Long, narrow gardens and other awkward shapes

Polystichum munitum, Myosotis sylvatica, the frosted foliage of Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost and new buds opening on Centaurea monana - woodland plants from the Weatherstaff garden design software

When is a triangle not a triangle?

Our main garden is an elongated, right-angled triangle, bordered by a wild hedge edging a country lane. When we first moved in, the entire garden was laid to lawn and could be viewed in all its triangular, tapering glory! Pythagoras might have been delighted with the opportunity to experiment with the properties of our triangle. We were more perplexed by the dilemma of how to make a triangle look more like a rectangle!

In our vast expanse of grassness, we were also keen to add interest by creating pathways and hidden areas, as well as planting up flower borders to soften the boundaries.

We ended up making the lawn area smaller, with...

Read More »

Autumn Colours

Autumn Leaves - Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner

The trees are looking spectacular at the moment and it’s hard to resist taking yet another photograph of the glowing colours at canopy level. But down on the ground, there are some hardy perennials which are still flowering their socks off!

Here’s my choice for the best 5 perennials for autumn colour.

Helenium

These are stunning perennials with daisy-like flowers on an upright, clump-forming plant. They flower profusely from mid-summer into the autumn.

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ has glorious autumnal colours – fiery orange-red rays surrounding a velvety brown central disc. The rays reflex strongly as the flowers age. It has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

‘Pipsqueak’ has yellow rays surrounding a velvety yellow and...

Read More »

Street Flowers in France

Displays of flowers - border ideas

There are some things the French seem to do effortlessly. Crème de cassis and white wine. Raspberry tarts. Shabby chic. The careless and uncontrived juxtaposition of faded elegance and modern buildings.

And what is it about the French and flowers? Their streets are a blaze of carefully designed colour and a visit to a public park feels like an outing to the botanical gardens.

Grasses and sedges add movement and airiness to the designs. In a park near the railway station, fluffy lagurus ovatus contrasts with statuesque canna leaves. The pretty, delicate Gaura lindheimeri adds a light touch to many of the flowerbeds. I want to whip out my camera and analyse the plant combinations.

At every roundabout, there’s a...

Read More »

What makes a successful planting plan?

The Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner - intelligent garden planning software

Creating a successful planting design for your garden borders can involve hours of decision-making. I know – I’ve put those hours in and scrawled lists of plants on countless sheets of paper and backs of envelopes.

The first step is to know your garden.

1. Go on a fact-finding mission

Check out which areas of the garden catch the sun and at what time of day. In other words, where’s the best place to drink your morning coffee? And is it the same for your afternoon tea?

Know where the wind whips through, creating draughty corridors and which parts still have frost on the ground long after the rest of the garden has warmed up.

Find out what your soil...

Read More »