As the days get shorter and the winter draws ever closer it is the plants with attractive foliage, bark and berries that keep the garden looking interesting until the first bulbs of Spring appear .
The first frost is looming and with it the very end of late flowering herbaceous plants we have all been enjoying, kept going by the above average temperatures recently.
Two species of plant “Heuchera” and “Heucherella” are perfect plants for adding ground cover colour and foliage interest to beds, borders and planters. Both species will tolerate shade and will not need you popping out every evening with the watering can.
Heuchera and Heucherella need very little maintenance. Removal of the oldest leaves now and then to encourage fresh, colourful growth and dead heading once the flowers have done their show is all these little garden gems need. As with most garden plants a good mulch of well rotted garden manure or a general purpose fertilizer will help to keep them fit, healthy and flowering profusely.
Classified as ground cover plants .Approximately 30-40cm high, these species are ideal for front of border, in front of taller herbaceous plants. Try contrasting leaf colours or different leaf textures with plants and hard landscaping around them to add further interest and drama.
There is a whole range of foliage colours available to compliment most planting plans and garden design.
From left to right:
Heuchera Sweat Tea – Heuchera Amethyst Myst – Heuchera Redstone Falls – Heuchera Purple Petticoat
Finally another gorgeous Heuchera – Heuchera Southern Comfort
Planning a modern garden design? Need something for the kids?
How about incorporating one of these from SmartPlayhouse.
Smartplayhouse have different styles and sizes of these very modern, funky kids playhouses. Imagine that, a kids playhouse that becomes a focal point in the garden. Instead of having to hide it out the way it becomes part of the garden. Brilliant!!
2012 was a very difficult year for all those involved in anything garden related. The rain just did not stop. The last thing that was on the minds of most was a newly designed and planted garden.
We have hit the ground running this year, optimism is in the air of warmer, drier times ahead , alfresco dining and lazy afternoons reading a book with a glass of wine (and we havn’t even had the snow yet)
So here are some interesting projects that will be coming up shortly.
Garden Redesign Kingston Upon Thames
The design for this garden has been completed and will be being constructed shortly. It is a fairly small family garden, currently on a sloping site. Interestingly we will be using new composite decking for this project. I will be writing more on composite decking soon as I feel it has come a long way since the early days and shouldseriously be considered if you are planning a new decking project.
Garden Design Barnes
Family garden in Barnes that will feature several bespoke features made from Corten steel
Also coming up…..
Mediterranean garden design in East Sheen
Medium sized design in Twickenham
Recently built for a client is this solid oak pergola. The pergola forms part of this Mediterranean garden design, adding a rustic look, privacy from neighbours and an escape from the sun (when the grape vines get established) I will be writing the full project up shortly, just putting up pictures as and when I find them. Anything to divert my attention away from the weather at the moment.
This bespoke oak pergola was made with new, green oak timber
Extremely popular in the last 3 – 4 years is the use of screening trees to create privacy or hide unsightly buildings. I offer a complete consultation, supply and plant service to our clients who wish to look at planting trees as desired solution.
Whilst it may seem fairly straight forward to buy a number of trees and have them planted to create this effect there are some factors that need serious consideration before purchase.
- What are you trying to screen ?
- Are you planting on a boundary with a neighbour ?
- What is the aspect, shady, part shade or direct sunlight ?
- Is the soil clay or free draining?
- What is the overall height and width of the trees needed?
Trees for the purpose of screening fall into 2 categories, pleached and trees used for screening.
Pleached trees will have clear stem (trunk) of anything from 1.2m upwards to approx. 2m. Above this clear stem will be a framework, normally made of bamboo with which the branches are tied to horizontally. This form a panel a foliage and when planted at the correct distance apart can form a solid screen. The total height of a pleached tree can be anywhere from 3 – 5 metres high. Pleached trees require minimum pruning and for the first few years it will just be a matter of tying in any new growth onto the framework.
There are a few species of pleached trees available both deciduous and evergreen.
Evergreen pleached trees
- Quercus Ilex (evergreen oak)
- Ilex (Holly)
Deciduous pleached trees
Screening trees are not trained on a framework. In essence they are the tree in its natural form but a species that is normally evergreen and responds to pruning (to keep its shape) Trees used for screening however do create a more formal look to the garden and will if space is at a premium, have to be planted fairly close to each other.
