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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My visit to the Chelsea flower show 2012 | Tim Austen garden designs

This year I visited the Chelsea flower show and, although I found some of the main show gardens a little “samey” e.g. variants of the same colour paving (beige Yorkstone) were repeated over the first five main showgardens, there was still plenty there to provide food for thought, particularly from the new fresh gardens category. [caption id="attachment_2281" align="alignleft" width="600"] Joe Sift's water feature[/caption] My favourites from the main show gardens were, in no particular order, Joe Swift’s ‘Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden’ - I loved the bold cedar wood frames and large...

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Crazy about currants, using fruit and vegetables in the garden.

[caption id="attachment_2182" align="aligncenter" width="553"] Red currants - an easy to grow garden fruit[/caption] I have just harvested my annual crop of red currants from my garden's solitary red currant bush.  This tough, easy-to-grow,  garden shrub does so well each year and satiates my need for breakfast berries - the rest of my family are not big fans so one bush provides us with all we (or I) need for my bowl of muesli in the morning (for  a week or two each summer). I am also excited by the productive side of...

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Garden design live (3): finishing touches

I bet you are wondering did we ever finish our garden project outlined in my posts: garden design live 1 and garden design live 2?  Well, I am pleased to report that we did finish the garden and that it looks great!  "It is totally amazing, we did an awesome job!" as Jedward might say.  In all seriousness, we have had great feedback from our client so now all that reamains is for the Irish weather to be a little bit kinder so that the plants can grow away more...

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Garden design live (2)

[caption id="attachment_1968" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Setting out the garden design[/caption] So, you saw the design plan in my previous post of the 17th May.  Now here we are on site doin' a bit of hard work!  In the above pic. you can see the new shape of the lawn is nicely defined and in the foreground the sub-base for the new area of paving has been laid.  We have also started to clear back existing overgrown shrubs and prepare the soil for the new planting. [caption id="attachment_1969" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Laying out the new...

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Bee-friendly garden design

[caption id="attachment_1886" align="aligncenter" width="491"] Tim's bee pic. from his biodiversity study[/caption] Having undertaken a  study of biodiversity in Dublin's gardens a few years back,  I am a fan of any garden design that encourages more wildlife habitat in to our gardens.  So, I am looking forward to seeing the University of Leed's bee-friendly garden at Chelsea this year.  Their top-tips for encouraging bees in to your garden are given on their website and include: Bees love to nest in logs, crumbling walls and woody undergrowth Resist the urge to clear away rotting wood,...

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Bulb planting tips!

The planting period for spring-flowering bulbs in Ireland and the UK extends from the start of September until early December but Daffoldils should be planted by mid-season.  Autumn flowering bulbs, such as, crocus and colchicum should be planted in August and most summer-flowering bulbs should be planted in March and April with the exception of Lilies which are planted in November and December. The main thing to look out for when planting bulbs is that you purchase good-sized, healthy bulbs that are firm to the touch.  Then plant as soon as...

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The Herb Garden

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Herb garden in Farmleigh House walled garden[/caption] In Irish gardening, there is a major trend towards “Grow-Your-Own” fruits and vegetables.  This is for a variety of reasons including: wanting to know where our food comes from, cost-saving, taste and experimentation as well as the satisfaction that comes with nurturing and producing our own food.  There is something primal about this too. Many garden designers have long understood the productive side of gardening and encouraged their clients in this area.  This new general trend has obviously made this easier,...

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