Gardens to visit – The Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex

In times of drought it’s pretty much inevitable that the gardening press turns its spotlight on the Beth Chatto Gardens, as was the case this summer. This garden was created back in the 1960s and its owners, Beth and Andrew Chatto focused entirely on using plants which they knew could thrive in the different conditions […]

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5 essential … plants for winter interest

In the depths of winter plants which provide structure, colour and fragrance in a garden are especially welcome. Here are a few easy plants which will offer much, if not all, of that. It isn’t just leaves and flowers that add colour to the garden – stems can do it too and those of shrubby […]

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5 essential … plants for a relaxed country look

As much of my work is in country gardens around Hampshire, Surrey & Sussex, I often need to find ways to blend the plants inside the garden with those in the wider landscape beyond the garden boundaries. There are a number of plants which I use for that purpose, and also where the planting needs […]

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5 essential … plants for a splash of colour!

I’ve noticed over the years that so many of my clients prefer planting schemes with cool colours – white, green, purple, blue, and maybe a dash of pink or dark red.  And classy restraint is all well and good but there’s nothing like a big splash of bold and beautiful colour to bring a garden […]

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5 essential … plants for winter seedheads

Even in death plants with interesting seed heads that stand well over autumn and winter manage to look strikingly beautiful especially on those rare but magical early mornings when they are coated in hoare frost and sparkle in the sun.  Not only do they look good, but their seeds provide a valuable source of food […]

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5 essential … plants to brighten a shady corner

Many people panic when faced with shady areas to plant and seem to think ‘nothing will grow in shade’.  SO not true!  It’s a fact that flowering interest is limited by shade (mainly to spring time), but by focusing on contrasting foliage colour and textures it’s possible to create a lovely scheme for shady areas.  […]

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5 essential … plants to grow under trees

One of the trickiest places to grow plants is under trees and shrubs where moisture and light are at a premium.  Here’s a small selection of plants which are perfectly suited to this difficult environment. They say there’s a hardy Geranium for every site and Geranium maccrorhizum thrive in full shade and dry soil.  Add […]

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5 essential … small evergreen plants

Evergreen plants are invaluable to give a garden some interest in the depths of winter.  And small evergreens are particularly useful to grow near paths and deciduous shrubs or trees, filling gaps in the border until spring arrives. One of the most useful (and tough) little evergreen plants you can find is Liriope muscari (or […]

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Fabulous plants for October

As the days grow shorter and things start to wind down in the garden world, there’s still a lot to enjoy before Autumn truly kicks in.  Here are some of my top planting recommendations for October. Verbena bonariensis If I had a pound for everyone who has told me they love Verbena bonariensis I’d be […]

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