The client was looking for a contemporary and modern design to compliment their recent house extension. We agreed on a stunning combination of white limestone gravel and dark grey clay pavers. A wooden patio leads from the house to the path, which leads to the garden room.
I am thrilled to have won a Silver Merit medal for my ‘Wildlife Oasis’ garden at the Gardeners’ World Live in June 2022. Being so close to a gold medal on my first show garden and hearing such incredible feedback and lovely messages from so many fabulous people that I have met – what a great start to an exciting journey.
This project is a collaboration between myself and my friend and allotment neighbour, Nadine Mitschunas, Pollinator Ecologist and winner of the Gardeners World Garden of the Year 2021 (for her allotment!!).
The aim of the garden is to raise awareness of the importance of creating natural habitats and show how a wildlife friendly pond can blend beautifully and naturally within a garden border.
Many people felt intimidated about building a pond in their garden. In my blog are instructions on how we built our show garden pond step-by-step.
Most of the plants are selected to attract wildlife and are draught-tolerant, reducing the need for watering. Plants can be divided, cuttings made, or seeds sown to extend the border. There is also no hard landscaping and materials will all be recycled to and from existing gardens, showing that this garden can be created and maintained with little cost and is sustainable.
Ponds should be included in all gardens as they provide a habitat for many animals and are always full of life. Ponds attract not just frogs, toads and newts but also numerous other small creatures such as dragonflies, damselflies, water beetles, pond snails, water fleas, water boatmen and pond skaters. The pond is also an important source of water for many mammals such as hedgehogs, as well as for many birds, which all like to come for a drink.
Ponds can be a lifeline in a very dry summer when all other available water sources have dried out. Birds also like to bath in the shallow water at the edge of the pond. The surrounding pollinator-friendly plants attract many different insects such as bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, beetles, and wasps.
The close-by pond will also give these insects a source of water which they will frequently visit, especially on hot summer days. Some hoverflies are also particularly attracted to water and can often be found basking on stones or leaves close to the pond edge.
Visit my blog to see step-by-step instructions on how to build a naturalistic pond.
- Achillea ‘Moon Dust’
- Achillea ‘Moonshine’
- Achillea ‘Walther Funcke’
- Allium sphaerocephalon
- Anthemis tinctoria ‘E C Buxton’
- Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
- Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
- Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’
- Erigeron glaucus ‘Wayne Roderick’
- Euphorbia oblongata
- Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’
- Gaura Lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’
- Geranium ‘Brookside’
- Geranium sanguineum ‘Striatum’
- Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’
- Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora
- Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’
- Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
- Salvia greigii ‘Mirage Cream’
- Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’
- Scabiosa ‘Kudo’
- Stachys byzantina
- Stipa capillata ‘Bridal Veil’
- Stipa tenuissima
- Thalictrum aquilegiifolium
- Zizia aurea
Pond and Marginal Plants:
- Carex elata ‘Aurea’
- Ceratophyllum demersum
- Dichromena colorata
- Iris Louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’
- Iris Louisiana ‘Dancing Vogue’
- Lythrum salicaria
- Mentha Cervina
- Nymphaea ‘Inner Light’
- Primula Vulgaris
- Ranunculus aquatilis
- Ranunculus flammula
- Scirpus cernuus
- Houttuynia cordata ‘Plena’
The customer has created a planting area under a couple of large mature pine trees in the back garden. Although the planting area is south facing, majority of it remains in deep shade under the tree canopy.
A planting plan was created with plants which can handle dry shade and normal to acid soil. A simple colour palette of whites, creamy yellows and purples are used. The whites and yellows should stand out in the shade and late afternoon. Heights vary through the garden with the aim of being viewed from multiple angles.
A path winds through the garden enabling the visitor to engage with the planting, resting on a bench seat under the central pine tree.
Pine Trees Underplanting
Lou undertook to prepare a design for an area of our garden under a large pine tree. It is a difficult area to plant as it is dry and shaded. Lou worked with her plant suppliers to find a range of suitable plants which she discussed with me and we went through several iterations of the plan to agree on a final planting. Lou arranged for ordering and delivery of the plants which all went very smoothly. Lou visited several times to make sure everything was in order and I would be very happy to ask her for further advice on other plans for the garden.
This small north facing garden was paved and shingled over completely. There was no vegetation (not even a weed!). The family has a young son who needed a small space to play, but primarily the brief was for an informal, curvy garden with plenty of greenery, a lawn and a cool and consistent planting theme. Paving slabs were removed from the existing patio to allow seating amongst the planting. Wooden sleepers created a step up to the garden with a boxed raised bed for herbs. The path allows a journey through the planting. Budget was kept low at under £3k by using existing materials and minimising landscaping. No hard landscaping was built.
The planting colour palette is cool and with blues and pinks. The fences are filled with climbers allowing colour and interest year round.
Since the design, a new garden office was built and the remaining planting can now be completed.
Photos courtesy of Mr & Mrs Leadbeater
The brief was to design a lush garden with multiple seating and entertaining areas within a £50k budget. The design includes a bespoke contemporary garden room, leading to a patio and seating area with wood burning hot tub and fire pit. A brick path winds through a corten-steel moon gate and around the garden, allowing the senses to engage with the mixed perennial, shrub and grass planting up close. The shady area enjoys a woodland feel including tree ferns and a fern-like sculpture with additional secluded seating.
The Carr family felt their garden to be uninspiring and awkwardly shaped around the large garden office, which dominated the view. They had also recently completed some home renovation work which led to the removal of their decking and installation of beautiful bifold doors.
The family wanted a relaxing space to unwind after work, with a larger patio, lots of multi-seasonal flowers, some lawn and somewhere to relax.
After discussing their requirements in depth, I presented a circular lawn design. Something a little different, which they were really excited by.
Paving and shingle were selected and sourced by the customer.
The resulting garden takes you on a journey to a secluded seating area behind the office, filled with year round interest from climbers and perennials, which will be come lush and abundant as the plants mature and spread.
We are absolutely delighted with our garden. It is a wonderful place to spend time, and the view from our house is beautiful. There are points of interest in so many places, and for the first time we have an outside space to be proud of. Watching it change and grow throughout the year is a real joy. Lou’s knowledge of plants and design, and her attention to detail, made the whole process easy and enjoyable. We can’t thank her enough!