Style Guide – Romantic Gardens Part 2

Tree peony

Romantic gardens are more ordered than the haphazard jostling of a cottage garden. The garden will be delightful not just to look at, but also to smell, hear, touch, perhaps even taste.

Read: Style Guide – Romantic Gardens Part 1

Plants for a Romantic Garden

There will be roses, of course, and they must have an old-fashioned scent. David Austin’s roses are renowned for their excellent range of colour, combined with the ability to repeat-flower and the fragrance of old garden roses.

Rosa Falstaff is a fragrant shrub rose, with deep crimson petals. It grows to 1.25m high.

The Generous Gardener is a climbing rose, growing to 4.5m. Its pale pink blooms carry a delicious Old Rose fragrance. It has...

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A Guide to Planting Eye-catching Containers

A collection of charming daisies and forget me nots

Planting up a container is a bit like designing a garden bed in miniature and the same design principles apply.

Colour

Get the colour scheme right. Nature’s soothing greens often make even unlikely plant groupings work, but don’t rely on that if you want your containers to sing. Decide whether you want harmonising or contrasting colours, pastels or rich hues.

A group of pansies in varying hues of purple-blue make a soothing combination. The bright yellow eyes and different flower sizes maintain interest.

Vibrant clashes can work well – like this glorious combination of tulips and grape hyacinths.

But take care! When my new display of red summer pelargoniums suddenly took off, they clashed horribly with a pot of purple...

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Tulip Mania!

Captivating tulips - spring garden plans from Weahterstaff

Though tulips are as quintessentially Dutch as windmills and clogs, they are actually an Eastern flower, growing wild along a narrow belt, stretching from Ankara in Turkey to the mountain ranges of Pamir-Alai and Tien Shan in Central Asia. The word tulip itself is derived from the Turkish and Persian names for turban, named for the resemblance between the flower’s petals and the turban’s overlapping folds of material.

A prized flower in Turkey, the tulip later became a symbol of the Ottoman Empire, with a period during the early 18th century – noted for its prosperity and relative peace – being labelled the Tulip Era. The classic tulip motif, with elongated petals, often featured in Ottoman art.

A hundred or...

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Spring is here!

Spring bulbs and pick-me-up window box displays.

Tulips in a huge array of colours to complement any colour scheme. Crown imperials (Fritillaria imperialis), with spectacular Carmen Miranda headgear. Cheerful daffodils and chirpy violas. Here’s what I found flowering this week…

For more gardening ideas, click here to follow the Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner on Pinterest.


Spring is (not yet) sprung!

Narcissus Tête-à-Tête - spring border ideas from Weatherstaff

I’m not too great when it comes to delayed gratification. I want spring – and I want it now!

Actually, I wanted it a couple of weeks ago. I like the changing of the seasons. I love autumn colours and crisp winter days, but now, I’d like the seasons to change again.

With the arrival of February, spring seemed almost within the grasp of my gardening-gloved hand. And really, February’s such a little month to endure. Those missing few days at the end of February mean that by mid-month, it’s almost over! There’s Valentine’s Day, too, slap in the middle, to cheer us up with chocolates and flowers. Suddenly, supermarket shelves are laden with bunches and baskets of flowers. Garden...

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A Crescendo of Crocuses

Spring Crocuses - from the Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner

What’s the collective noun for a group of crocuses? A cluster, a crowd, a colony? A swathe, a dazzle, a drift?

On a bright, chill-nipped, late-February afternoon in Cannizaro Park, the word which comes to mind is crescendo – the pale buds, pushing up in clumps through the crumpled dead leaves and winter mud-brown soil, gradually increasing in number and intensity of colour, spilling across the grassy borders, unfurling to reveal orange stamen and deep purple petals, peaking at the very moment I reach the park gates!

Cannizaro Park is a 34-acre Grade II* listed English Heritage garden, to the south of Wimbledon Common. A private garden for 300 years, it was acquired by Wimbledon Borough Council, now London Borough...

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What’s flowering in early March?

The cheerful little crocus - spring garden border idea from the Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner

So many plants flowering in early March. Here’s what I found flowering this week…

For more gardening ideas, click here to follow the Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner on Pinterest.


Daffadowndilly

Daffodils Weatherstaff Plant Profile

“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty.”

William Shakespeare

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet, She wore her greenest gown; She turned to the south wind And curtsied up and down. She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbour: “Winter is dead.”

Daffodowndilly – AA Milne

The daffodil is the national flower of Wales. On March 1st – St David’s Day – we dressed up in Welsh National Costume, complete with frilly apron and tall black hat, and pinned on a daffodil. By the end of the day, it was a sorry, droopy little thing, but, still, I always preferred a real daffodil, with its fresh,...

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Dog’s Tooth Violets

Dog's Tooth Violets Garden Design Software Blog

The morning’s forecast predicted rain but I raced the east-flying rain clouds and flew out into the garden for a spot of tidying up.

Just outside our back door, there’s a welcoming, little border, with pride of place taken by a Fuji Cherry. In a few weeks time, its twisting branches will carry a dazzling display of blush-white flowers, but for the moment, the buds are tightly furled and clinging to the bare branches.

At its feet, the Daphne odora is valiantly breaking into blossom. It’s only frost hardy and the last two winters have taken their toll. Some of the glossy, cream-margined leaves have been blackened by frost and others have given up the fight and lie, carpeting the...

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Does a garden add value to your home?

Narcissus Hawera

Most buyers are prepared to pay extra for a home with a garden. According to Phil Spencer, of Location, Location, Location, outside space could increase the value of your property by up to 20%.

We can be reasonably sure, though, that a well cared-for, colourful garden is a far more attractive proposition than a weedy, cluttered outside area.

So, whether you are intending to put your house on the market or stay put, you have all the justification you need for spending more time pottering in your garden.

Autumn is a good time for tidying up, cutting back spent flowers and clearing away fallen leaves. It’s worthwhile spending time thinking about how your garden has looked over the course of...

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