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

Local Landscapes 2 – Dramatic Drifts of Lady’s Smock

On the country drive I take to and from work there is a long straight section of hedge with a fifteen foot grassy verge in front. Each spring this verdant roadside stretch is illuminated with pointillist pale pink flowers of Lady’s Smock (cardamine pratense), forming intermittent drifts over 100 yards from end to end. Continue reading

Local Landscapes 1 – Glorious Golden Spring Poplars

My drive to work takes me along a narrow winding country road and over a little hump back bridge which is one of the few routes that guarantee I won’t sit waiting at a level crossing. I have become very familiar with this four miles of West Sussex countryside and accustomed to noting the subtle changes in the landscape. Continue reading