Archives for category: plant photopraphy

January finds me planting trees, pruning dozens of deciduous shrubs and  mulching.  Raking away vast amounts of collapsed spent foliage appears to be my main task though.


Gardens with narrow borders pose no problem,  these jobs can be undertaken from the  edge.  Wide borders pose a  gardening dilemma, should  I stride through them to complete my winter work?  the answer is no – I will not be the person responsible for damaging the soil structure and leaving  a mud bath in my wake as I do so.  Instead, I  choose to stretch in as far as I can reach,  the rest will have to wait until it is a little drier underfoot.

However I am striding through Geoff’s large borders pruning as I go,  due to countless small stepping stones which have been set into the border.   Over the years they have become well camouflaged by encroaching planting and earth.  In fact I would go as far to say you probably wouldn’t know they were there if I hadn’t  mentioned them.  I like the fact that they are unobtrusive, yet extremely useful, and when well placed don’t affect the aesthetics of a border.


January finds me surrounded by the immense beauty of bark, sharp winter sunlight, flowering shrubs, magnolia buds and racing streams.  Believe me,  gardening is good for the soul  throughout the entire year.



This is Scampston Hall Gardens in North Yorkshire.  Designed by Piet Oudolf

037If you really want to  experience this specific  element of Scampston, then take some  time to sit in these incredibly comfortable chairs.  They enabled me  to physically and emotionally  immerse myself  within the perennial grass garden and watch the autumnal light filter through the golden hue of Molina caerula ssp caerula’ Poul Peterson’ .   I really could have sat  for a very long while.  I had to remind myself that I was there to see all  the interconnected garden rooms.

My aim with these images is to  express the  beauty of this inspirational garden.  Form, texture  and structure of the planting as in all Piet Oudolf’s designs is chosen over the  plants flowering capacity.  As  Scampston heads towards late autumn, the  structure of the soft landscaping  is  superlative.











Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ commonly referred to as  white flowered red bistort.  I was recently attempting  to describe this perennial to a friend, who was asking for advice about good white Autumn flowers for her border.  My initial description was a little lack lustre “It is one of my favourite Autumn perennials, with a great seed head over winter ”  This really did not give to many clues  as to why I am so taken by it”

I  came up with the analogy that the flower stem was similar to the structure of a sparkler with the tiny delicate bell-shaped flowers appearing to explode like the tiny sparks from a lit sparkler.

If you are taken with the idea of a sparkler or two in an Autumn, they can reach upto a metre in height.  They are really tolerant plants growing in all soil types, and will survive in dappled shade right through to full  sun.  They have the capacity to spread in the open ground so  I grow mine in a large container which I keep by the front gate.  I think it makes for a great start to the day as I head out to work.








Italy –  a magnificent fortnight of  searing blue sky ,art, architecture and gelatos.

I was also lucky to spend a  weekend in Barcelona shortly afterwards, where the intense light brought perspective, pattern and colour into sharp focus.

As a gardener, this is the start of my favourite season.  Autumnal sunlight saturates  foliage and flowers as they commence their natural demise.  Long may the sun shine!









I have spent the last seven years designing and caring for the Wild’s family garden.

The two main borders are undeniably long – coming in at around 40 metres.   Planting is in  large-scale blocks, generally around 2 metres square.

Silver birch trees were planted as young saplings six years ago. Now, during winter  the  white stems provide good visual structure from the house.

A stream bissects the garden, leaving the soil naturally  damp.  I have planted swathes of many of my favourite plants that like  these conditions including  Gunnera manicata, Rodgersia aesculifolia, Ligularia denticulata, Flag Iris and Marsh Marigold,

Adjacent to this sits another long border containing many of my favourite  big perennials.

The white daisies and Rudbeckia herbstonne are still in tight bud at the moment, but it wont be long before they are in full flower.

Achillea millefolium Gigantea, Helianthus Lemon Queen, Cephalaria gigantea and  Globe artichokes are looking  stunning at the moment.  These are big plants, in a big border.

Do I consider this , or any other garden in my care complete ?  No.  I will shortly be planting  Veronicastrum virginicum  Album-  a truly  majestic white perennial.  I do feel  their presence should be in abundance in this  garden.104






Have you ever looked in detail at an Autumn cyclamen?

In addition to their stunning flowers,  they have a fascinating method of seed dispersal; with the spent flower stem, coiling back, bringing  the seed closer to the ground for localised seed dispersal.

How clever is that ?  (very)

Take some time to look in detail at the plants in your own garden; look under  shrubs and  in woodland areas on your travels.  You won’t  be disappointed.



I really enjoy propagating  plants from seed

006This year I grew  Coreopsis hybrida Incredible Tall mix, grouping  it with  Achillea terracotta. I love the combination of these two plants, and can  imagine it working really well as a huge drift in a long border, and  I have one customers garden in mind to try this out.

Scabious atropurpea Black cat, a brilliant self seeder, fantastic colour and the seed heads remind me of miniature pineapples.008

My favourite plant from seed this year is Hordeum jubatum – Squirrel tail grass.  It was really simple to germinate, and has looked stunning for weeks.  Thankyou Thompson and Morgan seeds.009

It has been a truly busy working  week, Images from my own , and gardens in my care follow.

Less than a week to  go until  Bridgwalton  House  re-opens to the public. All money raised will be donated to the Lingen Davies Cancer Charity, in memory of Geoff’s wife Mary,  who  created, tended and undeniably loved this award-winning garden with great passion.  Sadly  I never met Mary, however I really do feel that I meet her through her garden on a weekly basis, she really was an incredibly knowledgable plantswoman and designer, it  is a privilege to work at Bridgwalton.

Without doubt this garden is  immensely beautiful right through out the year. On  Sunday  the garden will be filled with the scent and colour of exquisite roses, perennials and  peonies.

Several of Marys friends have provided invaluable help as we have worked our way through the garden to ensure it will look  at its best –  the silver birch need their bark scrubbed to make them white again, borders need weeding, the topiary needs clipping, and finally the paths will need sweeping, and I need to gen up on some plant identification , as I am down for gardening advice.

If you are passing Telegraph Road near to Bridgnorth   between 2 – 5 p.m on  the 19th please consider calling  in, it would be lovely to see you in Marys garden.  Entry of £5.00 per adult,

Saturday 28th May, a day at my favorite flower show,  with my sister, and a catch up with Carolyn who I met twenty years ago whilst studying for a  post grad in Landscape Architecture. We will discuss design – I am so looking forward to tomorrow.

Lou and I will be there when the gates open at eight, which provides the perfect opportunity to view the show gardens in all their glory before the avenues fill with the Chelsea masses. Followed by  coffee in the artisan area, then  back to the gardens and show stands followed by more coffee and finally several hours in the truly magnificent three acre floral pavillion. The plant sell off bell will ring at 4.00, and horticultural mayhem ensues. In addition to all this, we always make time to test out bespoke garden furniture, and admire  beautiful bird baths

So no new images for this year yet.  These  are a collection of some  of my favorite images of Chelsea over the last ten years.  I cannot wait to see what is in store this year.






Despite the wind,rain,and snow this week there have been several trees worth of stunning blossom, and stop you in your stride Spring bulbs.  Enjoy

This metre tall Fritillaris Imperialis  Rubra may not be to everyone’s taste. However  I am quite a fan.  In April their boldness and exquisite colour  always stops  me  in my  tracks for a moment to admire their beauty.


My recommendation is to  brave the weather, and enjoy the blooms.