Patio designs

1 Don’t cut back anything! Leave it all be in autumn, especially for the wildlife that rely on it.
2 Use perennials and not annuals. In my opinion, annuals are a waste of water. You get more for your money and there’s less work involved.
3 Choose a few self-seeding plants to add to your collection. It’s such a nice surprise when you see it has popped up happily somewhere you didn’t plant it!
4 Don’t use unnatural-looking, flimsy products in the garden – for example, plastic lawn edging is very brittle and will just break.
Dotted about the garden are striking metal structures, such as this opening seedpod bulbocodium and crocus, with a later smattering of autumn bulbs pop up. Lucy thinks like a designer, linking texture, colour and the best angle at which to view plants.
“I’ve been known to link the outside with the inside. There’s an area in the garden where plants are pink, purple and white, which you can see perfectly from a room with the very same colours on the walls!”
An admiration of plantsman Roy Lancaster has meant a varied array of exotic plants have made their way to her garden. As a frustrated traveller reading Roy’s Travels in China, she has selected some of the many plants he enthuses about in the book for
Autumn snowflake
If there was ever a stylish plant, this is it, with its dainty nodding flower skirts and deep brown-red stems. Plant bulbs in autumn in full sun.
Daphne bholua Jacqueline Postill
A beautiful variety of daphne, with purplish-pink blooms all the way through winter. Only needs a light prune to shape after flowering.
her Asian border. These include wonderful pendulous orange Chinese lanterns and white cluster-flowered Viburnum betulifolium.
While her husband designs and makes metal sculptures, seating and lawn edging, all displayed for good measure in the garden, Lucy sees her plants as art in themselves, and uses them as a resource for her paintings, prints and wirework, which she sells. “Cedric Morris and Claude Monet were keen gardeners, and not bad painters either, so I’m just carrying on the tradition,” she laughs.
“I’ve done things the other way round to most people many garden in later years when they have more time to do it, but I’m easing up. Now I’m more relaxed about it, and I can enjoy life with my children, who enjoy the garden as much as I do,” she says.
Ornithogalum magnum
Pretty white flowers circle round a large stem, and open continually through summer. A dramatic choice for a cut flower.

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