Springing into action.

It has been a long winter ,which makes it hard to get started again.

However, action creates motivation.

What projects have you planned for this year?

I am going to talks at the Lincs Hardy Plant Society.

Palmstead suggested that we all need to push horticulture.

I am starting at family level with my grandchildren.

We can make a difference.

In my own garden the front garden needs looking at.

The hard landscaping will be extended.

Bolders can give interest.

Updating planting is a continual process if we are to keep gardens at the peak of condition.

Creatively , I hope to go to Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean in Oxford.

Each small facet will, I hope , create a worthwhile composition to my year.

I hope that I have given you ideas to help construct your year.


Adapting to change.

The Palmstead workshop this week informed us of the changes that are occurring.

Major players are retiring.

There are enough of the main players left to provide stability.

New key figures recognise the problems that the industry is facing.

They are right to demand help with this.

They also have the enthusiasm to overcome the economic climate that restricts progress.

As well as providing excellent talks, the workshop gives people a chance to see old friends and make new ones.

The Midlands does not have the wealth of the South East, however I do not let this get me down.

I welcome the chance to mix in the atmosphere that hopefully will help me to continue a little while longer.

Preparing for Palmstead !

Next week will be the annual Palmstead workshop.

Something that we garden designers look forward to very much.

The topic this year is Green Connections.

Ken Thompson is a Plant Scientist of note.

I have met him before and bought one of this books.

Andrew Wilson is a well known figure in this industry.

I have heard him speak before.

His views on how the industry should be run are very good.

Trees are always a popular topic at this workshop.

The Consulting Process.

This year there will also be time to discuss issues involved in working with people.

The chance to meet friends is a great idea.

What perfect way to start the year.

Hello again from me!!

This week I visited the Garden Museum in London to see the exhibition of Humphey Repton’s Red books.

The museum was closed for two years while a refurbishment took place. The new shop has a good

selection of books. The new cafe does great food.

The exhibition is very interesting.

I have started water colour painting.

Repton designed a good selection of gardens round the country.

His red book are quite famous.

I did not know that in those times it was usual to paint a drawing of the garden.

It was then the custom to make an overlay of the new design.

In these days when CAD

is often used ,it is a good idea to look again at the maters of design .

We can always improve our knowledge of design and looking at the old masters is one way of doing this.



Renovating a garden.

My front garden is a Spring garden.

After that a lot of work has to be done

 Jobs include:

  1. Prune overgrown shrubs.
  2. Weed.
  3. Take out plants that have become invasive.
  4.  Remove plants that look tired.
  5. Plan a new planting theme– this would include colour, shape,and interest.
  6. Think about new plants you would like.
  7. Include structures for interest such as benches or bird baths.
  8. Think about how best to vary planting according to height etc.
  9. Start planting.
  10. Stand back and look at the garden as it takes shape.




Something different!

Today I went to the Belvoir Flower Show. 

This is a new venture ,set in the ground of Belvoir Castle. 

The sun shone and everybody was happy.

It is good to go to a show that is not promoted by the RHS

Many of the Show gardens were designed by designers that were trained at Brackenhurst/ NTU in Southwell, Notts

What a great networking opportunity

The plant stores encouraged me to buy some new roses.

Many worthwhile organisations were present, such as the Hardy Plants and Perennial.

Music was on hand, together with a selection of food stores.

For a quiet time, visitors could listen to Gardeners Question Time. 

The Belvoir Estate is being well developed as a tourist destination.

It is well worth a visit.



My week: At last I have seen the Olympic Garden.


I have met the designers of the Olympic Gardens at Palmstead Workshops. 

It was therefore my aim to see their work.

This week I did just that.

Temperatures were high and it was hard to keep cool.

However ,the effort was worth it.

The borders along the river were a mixture of grasses and perennials.

They are still looking beautiful.

Elsewhere the designs were varied.

Rich colours are very much the idea.

Some borders are made of soft grasses and purple plants.

A good contrast.

Visitors told me they often bring their grandchildren to see the display.

A good sign for the future.

This is the biggest new park in the country.

Yes it is a shame there are no others in the north.

However, it is worth making the effort to see such a super

new park.


My week: A visit to Haddon Hall.


I have wanted to visit this historic house for some time.

It is the home of the Manners Family. 

Derbyshire is a beautiful County.

Hardwick and Chatsworth are also in this area.

The garden has been redesigned by Arne Maynard. 

Areas of long grass are mixed with flower borders.

The garden is made up of five levels.

The lower ones are just above a dramatic river valley.

Some areas are given over to Herbaceous borders, while others have features such as ponds or  formal planting.

Roses made  colourful focal points.

As I have often said, we all need to visit other great gardens to renew our interest in gardening.

A gift shop and plant stall enabled me to take home some pictures and plants as a “keepsake” of a super day out.