Archives for category: plant photopraphy

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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

Last year, I put together a new garden using  divided clumps of perennials .  Ladies mantle, Cat mint, Geranium Rozanne, Sysirinchium striatum and Astrantia major to name but a few.  All flowered profusely over several months.

With  the onset of Spring all my clients perennials are now under scrutiny,  anything  slightly congested and woody is  being  rejuvenated, through division (or complete removal  if they are no longer of merit).  This will  make a  huge difference to their health and flowering capacity, ultimately  creating space for new  or soon to be propagated plants.

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With  newly created gaps in the border I can  start  designing.  Colour is my first thought,  I then start to link in appropriately sized plants.  My palette for home this year will  include chocolate brown, burnt orange,maroon , black , lime green, raspberry  and primrose yellow.  Below  are a selection of my choice plants.

Chocolate Brown –  Chocolate cosmos.  I planted these into containers at home last year,  brushing past them frequently  en- masse the scent is  chocolate heaven.    They looked particularly fine against Perovskia Blue Spire.  A  haze of metallic purple and brown, quite sublime.

Burnt Orange  –     The arrival of the Woolmans catalogue  has  spurred on my new interest in Chrysanthemums.   Evening Glow, described as having an effective golden glow is definitely on my list.

Burgundy/maroon –  If you can cope with the yellow flower then Lysimachia purpurea   with its intense  burgundy foliage  is definitely worth a space in the border.  It has the capacity of escaping its allocated space, however  not being deep rooted it is  easy to remove.  My absolute favourite perennial is   Knautia macedonica, with  a burgundy pin cushion shaped flower which billows through many  gardens from early Summer till late Autumn.

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 Black  – Centaurea Jordy  a deep plum, almost black flowering perennial  has been acquired.  I   have several packets of Black Currant Fizz  (see above) a hardy poppy, that will  be sown right through Wendy’s border.  This image is third year generated seed. Over time  they take on different  forms from their initial deep burgundy /black  to this mix of red and deep maroon.

Lime Green –   Euphorbia, their beautiful bracts are often willing to supply this colour.   I  have planted them in countless gardens, and my Euphorbia of choice – is Characias Wulfenii

What is your favourite colour ?  maybe you should include it within your garden or window box this year ?