Green Roof – early spring 2017

The vivid lime-green of Euphorbia myrsinites and violet grape hyacinth are creating a striking patch of colour on the green roof right now.

The Euphorbia was only added last summer, so it is good to see it settling in happily. I am aware it can get rather large, so am hoping that the exposed situation and shallow soil (7cm) on the green roof will stop it getting too bit. Its spiky glaucous leaves look good here too. Continue reading

The Lawn Garden – NEW!

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I have just added a series of pages about the latest area of my garden to be completed. I’ve called it ‘The Lawn Garden’ because… well you can see why. It’s an ornamental garden, based on clipped evergreens, lots of lovely foliage textures and classy white flowers. I’m really proud of the design which managed to connect many disparate parts of the garden to our new extension and still look great. Hope you find some inspiration here.

Take a look at the new pages with lots of lovely photos and information on the design and construction.

Water soldiers

Contrasting leaf shapes in the pond

These aquatic ‘spider plants’ are Stratiotes aloides or Water Soldiers – a British native, that is to my mind, a highly desirable ornamental pond plant.  You can see them here creating an excellent visual contrast with the lily pads and water Mares Tail (Hippuris vulgaris). Continue reading

Pasqueflowers re-bloom in August

Purple pasque flowers unexpectedly emerge for a second flush in August

Pasqueflower, Easter flower or Meadow Anemone (Pulsatilla vulgaris), is one of my favourite plants. Almost every stage of its flowering is interesting:  The large flower heads emerge in spring (close to Easter) along with the foliage, all of which is covered in fine silky hairs, and look striking especially when backlit by low spring sunshine. Continue reading

The Green Roof: lessons from the first five years

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This is a visual catalogue of how my green-roof developed over its first five years, following its initial planting in Autumn 2009. My intention had always been to establish a low maintenance bio diverse plant community of drought tolerant garden plants. I now know that this is possible, but looks more like a weedy wild meadow than a garden.

This initial experiment was a success in many ways, as the beautiful photos below show, but by mid-2015 it’s ecological direction was clear: self seeding grasses and annual weeds were destined to win. More than half of the plants varieties I had tried to grow became extinct. Several garden varieties I had not planted turned up and ran riot. The whole area was becoming a seed bank that was infecting the surrounding garden. But I had learned some important lessons and had enjoyed its unfolding beauty along the way. Continue reading