Category Archives: Design

Secluded garden, planting, water

Hello, It’s Good To Be Back …

Oh dear, has it really been so long since my last post, I apologise.  I’ve had an awful lot on my plate renovating our house, a miserable winter and slow spring, not to mention a shoulder injury have all triggered a tad of writer’s block.

We did manage to put up the new greenhouse which I’ve really enjoyed as I can now sow seeds for the garden and allotment and I can also overwinter some of my more tender plants.

I have also had the tree surgeon in to clear the dying silver birch, ugly conifer and numerous fruit suckers which were threatening to take over the garden.

My wonderful dad has also provided me with a professional design so I can get going with laying out the garden over the next few months, starting with a winding brick path which will divide the garden into 3 different areas.

My equally wonderful mum has sent me some apricot seeds which I will be attempting to germinate and grow on as container plants.  More about that in a future post.

It’s good to be back.


The Spiral Aloe

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Here’s another beautiful Aloe which I have yet to add to my collection. A. polyphylla is a stemless Aloe with an amazing spiral arrangement of leaves giving it its common name of Spiral Aloe.  Spiral phyllotaxy is common in the … Continue reading

Seriously Succulent

So today the inner plantaholic got the better of me.

Whilst at the garden centre a few days ago I came across Aeonium ‘Blushing Beauty’ and mustering every ounce of willpower walked away empty handed with the memory of it burning brightly in my mind.

At the same time, I’ve been wanting to renew the planting in a large clay container which has been overlooked since we moved house.  So, taking inspiration from a facebook fan page ‘The Succulent Perch’ I grabbed my purse and gave in.  Here’s what I came home with :~

Crassula ‘Tresco Seaspray’

Sempervivum calcareum

Sedum purpureum

Aeonium ‘Blushing Beauty

Here’s what I did next …

Base for the pot …

Turf removed and wood base slightly sunken and leveled.

Pot positioned and level checked.

Aeonium left in pot because it will need to come indoors for the winter. Top-dressing of pea gravel applied.

Just need to develop the planting around the pot next spring but a good start to a succulent focal point.

My Sweeties and a Flowerpot

‘Cupani’, ‘Winston Churchill’, White Supreme’ and ‘Painted Lady’

Had a simple idea, in the event of a vase shortage just turn a flowerpot upside down!

My Sweeties …

Design in Mind

A note to myself of ideas and criteria for the layout and planting of the garden.

Structural Considerations

  1. Flower borders
  2. Renovate shed
  3. Three distinct areas (rooms): secret seating; water focus;  planting focus
  4. Greenhouse
  5. Water
  6. Wildlife friendly
  7. Paths

Environmental Considerations

  1. Aspect ~ north facing
  2. Clay soil needs proper management
  3. Soil pH to be tested
  4. Coastal, salt laden high winds


  1. Tree surgery required
  2. Decide on Concept: naturalistic; coastal; formal; contemporary?
  3. Emphasis on foliage and texture
  4. Decide on colour combinations
  5. Limited number of species of flower
  6. Herbs
  7. Ferns
  8. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’ (good in coastal positions and on poor soil)
  9. Grasses

Just needed to write these down while they’re in my head.

Dionysus Gets a New Hairdo

This is Dionysus, the greek god of wine, wine making and the grape harvest.  He has adorned my garden walls for over 10 years with varying hairstyles but today he’s had a makeover.  What a handsome fellow!

I have chosen Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ because it tolerates part shade during the day and as my garden is north facing it should be quite content.  The bright golden yellow leaves also stand out well in this shady spot.  The potting media I used was John Innes No.3 for mature plants and to help retain some moisture I placed a small amount of sphagnum in the bottom first.


The name Lysimachia derives from the Greek lysis, releasing, and mache, strife, supposedly possessing soothing qualities.  Its common name is Loosestrife and it belongs in the family Primulaceae.  There are 150 or so species of Lysimachia, this particular one is a rapidly spreading evergreen groundcover and well suited to moist areas such as waterside, border edges, rockeries, banks, gravel gardens and containers in sun or partial shade, on moist but well drained soil.  It flowers from early to late summer, growing to a height of 5cm and spread of 60cm.  L. nummularia ‘Aurea’ has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit because it has proved to be reliable in appropriate conditions and a good performing plant.

Tarting up the Toolshed

Functional and decorative … what a difference a slap of paint makes!  It brightens the bit at the bottom up and will show off the plants that I’ll eventually be planting there.

Decorative Toolshed

My Lovely Toolshed

Pebble Feet

Pitter patter …

I love this idea, it’s so cute, but remember that collecting shells and pebbles from some UK beaches is illegal, check first.

Just a Little Stumped!

I’m all for recycling, upcycling and making the most of what I’ve inherited in the garden so when I turned my attention to this dead tree trunk (still firmly rooted in the ground) I wanted to make something of it.  The previous owners had a wooden top on it and used it as a bird table but I’d like to make more of a feature of it … ideas so far haven’t really hit the mark.  Should I grow something up it or place something on it?  I’ll continue to mull this over and hopefully come up with an imaginative solution.

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’

Flowers just emerging …

This is a delightful little evergreen perennial which will spread by forming new clumps.  It has distinctive black grass-like leaves and racemes of lilac flowers in the summer.  Flowers are followed by small black fruits (inedible).  It grows to a height of 23cm and will spread to 30cm.  It is easy to divide and replant around the garden.  I have just re-potted a small clump for display on the toolshed.