garden design

Gardening with Shrubs

Books For Christmas 2014 There are not many books around that will actually teach you to use shrubs effectively in your garden. Too many shrub books are written by experts and focus on the plants at the expense of design; how many magnolias, rhododendrons or Judas trees can the average person fit into their home garden? …

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Grasses – the current state of play

The introduction of ornamental grasses into planting plans was one of the most significant changes to occur within garden design in the past twenty years. Through their inclusion amidst an evolving planting pallet of perennials, contemporary gardens took on a naturalistic feel, far removed from the stiff block plantings of traditional herbaceous borders; grasses introduced …

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Shrub Feature Border

Shrubs in Perennial Meadows

A shrub feature border consists of a selection of characterful woody plants presented within a mixed perennial meadow planting. The concept has arisen from a need to use shrubs with more effect in planting designs. In the same way that perennial meadows are created using a mix of theme plants and complementary plants, the shrubs …

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New English Perennial Borders

During my recent short trip to England where I was specifically studying shrubs – see earlier post – I took a look at two “new” (at least to me) large-scale, public, perennial planting schemes. One scheme was clearly designed to impress, the other succeeded. To be fair, designers are commissioned to create something stipulated by their …

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Berberis valdiviana

Berberis – A Prickly Subject

As part of my current research into the use of shrubs in planting design I have recently spent a few days in England visiting amongst other things the national collection of berberis at Sherwood House in Devon. This privately owned garden houses fascinating collections of trees and shrubs, in particular acers, magnolias and, the reason …

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