Evergreen trees for screening.
- Ligustrum (privet)
- Magnolia grandifolia
- Ilex (holly)
I will be adding more to this post with some examples of trees used for screening and pleached trees soon. If in the meantime you would like a free consultation and quotation please give me a call.
If your feeling unhappy with your garden, perhaps it’s looking tired and shabby but you do not have the funds available right now for a complete redesign. Maybe you only plan to be at the property for a short period then a garden makeover from us maybe the answer.
What is a garden makeover?
In it’s simplest form a garden makeover is bringing your garden back to life by giving it a fresh look with limited hard landscaping work (if any). Much can be achieved in a garden without the need of clearing everything and starting from scratch. Here I will outline some of the things that can be done to spruce up your garden.
What can be done in garden makeover?
Patios. Patios and boundaries are the main focus for most gardens and therefore should be kept looking their best. A tired patio can be properly cleaned to remove algae and staining, a further treatment of a proprietary sealer can be applied to repel further algae blooms and protect against staining. also re-pointing your patio where cement has become loose, cracked and fallen away can really give a patio fresh appeal.
Fences. Dull, weathered, grey fences do nothing to highlight your planting and quickly age a garden. Apply a fresh coat of wood stain & preservative and the garden will take on a very different look immediately. If it is in the budget think about putting up some on the new style painted trellis panels. These look very modern and provide good, solid, climbing support for climbing plants.
Planting. All gardens need fresh planting now and then and nothing will make more of an impact in the garden than a well thought out planting plan. Over time gardens become full of those “impulse buys”. This often leads to messy spaces and under performing plants. Some adjustments here and there and careful plant selection will give you back that garden that is not only looking good in the summer but year round.
How much for a garden makeover?
This will depend on how far you would like to go with it. After an initial inspection I can make recommendations for your garden for you to choose from that suit your budget.
Gone are the days of “putting the garden to bed”. Perennial plants can offer just as much interest in the winter left completely alone, leaving the cut-back until very late winter.
Attractive seed heads, the russet brown hues, the glistening of an early morning hoar frost all add to the winter scene in the garden. Cutting all this down too early just means your are missing the magical delight the winter season can bring.
Of course, not all perennials look great left standing. I prefer to cut back as and when things start to look messy. Plants that look great both in the summer and for winter structure are Echinacea, agastache, Achillea “Gold plate”, Phlomis russeliana, Miscanthus , Rudbekia, Echinops, Verbenas, to name but a few.
If you would like some help with your garden planting get in touch.
It’s time to start hunting down suitable birdhouses for your garden. I put this birdhouse up for one of my garden design clients in Barnes. I was not really very confident we would get nesting birds as I located it, as I thought, too close to the house. However come spring this little birdhouse supported 3 new chicks.
If you’ve never witnessed the amount of activity that goes in and out of a birdhouse from first light to dusk I urge you to get one. It’s fascinating and by the time the chicks leave the nest the parents look like they have done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
I will be sorting through all my pictures over the coming weeks and adding them to this blog. Hopefully they will provide you with some inspiration for your new garden landscaping & design project.
This was a small garden landscaping project in Twickenham. Well it was meant to be small until when putting in the new patio we found another 4 old patios laid directly on top of each other, bad landscaper, bad landscaper but it will probably not be the last time.
The stone used here is Sawn Silver Birch from Marshalls. As you can see it is a very modern looking sandstone and only suits modern designs. I found it to be an extremely good quality sandstone, it is very dense, heavy and will stand up to the British weather.
The darker patches are due to it just being washed after the landscaping but it is important to know what stone you choose for your garden landscaping project will look like when wet (take this year for example)
If you would like to speak to us about transforming your garden landscaping in Twickenham and surrounding areas please contact us for a friendly site visit and discussion.
Currently being landscaped is this garden design Stockwell .
My client, a property developer, wanted to make the most of this very odd shaped garden with a focus on a comfortable place for all the family to enjoy. The house is a large listed building undergoing major refurbishment works and owing to its size it would be presumed the new owners would be a family.
Check back soon for updated pictures. I understand that the garden landscaping is nearly completed on this project.