Garden Design Advice
Whilst it is tempting to produce a bundle of pages with useful advice for garden owners considering redesigning their own gardens, it has already been done excellently by the Landscape Architect and Lecturer Richard Sneesby. His pages of advice for garden owners are a mine of useful advice which it would be pointless for me to attempt to improve on, with a wealth of information on planning, budgeting and getting to know your garden.
All Things Gardening and Garden Design
Billyoh.com – a useful little page about recycling and up-cycling in the garden
Landscapers in Surrey and Sussex
The Guardian gardening blog
Royal Horticultural Society – for all things garden related
RHS Plant Finder – to source rare and choice plants
RHS Plant Selector – a useful tool for novice gardeners to find the right plant for the right place
The Garden Museum – a treasure trove of information, exhibitions, seminars and training
National Gardens Scheme – otherwise known as the ‘Yellow Book’ gardens – a treasury of gardens opening to the public for charity, many of which are excellent places to seek inspiration and advice
National Plant Collections – if you’re interested in a certain group of plants, it can be useful to visit obsessives up and down the country that hold collections of that plant family, from Acanthus to Zelkova
Gardenvisit – a slightly untidy site that is still a useful source of information on garden design, landscape architecture, gardens to visit, garden tours and garden theory and history
Garden Art and Sculpture
Fire and Iron Gallery – decorative ironwork for inside and out
Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden – beautiful sculpture in an exquisite garden setting, please check opening times
Jenny Pickford – artist blacksmith working in iron, steel and glass
Malcolm Martin – beautiful sculpture of green oak and other wood
Roger Day – a talented sculptor of wood and maker of garden furniture
The Sculpture Website – An online warehouse-cum-gallery of sculpture of all types
Inspiring Gardens to Visit
Beth Chatto Garden – A master plantswoman and a useful resource for plant collections for differing habitats – with gravel, bog, woodland and scree gardens
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – Designed to celebrate Nature through nature, illustrating theories of physics using landscape. Some of it a little too literal but the landforms alone are inspiring.
Broughton Grange – A large country estate in Oxfordshire, the highlight of which are the new areas designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. Set in beautiful rolling countryside, the walled garden is the highlight with stunning planting, a large rill and reflecting pool, and exuberant perennial planting.
Bury Court – not open to the public except on Plantsman’s Days organised by Marina Christopher of Phoenix Perennial Plants. Two gardens for the price of one with one designed by leading minimalist Christopher Bradley-Hole and the other by New Perennial master Piet Oudolf
Derek Jarman’s Garden – at Dungeness, Kent. Although many people make a pilgrimage here, it’s not actually open to the public so do the owner a favour and look at pictures of it online! There are many articles and YouTube videos online if you Google.
Gravetye Manor – a hugely influential garden in its day designed by the grandfather of naturalism, William Robinson. It has a beautiful wildflower meadow and kitchen garden
Great Dixter – home of the late gardener and writer Christopher Lloyd, now tended by his head gardener Fergus Garrett. A quintessentially English Arts and Crafts garden, well-maintained, with a meadow, herbaceous borders and topiary
The High Line – a long way away but probably the most popular ’garden’ – in fact a park – in the world today, bar none. A truly inspired use of once-derelict urban trainline. Beautiful planting design by the master, Piet Oudolf, and great architectural detailing
Highdown Gardens – no great shakes design-wise but the only garden I know of specifically dedicated to plants that thrive on chalk and therefore a useful resource for those who live on this geology common to the SE of England
Little Sparta – A garden like no other – garden as work of art and repository of ideas. One of very few gardens to be explicitly about poetry, meaning and narrative
Nymans – A very English garden with flowers and borders, with great views across the Weald, made all the more romantic by partial destruction of the house by a fire in 1947.
Pensthorpe – Another Piet Oudolf masterclass in planting
Rousham – A much-loved example of the early English Landscape Movement ‘mysterious, elegiac, and endlessly beguiling’ according to Tom Stuart-Smith
Sheffield Park – originally an English Landscape garden by Capability Brown, and redeveloped (some would say compromised) by its owner, Arthur G. Soames, in the early 20th century. Children love it and although there is little to relate to smaller gardens, it is justifiably famous for its displays of autumn colour.
Sir Harold Hillier Garden – if you’re looking to choose a tree or shrub for your garden this is one of the best places to see how it might look when mature. Also a great place for autumn and winter colour
Sussex Prairies – one of only a handful of prairie-style gardens open to the public in the south of England
The Veddw – designed and curated by Anne Wareham and Charles Hawes, one of the very best modern English gardens combining elements from past and present
RHS Wisley – RHS gardens tend to be traditional and are rarely at the vanguard of design, focussing as they do on plant collections more than design. However this one contains large areas designed by Piet Oudolf and Tom Stuart-Smith. Even as a collection of plants, it’s a very useful living encyclopaedia
Scampston – Walled garden with areas designed by Piet Oudolf
Sissinghurst – Vita Sackville- West’s arts and crafts garden. A relatively intimate scale consisting of many ‘garden rooms’ the most inspiring of which is the nuttery in late May or early June
Trentham – incorporating areas designed by both Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf
Wakehurst Place – Kew’s ‘other garden’ – and a great collection of trees and other plants
Garden Design Articles
Telegraph article on Dan Pearson
Guardian article on Dan Pearson