Garden Designs

Both horticulturists, Julie and Craig complement each other with their knowledge. A lover and keen collector of rare and unusual shrubs, as well as conifers, elderberry {Sambucus nigra) and wood sorrel varieties (Oxalis spp.), Craig is interested in growing more ‘woodland’ plants in the shady areas.

Julie is a fan of bellflowers (Campanula spp.), lungworts (Putmonaria spp.) and salvias, and her favourite part of the garden is the ‘perennial island’, which looks spectacular in mid to late summer with its lively, bold display of echinacea, rudbeckia, wallflower, salvia and grasses. It was inspired in part by The Bressingham Gardens in England, where the couple saw summer perennials in large island beds. Other favourite sources of inspiration are Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswolds, Christopher Lloyd’s creation, Great Dixter, in East Sussex, and York Gate Garden in Leeds, which Julie describes as one of the best 0.4ha gardens in Europe.

Passionate about collecting and promoting rare and unusual plants, Julie says, “We want to show people that English-style gardening can extend well beyond the spring period, when bulbs, blossoms, azaleas and rhododendrons dominate the garden. For us, spring is the beginning of the gardening year, not the end of it! Despite the challenges that summer presents, there is much more scope for growing beautiful perennials that will continue to flower well into autumn and beyond.”

Clockwise from main Rudbeckias shine ill a perennial bed around a water feature; this domed woven willow has been positioned to support a newly planted clematis; a formal topiaried Buxus sempervirens, with pots clustered at its feet, is thrown into sharp relief by the blond dry-stone wall.

Jonquils, paperwhites and daffodils (pictured) are all part of the bulb group known as narcissus. These large bulbs are planted in autumn for flowers that begin in winter. As well as brightening winter gardens, narcissus are fragrant, particularly yellow jonquils and white paperwhites, and tolerate a wide range of climates, from the subtropics to the coldest mountain climates.

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