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Today it really felt that Spring is here! Feeling the warmth of the sun was such a treat, but with a freshness in the air reminding us that it is still mid February. Work wise for me, although it is full speed ahead with moving shrubs around and planting hardy evergreens and trees, I am …

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Witch Hazels are in flower right now and the scented, acid yellow flowers certainly brighten up a dark February day. What plant in their right mind chooses to flower now? Well the Witch Hazel (Hamamellis mollis) defies logic and goes ahead anyway – for our pleasure!  
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Erigeron karvinskianus is usually seen doing it’s thing self seeding in crevices or at the front of borders. Here in pots for a change it prettily trails over the edges and provides a delicate contrast to the bold leaves above. Successful combination! This erigeron is one of those particularly rewarding plants that go on flowering …

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Never mind that I won’t be going to this year’s Chelsea Flower Show (it’s now sold out), I am still gleaning lots of inspiration from the show gardens of years gone by. This was the Laurent Perrier garden from 2010 designed by Tom Stuart Smith. Multi-stemmed Betula nigra trees are beautifully underplanted with Hakonechloa grass, …

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Lovely combination here of lime green Dryopteris ferns and dusky purple astrantias. Perfect partners for a damp shady spot.
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This variegated pittosporum ‘tree’ has been pruned to reveal the lower branches, which is a great idea. Pittosporums are bought as shrubs, and they tend to grow into rather unshapely lumps….and then keep growing to tree height! Once they get to this height, they look great pruned in this way, especially in a small garden. …

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Topiary domes are all the rage! I have to share with you these Yew domes, they look divine dotted alternately along an organic shaped pathway. They are arranged so that the foliage overlaps over the path – it wouldn’t be the same otherwise. The whole effect is just gorgeous! Designed by Adam Frost for Chelsea …

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BBC TV’s DIY SOS this week showed Chris Beardshaw’s 2016 Chelsea garden being moved to the Gt Ormond St hospital roof. Amazing feat and a very special garden. I particularly love the gorgeous cut out oak leaf panels for the oak pavilion, and the uplifting piece of sculpture amongst lush planting. The garden has created …

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These boxing hares are a great addition to this country garden. My client chose them herself for the centre of a large herbaceous border benefitting from a focal point. All sorts of animal willow sculptures like these are available now, pigs….horses, elephants! Sculptures or ornaments in the garden can hold special memories or meaning which …

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Whenever I plant up a garden it is always rewarding to salvage plants from existing borders if I can. As long as they are not plants my client loathes, they are healthy, they fit in with the scheme, and they are not too big to be moved or split up. Today we decided to salvage …

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