My approach to planting is best explained through pictures of my own garden. The first element is structure. A strong shape must be reinforced by structural planting. Trees provide the first component and these can be used in groups for screening, to lead the eye in a certain direction or as specimens. In smaller gardens trees may be to overbearing so the second component, evergreens are more useful . These will provide a shape and texture throughout the year.

Once the structure is in place then foliage is used to create texture. Large leaved plants create a backdrop and contrast, while leaf shapes and colour provide interest. For example tree peonies, golden philadelphus, grasses with seed heads in winter.


Next I add colour with perennial interplanting some of which grows up through the shrubs. Seasonal colour is added with pots of lilies, geraniums & tulips. Climbers provide colour & texture at different levels.

Certain plants can add a different feel to the garden. For example topiary adds a Japanese flavour; roses & lavender are more cottagey; phormiums & tree ferns more jungly; grasses & perennials give a natural look. In my own garden I use a combination of all these

The final element is scent, around the terrace for summer evenings with my favourite Trachelospermum jasminoides and winter scent in the front garden with mahonia and sarcococca