March news

Guess what is going on here? This woodland garden is being improved to house hedgehogs & lots of beneficial insects. Nothing to do with me this time – I’m no expert on bugs I’m afraid but Rob is & his team are creating very stylish & enticing homes for beneficial & sometimes undervalued critters to live in as natural pest control. The wood is already home to some hedgehogs amongst other creatures who enjoy the eco hedges the team have built – see above. All this stylish accommodation has been created from waste on site so it is exceedingly good …

Roof trees – a favourite!

I first saw these gorgeous trees in 2010 in Tuscany at the wonderful Vannucci site. I was there with Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co buying trees for a project. We were shown around their vast & splendid site in buggies in scorching sunshine & were completely blown away by what we saw. The photo heading this blog was taken then – note the lovely blue sky. Going to tree nurseries is always a pleasure, even in the pouring rain & hail, as we did very recently in Hampshire. Shortly after I took the photo above the heavens opened …

Tree planting on a grand scale!

I chose four of these fantastic Pterocarya fraxinifolia (wingnut trees) for my clients’ garden in the Cotswolds last March. Aren’t they fantastic?  Lots of planning since then & yesterday they arrived on site! The ground was prepared in advance & several hours later the 1st one is in the ground…They weigh several tonnes each so sufficiently capable kit was brought in & as you can see this tele-handler almost makes it look easy. Two are going in today to complete the line-up & will match in beautifully with a copse close by. The aim of buying such large specimens was to add …

A fantastic buying trip last week!

My clients flew over to meet me in Belgium last week to select large yew topiary specimens & some trees for their large garden. It was a great day as I’d not visited before – only bought via emailed photos. It makes all the difference actually being able to look at trees in three dimensions & relate to them & we all had a super time deciding which ones would work best. My sketch for this topiary walk is below… There were so many to choose from but we have tagged 24 which we will whittle down a little for the final …

Quite a week last week!

I have been working at least 6 days a week lately to try & keep up with an amazing workload – I’m not complaining – truly! Just apologising for not writing a blog for yonks & explaining what a nightmare it is when I lose a day to ‘unforeseen circumstances’… In case you hadn’t guessed, my car died in London in the middle lane of the A40 just by Madame Tussauds on my way to see a client. I had a full day planned with several meetings but alarmingly spent a great deal of it directing traffic away from my …

Buying mature trees for Autumn colour

Last Monday I spent the day at Hilliers tree nursery in Ampfield, Hampshire. They are a terrific source of British field grown trees & are fairly local to me which is all great. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m working on a substantial Acer glade for my client Jane, so went with my colleague Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co Ltd as he & his team are implementing the scheme for her. We had a wish list of what we wanted & had reserved some on principle but, it’s really important when buying large expensive specimens that you are really …

Like a child in a sweet shop!

Like a child in a sweet shop! I had a super day yesterday – in the sunshine no less! I went out with Rob, my landscape contractor to see some of my gardens being constructed, then on with Emma, Rob’s plant sourcer to buy specimen plants & trees for new gardens. We started near Henley at Nick & Nicola’s sloping garden where the team have been felling unwanted trees & laying a new hedge. It’s looking fantastic – such an improvement. I will post before & after shots shortly. Next onto the Estate garden near Amersham to say hi to …

Buying container grown trees

I design gardens throughout the year & they are built throughout the year too. Sometimes waiting until Autumn for cheaper rootballed or bare root trees is just not acceptable, so we buy them in pots year round. It’s amazing what can be found & providing you have a team to help load & plant, plus an irrigation system to keep the trees well watered from day one, they should be happy. I buy at large trade nurseries around the UK… Here’s Rob again with a fabulous pleached fruit tree & Marnie (my friend who makes gorgeous green oak furniture) assessing …

Buying trees in winter

I love to plant trees – they instantly add drama & height to an environment & are in fact incredibly good value. A simple cherry tree for example can cost less than a medium size shrub! This time of year, we plant bare root & rootballed specimens which are only available whilst the trees are dormant & the ground is not too hard. It’s a great process; my design will propose certain trees of a certain size – silver birch for example so we, the client, me & my contractor – usually Rob of The Garden Design Co Ltd will …