February 27, 2015

In memory of trees

This last week I have been fortunate enough to pay a visit to an established UK tree nursery: Hilliers in Hampshire.  Hilliers are about much more than trees with a portfolio of garden centres, cash and carry and shrub and perennials supply. Here, I am focusing upon tree supply as this was the purpose of…

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September 7, 2014

Gorgeous grasses

I have always had a love for ornamental grasses and the contribution they make to a planting scheme. At Capel Manor college some 15 years ago, where I first studied landscape design, there were some great  mixed perennial planting schemes including grasses and  I started to develop a big love for this family of plants…

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June 24, 2013

Why the grass isn’t always greener- Alternatives to lawn

Perfect green lawns are an English obsession and have been so for centuries- the sweeping green lawns of Capability Brown in the 17th Century are iconic statements and without the lawnmower, cricket, football, ruby & tennis would not have become the games they are today.  But are traditional lawns always appropriate in our gardens? Will…

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February 25, 2013

Our boutique allotment: The growing environments: Polytunnels & raised beds

It’s been a cold but busy few weeks on our plot in North Manchester & we have been putting the building blocks in place for our first growing season on our Boutique allotment.  We have been busy doing two things: Constructing our Polytunnel on an area of hardstand –indoor growing areas for bringing on seeds…

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January 30, 2013

Architectural Planting-Poppyhead Consultancy’s approach to planting design

In this article, I will describe and illustrate our approach to planting design at Poppyhead including our interpretation of the phrases architectural planting and ‘soft minimalism’-terms we frequently use in describing our own planting design philosophy. Fundamentally, we believe plants are used to best effect when considered as design materials in their own right as…

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December 5, 2012

Gardens for Year Round Interest: The Winter Garden

When designing a garden space, it is important to consider impact throughout the seasons so that there is structure and interest all year, provided in a variety of ways.  It’s about working with the rise and ebb of the seasons to create something that evolves or unfolds. Here, with winter well and truly here, frost…

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November 9, 2012

Creating Inspired Small Gardens

  I have an emotional attachment to my now faded and well-used first garden design book: Really Small Gardens by Jill Billington.  It’s crammed full of tantalizing glossy rich images and thought provoking ideas including the use of mirrors, sculpture and borrowed views.  Since then, inspired by the sorts of small spaces that I have…

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