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 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 … low growing shrubs for ground cover

Whilst we often think first of perennials when looking for ground cover plants, there are many low growing shrubs that do the job quickly and effectively and that can provide a longer season of interest and more spread for your money. Cotoneasters are wonderfully versatile shrubs which can be evergreen or deciduous and vary widely […]

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5 essential … small grasses

This month’s focus is on small grasses, a group of plants that between them provide a long season of interest, striking focal points, a wonderful foil to other plants and contrast and movement in almost any aspect and planting scheme.  At a time of year when gardens can start to lose their oomph, grasses are […]

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5 essential … plants for a tropical look

Luckily for UK gardeners who fancy going for a tropical look, steamy tropical weather is not required to achieve it.  Dramatic and contrasting foliage is the key to creating an exotic look with a long season of interest and there are both sun and shade loving plants that fit the bill.  Here are a few […]

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5 essential … evergreen shrubs to clothe a wall or fence

Many shrubs adapt very well to growing against walls and fences and, once trained in, are usually easier to manage than climbers which can quickly outgrow their allotted space.  Here are five evergreens that lend themselves very well to being wall-trained and between them provide seasonal interest throughout the year. Ceanothus (or ‘Californian lilac’) make […]

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Jobs for the garden in September

Mid to late September is an ideal time to start autumn planting as the ground is still warm, and plants should be able to establish well before winter kicks in. Clean your greenhouse & coldframes to help prevent pests over wintering, and move tender plants under cover as the night time temperatures drop. Treat perennial […]

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