Madame Alfred Carriere
Madame Alfred Carriere

Most garden designers have a palette of plants they trust, know and use. This repetition gives a certain style to their work and helps them build a consistent client base, although a planting style can change rapidly and distinctly.

Tom Stuart-Smith wrote, “Initially we went through quite a fluffy pink rose stage, clipped box, cranesbills and great swags of blousy pink Ispahan and purplish crimson Charles de Mill… this initial blousy pinkness overlapped with something of orange Kniphofia moment (which now seems a little improbable) then followed by a more wild Verbascum and opium poppy explosion in the early 90’s and an increasingly grassy evolution over the last ten years… I have gradually excluded the flagrantly exotic and cultivated. There is now not a single Kniphofia in the garden or an old fashioned rose or a delphinium.”

One of the most important portfolios to have is of roses, a plant 99% of clients ask for in a garden and 99% of clients will have a favourite of. So we feel it is time to update our portfolio.

First stop will be Cants of Colchester to have a look what they have growing in their fields.

Second, we will be asking what other people like. Speaking to Troy Scott Smith (Head Gardener at Sissinghurst) he pointed out to us that Rosa rugosa ‘Blanche double de Coubert’ was the favourite rose of Vita Sackville-West. (That’s good to know, because it already sits in our portfolio!)

If you have a favourite rose, do get in touch with us via Twitter or by email.

Here are a few roses from our current portfolio…

Ferdinand Pichard

Graham Thomas

Winchester Cathedral

Darcey Bussell

Madame Hardy

… oh, how we are excited to be reappraising this lovely group of plants!

For further rose related reading, try:

The Rose

The English Roses

Alan Titchmarsh How to Garden: Growing Roses

Or for the book by Tom Stuart-Smith quoted above…

The Barn Garden: Making a Place


Save Ryton Organic Gardens!

There seems to be some underhand shenanigans going on here. Bob Flowerdew is threatening to resign. We face losing the UK’s cornerstone organic garden. So please take a look at what is going on via the Facebook group…. go on! Go Now! Save Ryton Organic Gardens!


Garden Design Trends 2018

shed garden trend

Today we will be looking at Garden Design Trends in 2018. Just so you are in the know about what is cool and what is not cool in the 12 months ahead…. For the past like, million years I have shared my thoughts on what the gardening industry tell us the latest trends are going to be. If you are interested, you can see here the garden design trends for 2017. Or take a peek at my favourite of all the posts I have written – Alternative Garden Design Trends. This is my individual take on what the latest garden design …



Northern Forest – UK Plans For 50 Million New Trees

Well now, this is interesting…. UK Plans 50 Million New Trees in Northern Forest Likely? See the pitfalls? We love the idea and wholeheartedly support as much tree planting as possible. But are seriously doubtful that this is more than a sticking plaster solution to England being so vastly ‘under-treed’…. or should that be ‘overfelled?’ Yet whether this idea happens or not, all we ask is that you please make sure you plant as many trees as you can in your garden!