Drifts of Snowdrops

Drifts of Snowdrops

Well if you would like to see some stunning snowdrops this garden is abundant with them. Painswick Rococo Garden has them spilling down the hillsides and throughout the forest floor.

Even on a dull day it was beautiful.IMG_9378

Companion planting of coloured Cornus stems and Hellebores mix with evergreen shrubs.IMG_9368

A stunning carpet of Cyclamen hederifolium spreads out beneath the white blooms in some areas,


whilst a complement of evergreen ferns Asplenium Scolopendrium (Hart’s Tongue) supplement the mass of snowdrops in others.


Don’t rely on my poor photos as you can catch a glimpse on their video. https://vimeo.com/252180121

If you have a chance, do go and look. There are several species of Snowdrop together with their own special Galanthus Atkinsii which is a tall variety. You can purchase the plants in the green to plant up now. I have to add rather a lot to my garden to create the same effect. Thankfully you can achieve a beautiful display even in a small area.

Last Garden Design for 2017

Last Garden Design for 2017

So pleased to end on a good note with a happy client. The overall design for this garden has been set out so I am ready to complete the more detailed outline plans for the different sections of the garden in the new year. What a wonderful way to start 2018. Sorry for poor photo but you will get the gist. Time to get ready for Christmas!

I hope everyone enjoys a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2018.


Grasses in the Garden

Grasses in the Garden

An excellent article on http://www.hauzz.co.uk about using grasses in the garden by Patricia Tyrrell which includes a picture of Stipa gigantea in a garden that I designed. It shows how this tall translucent grass can bring added beauty to a planting scheme.

Country garden in early summer

Radicepura Garden Festival 2017

Radicepura Garden Festival 2017

I was lucky enough to get a guided tour of this new garden festival in Sicily when visiting recently. What a delight. There were not a large number of show gardens but all had been constructed with care and attention to detail and had survived an extremely hot summer. The use of native plants that have been specifically researched and known cultivars which are suitable for the Mediterranean climate were a revelation. One exhibit shows the land map of Italy and its specific flower, fruit, nut and vegetable production particular to regions in the country. The planting had really matured this late in the season so looked far better than my photographs show.

This is a very new site and event and I look forward to the next show in 2019. The UK was well represented this year by Sarah Eberle and James Basson, both well known Chelsea Gold medal winners. The designs were all to a very high standard and the explanations to long for me to give here so check out the website.

It was so quiet, we had the whole place to ourselves. Make a note in your diary for the next event. 17radicepura_aprile17_creditialfiogarozzo


Mount Etna in the background, an exceptional tropical house and art installations. A good excuse to visit Sicily.

Stay in one of the Agritourismo Sicily hotels, or move around and try a few as we did. https://www.agriturismo.it/en/farmhouse/sicily


Clematis armandii

Clematis armandii

This amazing evergreen clematis is covered in fabulous fragrant flowers. What a wonderful way to start spring. The bumble bees are loving it too. The flowers are really abundant this year and the perfume is really heady in the sunshine. A must have if you have a south facing wall. My poor photographs do not do it justice. Check it out at http://www.crocus.co.uk #spring flowers #garden design #clematis

Is It Nearly Spring?

Is It Nearly Spring?


As the catkins open up and start to release their pollen it looks as though spring is just around the corner. The Hellebores have been in flower for a while and once the old foliage is removed  they look stunning with a real splash of colour. Crocus, snowdrops and daffodils are all in full bloom here too. Thank you to Rich Walker for this lovely image.


These Hellebores were photographed by Susan Rushton at Gresgarth Hall . Stunning examples. See https://susanrushton.net/

Hellebore Day




I visited the gardens and chateaux during a trip to the Le Mans Classic. I was sure that the rigid geometry and pristine appearance would not be to my taste but was still curious. I have to hold up my hand and say that I was amazed. The gardens, first viewed from the chateaux appear to compliment it perfectly. The patterns are truly extraordinary in their perfection and precision. Once out and wandering the various gardens they become quite intimate and contain a delightful array of planting. A strong contrast is now provided by the Sun Garden which uses shrubs and mass perennials in expert combinations that truly please the eye. This is definitely a garden to experience even if your taste is not for formal gardens.




An Allium just getting ready for Sunday 12 June. Open Gardens Event at Ryton TF11 9JJ

12 gardens, Queen’s Birthday teas, plants stall, gnome trail for children and classic cars.

Tickets on sale at the car park. Adults £4.00 children under 12 free. Noon til 5 pm.

A Garden in France

A Garden in France

Just back from a trip to France to work on a Clients’ garden in the Dordogne. I was concerned that the terrible events in Paris may well affect travelling but all proceeded without any delays. Having taken the ferry to Caen so that I could take my own surveying equipment I drove down to Tours for a half way stopover. The sun shone and it was delightfully warm. The willows beside the river Loire still had a lot of leaves on.


The cathedral is in the process of being cleaned and looked stunning in the sunlight. The stained glass windows are worth a look since they are both historic and contemporary.


Stayed the night at Les Hautes Roches which has rooms cut into the cliff wall. It was very pleasant and I would certainly go back for a longer stay.



Stayed at a small hotel in Aubeterre sur Dronne which was close to the site making it easy to head over and measure the site then take levels and soil samples.


After three days of kind weather and the site survey completed I visited local paving suppliers and also a very helpful nursery, ETS Horticole in Aubeterre sur Dronne. Excellent olive trees at a very good price.


Left in torrential rain to head back to Le Mans and stopped at a very good auberge L’Auberge des Roches in Luche-Pringe which we use for the Le Mans Classic. Then a very wet drive back up to Caen and onto the ferry and home.

Times like this I realise that I really love my work……