients kindly sent me the pictures, I have copied in their email:

Dear Angela
Just thought you might like to see these photos of the garden now the trellis is in place
We are so pleased…
If you ever need trellis etc in your work we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the company we used… Stuart Garden Architecture based in Wiveliscombe
Kind Regards
C