Author Archives: Michael

Is naturalistic planting for you?

In comparison to a carefully planted and staked traditional herbaceous or perennial border the naturalistic style can look loose and untidy. Your personality will dictate which you prefer – order or chaos. Formal planting with plants arranged at regular intervals … Continue reading

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Mind Gardens 4 – Romantic Strolling Garden

Through design and planting a garden acquires a distinctive mood and for this Mind Garden I imagine an informal space through which to wander, relax and feel secure. Van Gogh’s garden with lovers is just one of such images that … Continue reading

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Mind Gardens 3 – Hortus Conclusus

Gardens are often made to replicate a historic style which may be in-keeping with their situation. And such historic styles of themselves may be a good enough reason to shape a garden space and plant it with appropriate plants. Islamic … Continue reading

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Mind Gardens 2 – Art As Inspiration

Gardens can evolve over time to reflect the interests and character of their makers and eventually a unique atmosphere will develop. Alternatively, they can be designed either by their owners or a professional designer with the aim of creating a … Continue reading

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Mind Gardens – A new series of blog posts

For a garden to be more than just a comfortable place to sit in to drink a cup of coffee there needs to be some sort of idea underpinning its design. Ideas together with constraints guide the design process and … Continue reading

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New Planting Scheme: Low-growing, for an open, sunny site

Laren, the Netherlands, September 2018 design Piet Oudolf Five theme plants along with up to 25% of so-called complementary plants create many of the planting schemes in my series of eBooks on perennial meadow gardening. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 2018 design … Continue reading

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Autumn Fades into Winter

Here are the last glimpses of autumn in my Amsterdam trial gardens. As a photographer I can make carefully composed images, but this “walking video” gives you the wider view.

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Indian Summer Reward

  Asters, grasses and autumn tints are the main ingredients that brought my garden to its final crescendo this year. Following a long hot and merciless dry summer in which everything struggled including myself, autumn arrived with just a little … Continue reading

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Dutch Perennial Gardens in the Dry and Hot Summer of 2018

Beauty is to be found in the chaos of nature and this year, in the struggle for life amidst the perennials and shrubs in my gardens. A drier than average spring followed by a totally dry summer in which a … Continue reading

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Shrubs in late spring

It is in late spring, just after the tulips have ended, that I become delighted by the many flowering shrubs and distinctive foliage colours that seem to dominate the garden. Of course there are various perennials flowering including Euphorbia, Geum, … Continue reading

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