Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September - Textures

In early spring the new growth on perennials really stands out. I adore my office garden right now - with just a few valiant flowers, the anticipation of bulbs flowering, and the really strong contrast of leaf form and texture. And the spring growth on the Buxus is gorgeous. I took a few photos this morning, to capture the essence of what I am talking about.

Bearded Irises have an amazing leaf form that really stands out at this time of year. I like the flowers, but perhaps oddly, I prefer them when they are at this stage - just strong upright leaves. 

Lilies are an all time favourite - I love them from the moment they pop up. Part of the pleasure is the anticipation of their flower, but that is not all. I love the leaf texture as well. 

Hellebore leaves are striking amongst the contrasting Euphorbia 
The garden has hardly any flowers in it right now, but I am enjoying it so much with just leaves and growth. 
Michelia yunnanensis - the fragrance is superb

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Crocus - Little Winter Treasures

In the depths of winter, it is all the more important to have little treasures dotted around the garden that you can enjoy. I adore these tiny Crocus, which have faithfully been popping up for the last 8 or 9 years. They have fascinating details.

Good idea is to put them next to herbaceous perennials, so that they have relatively bare ground around them during flowering, then their dying leaves get covered up by spring growth of surrounding perennials.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sophora Dragons Gold

I know I have mentioned this superb miniature Kowhai before - but I couldn't resist sharing these pictures taken FROM MY DESK the other day, of the dear wee Wax-eye (Silver-eye) flitting about in them. They are such a great plant - either as a small tree, if limbed up from a young age. Or topiary shapes such as standards, of balls. Definitely as a hedge, too. Plant near a window, as the main flowering season (about 4 months worth) is in the depths of winter - just when you need some action to cheer you up!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Autumn perennials - COLOUR in April

Wow it HAS been a while since I have posted - shows how busy I have been!! Met some wonderful people, and designed lots of exciting spaces in the last few months, so now just waiting for them to be created. I love that element of my job. Meeting people passionate about creating great spaces. Bring it on!

For now, though - some photos I took in my own garden at home on the weekend. My garden is large, and I have it divided into quite separate spaces with different colour schemes in each. Gives me a chance to experiment, but also to indulge my passion for colour combos, and growing things.....

The stand out colour is absolutely the dahlias - they are in full blast flower until the frosts arrive. Have a look for yourself:


Dahlias in all shades of red, at the front door. 


And around the corner.....ORANGE AND PURPLE

Old fashioned Alstromeria
Salvia Black and Blue - really valuable in the perennial garden
Geranium Johnsons Blue or Rozanne - not sure which.
Orange dahlia - Salvia behind
Verbena bonariense

Then beside the pool ......

This is the main player in the pink garden at the mo - low growing, forming a colour mass at
 the base of the other perennials that have kept growing upwards. Just gorgeous. If you
want  to know the variety ask me in the comments section and I will look it up.
The Echinacea have finally faded from their strong hue earlier in the season. The other
perennials are still getting taller around them, and won't cease until the first frosts.
Toad Lily - (Tricyrtis hirta).  Great edging shrub gardens.
Euphorbia Chameleon
Penstemon 'Garnet'


Woodland Anemone
Quince - fabulous tree for blossom and fruit
Rose hips on climbing rose
Viburnum Trilobum
There - just a wander around the garden on a Sunday afternoon. If you want late season colour in your garden, (and you have the space) there are no excuses. Especially with the array of dahlias on the market these days. Most of my reds have self-sown from an original 3 different sorts, which is half the fun. You never know what you are going to get. Just have fun with the colours - experiment! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Late Summer - Galtonia

As many plants start to fade, the Galtonia is just kicking into action. I love the height and freshness the tall spires bring to the garden. I saved seeds off one plant last year, potted them up, and now have about 30 baby bulbs ready to plant out in autumn. A great accent plant for this time of year.

And of course - we cannot mention late summer without a few pics of the Dahlia. Fabulously tough and long lasting colour. Mine have been flowering since before Christmas, with only sporadic watering in this very hot summer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mid-Summer Pinks!

The colours of the Echinacea purpurea seem to have intensified with the heat (regularly 30+ degrees C this week). I can't get over how many bumble bees are buzzing all over them. And the Lilies have opened. Not 100% certain I like the combination, now it is out. They perhaps need to be further apart, with more green in between? Might be some fine-tuning going on over winter. The very tall dusky pink flower in behind is Eupatorium maculatum. Fabulous foliage, with flowers a bonus.

Eupatorium maculatum


The orange cones are breathtaking. The bees must love them, too.