Greenhouse 2017 – hot house plants

I’m using the staging and shelf at the north end of the greenhouse to grow a range of ornamentals, including fuchsias, ferns, hosts, pansies and plectranthus. For the most part they are watered from the automatic drip system which makes looking after them considerably easier. This end of the greenhouse now has a distinct humid atmosphere and an exotic spicy perfume thanks to a little hybrid pink. I’ve kept the colour scheme to pinks, purples and whites.

Greenhouse 2017 – the Veggies

I’ve planted the greenhouse with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, aubergines and some hot-house ornamentals. Trying to cater for all of their needs is tricky: the tomatoes need good air circulation to avoid fungal diseases, but the aubergine and cucumber like a humid environment. This year I’m giving them all a bit more space and TLC. Continue reading

Five fantastic foliage plants for connoisseurs

The planting between the back of our house (left) and the lawn (right) is dominated by green foliage. Additional colours are limited to white flowers and anthracite pots and timber.

Most people avoid plants that are plain green. They’re missing a trick: Designing a predominantly green, foliage based planting scheme has many advantages and can produce an exceptionally calm and classy aesthetic that will last throughout the year. In fact I would argue that such designs provide a versatile and appropriate solution for many modern small gardens. Simple contrasting foliage textures and form can work effortlessly with practically any architectural style.  Continue reading

Foliage is all you need for a serene aesthetic

This dramatic image – part of the new beds in our back garden – demonstrates the power of foliage alone to create really stylish compositions.

Most of the drama comes from the fresh upright growth of the white foxgloves, but their magnificent silver backed spires are shown off so well by the structural foliage around them. Continue reading

My new favourite secateurs ★★★★★

I just purchased a really great pair of secateurs at the local garden centre. They are mini size (6.5 inches long, and about ⅔ the weight of normal secateurs) but really well made, dropped forged carbon steel. They are very easy to carry in my pocket, and the blade is super sharp. There is nothing fancy about them – they are just a neat, precise piece of engineering with curves in all the right places. Continue reading

A Tapestry of Shade-Loving Plants

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This is approximately one third of one of the three rectangular raised beds in my woodland garden at the front of my house. It contains a number of shade loving plants that provide a continuously changing tapestry of interest throughout the year. The slideshow above tells you what each of the plants is and its season of interest. Continue reading