Monday, 29 September 2008

Ancient Orange trees

In the Castle Gardens at Freyr on the Meuse in southern Belgium, rumoured to be among the oldest specimens in Europe. Is it true?

Monday, 15 September 2008

Green Roof

The garage roof goes green. The plants are alpine strawberries which should send out runners and form an evergreen mat.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Forest Gardening Course

Zanthoxylum schinifolium, the Szechuan pepper, a handsome, hardy small tree with peppercorn berries.

Forest Gardening Course

Acacia dealbata with a hedge of Eleanus commutata in the background. Both supply nitrogen to the soil allowing neighbouring plants to thrive. The eleagnus allow has edible berries

Forest Gardening Course 16/17th August

The Agroforestry Research Trust in Devon. The hedge of Eleagnus and Rubus tricolour serves as a windbreak as well as providing fruit.

RHS Garden Rosemoor

You can warm you hands on the colour. Roger Webster's new garden at RHS Rosemoor, Devon.Link

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Stimulating immersion in culture during Edinburgh visit. The amazing Landform Ueda by Charles Jenks in the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Tracey Emin's beautiful bird 'Roman Standard'. And the allotments at the Dean Gallery, on the wall at the back are Ian Hamilton Finlay's poems carved in stone.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Links Garden

I complete the designs for this seaside garden in the Autumn of 2005 and it was planted up in Spring of 2006. The owners have kept it immaculate. Although the soil is pure sand and winds can be salt laden and gale force - it is right on the coast - the plants have thrived, even the vegetables.

Renovation of a mature garden

Planting was completed in April, thanks to the rain it is looking lush.

Tatton Show snippets

Couldn't resist adding this sanguisorba to my menzies plant collection. The superlambanana gets added bling. A good idea for an old piano from the Cheshire schools' contribution.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Setting up at Tatton

The excitement builds at the RHS Tatton Flower Show: Chris Beardshaw oversees the finishing touches to his garden for Cheshire's Year of Gardens 08. My colleague on the Society of Garden Designers' stand waits to welcome visitors. Ed Bennis and friends pose for the camera at the Tales from a Chinese GardenLink

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Arts and Crafts Garden

One year after planting, it is beginning to take shape. My clients are very pleased and so am I.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Adlington Hall recce

A stormy visit to Adlington Hall, with the head gardener and a colleague from the Cheshire Gardens Trust. We were preparing for the Trusts' visit to the gardens in September.

Prince William sets sail

Narrow boat Prince William sets off from the Kings Ransom, Sale, with a roof garden of salads, herbs and edible flowers. Destination Nantwich Floating Garden Festival. I designed this for the Mersey Basin Campaign to celebrate World Environment Day 2008.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park - 23rd-27th July 2008

2008 is the 10th anniversary of the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. I am hoping to be impressed by the creative talent this year. Its on from 23rd-27 July (website)

Shun the supermarkets and grow your own

The rising cost of living is encouraging scores of people to start growing their own produce.
Gardeners are shunning the supermarkets in order to grow their own.

Recent figures from the Horticultural trades association show a 31% increase in the sales of vegetable seed to householders, and a corresponding 32% decline in the sale of flower seeds. We are also buying nearly twice as many seedlings and young edible plants like tomatoes and marrows, and are growing far more herbs than ever before.

The Royal Horticultural Society and seed companies back this up, saying that vegetable seeds sales are now outstripping flower seeds for the first time since the second world war!

Suttons, which sells nearly a third of all household vegetable seeds in the UK, said this week that there had been a massive increase in vegetable growing in Britain. "We are seeing a big move away from flower seeds to vegetables. There has been a dramatic rise in things like sales of onions and potatoes. Spuds in particular are nearly 60% up on last year, which was 20%-30% up on the year before," a spokesman said. This year the company expects a 30% increase in its sales of UK vegetable seeds.

Brits are also increasingly keeping chickens in their gardens in order to avoid the rocketing price of eggs, as a number of DIY chains reported a steep rise in the sales of chicken coops.

Carrie Pailthorpe, from Garden Organic, also encourages "growing your own" as the cheaper alternative to paying supermarket's ever-rising prices for staple products such as fruit and vegetables.

"Whether it's in an allotment, a small vegetable patch or just a few window boxes, the produce grown will certainly save pounds rather than pence," she added.

Demand for organic food rose sharply in 2006 to an estimated £1.937 billion, according to the Organic Centre for Wales.

It added that over the last ten years the area of land under organic management in the UK has increased ten-fold from 60,000 hectares in April 1997 to 619,783 hectares in 2007.