Fine-tuning your garden design plans

The early days of the New Year give us a chance to reflect on the past year's activity and to plan anew for the coming year.  We tend to be full of fresh ideas, we want to make a difference for the better in the coming months and, in a sort of mental-vacuum, are often devoid of self-doubt.  Anything and everything seems possible.   However, in my view, there is a certain need to put a frame, call it structure if you will, around this somewhat dreamy state, essentially to see if...

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The new gardening year

Around this time of year, I usually put out a little post to encourage people to get their design plans done in the next while before the construction season starts to hot up from March time onwards.  If you have been mulling over your garden situation during the holidays and have been thinking about what to do with it; this is a great time of year to talk to a garden designer. [caption id="attachment_3786" align="aligncenter" width="614"] From small ideas spring forth new gardens!...

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How to design your garden

  Tim is looking forward to visiting Mullingar, Co. Westmeath on Thursday to deliver a garden design talk in aid of the Carers Association.  Please contact the Bloomfield Hotel if you would like a ticket and hope to see you there! Tim will be running through his approach to creating a good garden design with recent examples of design and built projects, there will be a chance to ask questions as well. ...

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Using plants to divide up and create an interesting garden space

Just mulling over something I come across repeatedly on garden consultation visits which is that many gardeners are under confident when it comes to extending planting from the boundaries of the garden inwards. [caption id="attachment_3268" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Typical dreary garden scene in Ireland - basically lawn and devoid of plants[/caption] I am not sure why this is exactly: perhaps it is because they are afraid that if the plants don't do well that their mistakes will be too visible or maybe they just feel that plants have no place in a garden’s...

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Garden canopy

This super Irish summer (with temperatures having been well in to the mid-20s (0C) with clear blue skies for quite some weeks now - SWEET!) has put me in mind of our Bloom 2009 garden, best in show garden - The Garden Lounge. [caption id="attachment_3170" align="aligncenter" width="614"] The Garden Lounge, Bloom 2009 gold medal winner and best in show by Tim Austen[/caption] The temperatures then too were scorchingly hot and perfectly suited that garden with its relaxed outdoor living theme.  And we Irish, whilst craving the sun, are not really, truthfully, comfortable being sun-worshippers...

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Garden party at Gardenworld, Kilquade this weekend!

[caption id="attachment_3156" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Garden party at Gardenworld, Kilquade[/caption] Delighted to be involved in the charity garden party to be held this weekend at Gardenworld, Kilquade for what promises to be a fun day out for all the family. We are sponsoring my garden "The Riverside Retreat" for the day and Camelia Austen is also doing a flower demo at three o'clock with the flower arrangements being raffled afterwards (all proceeds going to the two charities).  ...

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Garden design enrichment – get it now!

A timely reminder, if you don’t mind, that the seminal Irish garden design event of 2013 (Bloom in the Park excepted) is taking place this weekend in Blanchardstown, Dublin. If you live in Ireland or indeed the UK and you are interested in what’s new in garden design then I would urge you to attend the Garden and Landscape Design Association's seminar Simply Gardens…Design Inspiration for your Soul’. This is the seventeenth successive annual design gathering held by the GLDA, which is no mean feat in these straightened times. [caption id="attachment_3034" align="aligncenter" width="413"]...

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Sculptural and striking garden seat!

[caption id="attachment_2925" align="aligncenter" width="615"] Really cool and purty garden seat in my Bloom 2011 show garden - clothes from Arnotts, flowers from Austen flowers if you are wondering[/caption] When I first saw the images of these steel garden seats on Alex Moore's website: www.mooredesigns.co.uk, I just had to have one in my show garden at Bloom 2011!  With such an impressive catalogue of designs and some of them having already featured at the Chelsea flower show, I knew it was time to bring one of these hot benches to Ireland.  After all,...

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‘Tis great to be a garden designer, so it is!

On a beautiful sunny winter's day in Wicklow, it is hard not to be appreciative of the fact that I am a garden designer.  And, it is the variety in my job that I find most fulfilling.  Today, I zipped over to get some paving samples from Ken (from whom I also bought a bag of coal for home), then headed up the road to show these to my client, whose garden we shall be constructing in January. [caption id="attachment_2539" align="aligncenter" width="447"] Plants to be salvaged growing along fence line![/caption] Part of...

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Using trees to create an interesting garden

In my last post I said that I would explain some of the ways in which landscape gardeners use trees in their garden designs.  I have realised that (surprise, surprise) I have got quite a lot to say on this topic! So, I may spread my explanation out over a few posts if that's ok with you? Anyway, let's start with the idea that the reasons for selecting trees for a garden can be broadly attributable to both visual and functional design choices that a designer makes when composing their plan.  The first...

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