My thinking on planting design has been substantially recalibrated in the last 12 months or so by increased contact with the ground-breaking work of James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett, largely through their respective books, Sowing Beauty (Timber Press 2017) and the fresh-off-the-press Naturalistic Planting Design (Filbert Press 2019). These guys did the incredible meadow plantings
Great Dixter is one of my favourite places in the world. Has been for nearly 30 years. I’ve been deliriously happy there and horribly stressed. In that house and garden I’ve experienced high affirmation and crippling self doubt. My months there were amongst the richest in my life. Check out the video of Ash and
It’s completely baffling to me how English, American (and, frankly, therefore Australian) gardeners and designers have remained profoundly ignorant of the rigorous research being carried out in Germany, focussing on ecologically responsible perennial planting. A lot of it has occurred at Weihenstephan, just outside of Munich. Check out this ten minute video of my first
Watch as the German Landscape Architect Bettina Jaugstetter reframes my thinking about successional planting. I go on about what Christopher Lloyd taught me, then Bettina, having listened attentively, gently offers an alternative approach. Then she rattles my assumptions about irrigation. THEN, once I think I’ve caught up, she further rattles the new position I’ve only
I’m set up for the dry. The only water available is from our tanks, and we really only have enough for the house.
For this reason, I don’t grow vegetables over the summer, and the ornamental garden is designed and planted to survive without supplementary water.
I don’t think there are many plants that make me go weak at the knees. I wish there were more.
It’s plantings that are more likely to do if for me – great combinations of plants, bouncing off each other in such a way that all members of the troupe are glorified by the company.
It’s stupid how long I’ve wanted the rose named ‘Graham Thomas’.
Check out the video below.
The Beth Chatto Symposium, organised to celebrate Beth’s 95th year, and the 40th anniversary of the publication of Beth’s first book The Dry Garden included a garden party which, as if channelling Beth herself (who passed away in May this year) was wonderfully generous, warm and inclusive.
It’s exactly half my life since I lived and worked with Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter. I returned yesterday – a rich, life-giving and pretty emotional moment.
One way or another, I’ve managed to see ‘Five Seasons’ three times. Once as an online ‘review’ copy, and twice at the cinema.
I was amused, relieved, and a little embarrassed a few weeks back when a respected and long-standing Landscape Architect stated, in a meeting of industry leaders, something along the lines of ‘what the public don’t really understand is that Landscape Architects don’t design gardens.’