Category Archives: Planting Design

Shy shady planting

A shady garden needs a different approach. Forget expectations of hot colour and massed blooms. For a woodland scene, I like pretty foliage and delicate stems of tiny flowers – perfect for the shady corners of the garden.  Saxifragaceae family gives lots of options. Here, Heuchera, probably ‘Palace Purple’ and Tellima grandiflora.


Signs of spring

When the first tiny Narcissus open their buds, we know that Spring is on the way. I’ve chosen Crocus tommasinianus to accompany them – they are equally early and dainty. Two colours that work perfectly together and signal sunshine on the way.





Big landscapes, bold features


The Saarphati Park in Amsterdam is like an English park in the sense that it follows the principle of Landscape Design.  Within the park there are footpaths and streams, lawns and lakes and landmark features. In our first picture, you glimpse the classical temple, just out of view in the distance, right.  A short walk further, and you see the feature close to.



Perennials work well in drifts – and the more the better. Rudbeckia fulgida var. Sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ are so bold, they don’t need a contrasting colour to make them shine. They just stand there, in their thousands, as if to say “Hello, we’re here to make you smile”.


Raised beds – a welcome at the door

A gorgeous Cambridgeshire pub – the Red Lion at Whittlesford. The interior is without doubt  comfortable and welcoming, with lovely coffee – but it was the exterior with the raised bed planting that caught the eye of the bee.  We love this because the planting frames the doorway so beautifully. The pub is almost directly on the street, so the raised beds are an inspirational way to create a garden where there isn’t one.  It’s only a little picture, but the “garden” is mainly evergreen, using what we think is cream-edged Hosta undulate var. albomarginata as a focal point with variegated ivy, which could well be Hedera helix ‘Glacier’, and simple chives. A lovely blend of colour and contrasting foliage. Shame you have to have a fire exit sign!