Happy new year to everyone.  I’m looking forward to getting out there and doing some digging.  The allium bulbs have gone in…

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Summer 2015

Thank God for the rain.  It gives me some more time to do jobs with doing less watering.  I love the Alliums contrasting with the formal hedges.  I put a palm tree in the Church gardens.  The edibles are growing and the strawberries were yummy!

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December 2014

The building works for the family garden will start soon, with decking, exciting children’s play equipment, paving. Then I can do the planting. On other gardens I have planted some topiary animals, which add a bit of humour to them!
For quick growing evergreen screens I would recommend Laurel rather than the leylandii conifers.
Regarding turf, I feel that grass in the right place is good, eg for a main lawn. I also feel that short grass is overused and that shrubs are easier to maintain than turf…

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Autumn / Winter 2013

It’s been pretty mild weather with virtually no frost so far (in Dorset), and not much rain for a while either.  So I’ve been able to get things done outdoors, thanks be to God.    I was planting some Sorbus trees, bamboo clumps and some evergreen screening and also ornamental grasses and perennials.     The lavender flowers have lasted a lot longer than usual.    It’s important to cut them back after flowering though because if they’re just left then they get woody and look tatty and don’t go green again when you cut them.    I may well start using ‘strulch’ which is a mulch which also deters slugs and snails. 

Some people might think they’re saving money by not having a garden design or not having a plan to work to, but the situation I’ve often found is that people frequently buy plants that aren’t suitable for the site, which then struggle or die, so other plants are bought again and again.  My view is that it would be better to get it right from the start and the likelihood is that it will save money and hassle and be a good investment!

I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Thank you,  Steve.

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Spring/summer 2013

I’ve been really busy recently after doing a garden design and putting lots of big plants in.  I’m pleased it’s raining because it makes my life less stressful regarding watering!  Some of the plants I’ve used recently are Yew pyramids, box and bay topiary, grasses including Miscanthus and perennials such as Penstemon, Rudbeckia and Verbena.  I’ve also used a lot of Photinia shrubs, and some Cotoneaster and Viburnum opulus.   I find that the formal hedge look goes well with informal plants such as Nepeta and creates an exciting contrast.

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Autumn / Winter 2012

The recent heavy rain has left areas boggy and muddy so I try to keep off the grass when it’s like this to minimise damage.  We’re going to do some aeration to improve drainage.  The Euonymus alatus has great autumn colour.  I also like the red Cornus stems.    There’s a lot of planting to be getting on with in the next few weeks, and tidying up.   The fallen leaves help to make a great leaf mould / compost.  It’s a pretty useful time to do some pruning when the borders aren’t so full.  Thank goodness the weeds have really slowed down! 

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Summer 2012

I’ve been cutting some hedges and keeping on top of the weeding recently, amongst other things. The deer keep on munching on the plants so I’ll have to get some more fencing / guards. There’s been lots of heavy rain, which is getting a bit annoying now as it makes life more difficult. I suppose it was needed though. I like the globe thistle plant and the catmint at the moment. The strawberries are quite tasty. I really like the olympic park planting style, with long grasses and perennials.

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Spring 2012

It’s been a pretty warm winter down here with only a little cold period.  I’m pleased that rain has been forecast as it’s pretty dry and the new plants are needing watering.  The Juneberry trees have their white flowers appearing now, which will look great.  I’ve been busy with lots of planting – the meadow is all done now and growing.  Some more box cones/spheres have gone in to the ground and the Cornus & Photinia are looking spectacular.  I’ve got a few more design jobs to be getting on with, including the peaceful escape………………  


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Autumn / winter 2011

I’ve been creating a meadow recently.  It’s going to have lots of the grass Deschampsia cespitosa with perennials including Rudbeckia, Echinops and Salvia.  The grass will only need cutting once a year and it will look good.    

It’s been pretty warm for this time of year so the plants have continued to grow a bit.  I’ve planted a Viburnum opulus shrub which is great for wildlife, it has red berries and an attractive shaped leaf.  I’ve also been putting up some deer guards and mulching with woodchip to keep the roots warmer once the frost arrives…….

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Summer 2011

One of my favourite plants for august is Eryngium (sea holly) which I have used for the picture on my logo! I also like Penstemons and the white Cosmos which are in flower at the moment… Lavenders get cut back in August. I’ve planted some large grasses including Stipa and Pennisetum – they like a sandy soil and I’ve been keeping an eye on the watering and putting some gravel down….

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