The season comes to a close.

The beautiful trees show us that Autumn is well underway.

The colour in the leaves is caused by the chlorophyll breaking down revealing the other pigments.

My bulbs have a life of their own and are sprouting.

Outside the spring bulbs have grown leaves.

I have made a list of things to do.

Tidy up the plant pots.

I also use this time for research.

I hope to visit another house in London owned by William Morris. 

I have been given two great books on famous garden designers.

This will keep me busy when the weather is too cold to work outside.

We all need a rest from the physical side of gardening.

If you like to make list why not create  projects for yourself.

It may help during the long nights ahead.

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My garden dairy: My new potting bench.

I need to update you about my garden jobs.

I will have  to refrain from too much pruning.

So looking ahead to more severe weather, I have ordered a potting bench.

My husband may well have to put this together!

I can’ t stop thinking of the new opportunities it will provide.

These can include planting bulbs in pots.

Taking cuttings and “potting on”.

I need not worry about what to do in the cold months.

I can join in the activities with the television gardeners.

I will keep you informed of the progress.

This year I grew Dahlias, but who knows what I will be doing next.

We need to find new interest with our hobbies to keep them fresh.

The effort is worth it.

Thinking Ahead!

Now is the time to think of projects for Christmas. 

Forced bulbs such as Hyacinth make super gifts when planted up in a nice container.

Metal pots are good, as are terracotta of china.

Crocus make a mini display and are worth thinking about.

Glass jars for growing one bulb are  a good idea.

This type of thing is good for donations to Church Craft Fairs. 

They must have a time in the darkness of a shed or garage.

Outside you could plant up a multi layer arrangement of bulbs.

Tulips at the bottom, daffodils in the middle and crocus on top.

I am adding small Iris to some of my borders this year.

Does this all sound exciting–because it is!

Small but significant.

The space in front of the house can be used in various ways.

Sadly today it is often a neglected area.

Grey slate with fake box trees has become the norm.

There are many ways that we can personalise this useful entrance to a house.

Colour, planting and artistic ornaments are the key.

A seating area ,real or imagined is one.

Metal seats or a set of bistro tables and chairs fits the bill.

Drift wood or maritime ornaments adds  an artistic feel.

Another way of producing a dramatic effect is to plant up numerous pots.

These can be changed according to the seasons.

This imaginative use of space provides enjoyment for the individual and the rest of the community.

Let us all have confidence to show our own personalities in the way we dress the exterior of our homes.

It will make a difference!

Inspirational images.

This week I have been looking at the work of early photographers.

One that caught my eye was Julia Margaret Cameron. 

She was a Victorian photographer.

Her images show woman in long floating dresses and beautiful flowing hair.

The pictures of men depict them in smart three piece suits and long beards.

This then was an age of refinement.

Some of the models used poses from mythology or literature.

This was the same era that William Morris was making wall paper prints from natural flowers.

How can this amazing work influence design today?

Dedication to detail is the key.

Perhaps Native Planting can inform plant design.

Hard landscape patterns could involve symmetry and repetition of natural shapes.

Iron work may be used for furniture.

Above all this movement calls for a return to art as the centre of design.

I shall be using this principle in developing new ideas for my own garden design work.

A fresh look at garden design is long overdue.

We should not be afraid to have a change of emphasis in garden design.

 Perennial planting has dominated garden design for the last decade.

Yes it is stunning.

As a garden designer I now think that we should not be afraid if the client wants  a low maintenance garden.

To this end I have designed a garden that can be used anywhere.

In  a private or public space.

Front garden or secluded back garden.

I will call it “The Cross-over garden”.

It includes hard landscaping features, sculpture and vintage garden ware.

It includes a community garden and  mixed borders.

It will look great throughout the year.

It looks good and is serviceable.

What more could you want!

See http://www.annesmithdesigns.co.uk