Samantha Jane Garden Design

Raised Bed Garden Design

Last night to this morning I have been working on a raised bed design for a client linking sleepers with brickwork. It has been a challenge but it seems to be working very well; a contrast of colour and texture.
I also looked through my photography and here is this gorgeous “Forget Me Not” that I took last year about this time.

Researching the Night Away

A sneak peek at one of the plans that I am working on tonight for a client. I am researching and coming up with inspiration for oriental-feel planting.

A Photograph Showing How the Hellebores are Extending the Seasonal Interest

In the Herbaceous Borders


Striking New Golden Foliage

Breathtaking new gold foliage of the “Golden Ninebark” Physocarpus opulifolius aureus in the foreground of this picture. I planted it in the Gold Border about four years ago and have since filled out the border with more mass-planting of Hellebores for that all year round interest.


Defining Steps with Plants

I love the way that the Designer has used Box to highlight the steps creating a striking living contrast of the green against the white stone.

A Must See Garden

A new garden site opening this September in Somerset, designed by Piet Oudolf, well worth a visit.

March In the Garden

Yesterday I was racing around dividing clumps of Primulas that seem to have done the best that I have seen in years, they have been self-seeding everywhere, today I am hurriedly trying to pot-on the Pelargonium plugs that I received from Ball Colegrave a fortnight ago. The Sweet Peas sown last month are growing well in the greenhouse, it should be time to pinch out their tops next week to help them branch out a little.

It all seems to be such a rush; the mostly dry sunny change in our weather means that spring has suddenly sprung and that everyone expects their gardens to be maintained way in advance as all of the plants are storming ahead of schedule. It has been a fast-paced challenge to get all bare-rooted plants in the ground and hedges trimmed this year due to not being able to get onto to the wet ground until recently.

Somethings we are a little behind on as we still have some ‘bulbs in the green’ to plant out and a lot of office paperwork still has not been done due to the turn in weather, this work normally would be caught up with when it snows in late winter.

Mowing has started early, which is slightly awkward as one mower is out of action waiting for it’s winter service locally and the regular watering of new outdoor plantings and containers seems to have begun earlier  too.

Vinca major “Greater Periwinkle” is flowering beautifully sprawling among plantings in the shade of trees. Myosotis sylvatica “Common Forget Me Nots'” are all bulking up nicely getting ready to turn the small espalier orchard into a mass of blue under white, pink and red Tulips.

Clematis armandii landscape

Daphne odora aureomarginata has been flowering for a while now filling the Rhododendron Dell with a delicious scent and so is the Clematis armandii, (above picture), over the archway of the Kitchen Garden with a fabulous side display of white and pink Hyacinths and a background of Osmanthus x burkwoodii, (below picture).

Osmanthus x burkwoodii

I am doing design sketches for a triangular-shaped low maintenance garden with a change of level and the requirement of a fish pond. There are some interesting shapes that can be created on the plot and they can be softened nicely by lots of greenery as luckily the clients love plants.

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’

A close up of the beautiful large pink flowering form of 'Glory of the Snow'

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’ beauties coming out in flower now in swathes; across the gardens.

Are Some Herbaceous Borders Losing Their Herbaceousness?

Herbaceous borders are not only having the threat of ‘staff cutbacks’ and ‘low maintenance’ thrown at them, they also seem to be getting a threat from ‘all year round fullness’.

There is a clue in the name: Herbaceous Borders; a bed full of plants that die-back over the winter, but I am getting frequently asked to keep the borders looking full with interest all year round.

To keep the customer happy, Yew cones, Box globes, low hedges, Wallflowers, Tulips, Hellebores all may have to be added.
I can understand the wish for winter interest, but I do love to see a full-on Herbaceous Border all tucked away apart from the odd display of beautiful dried seed heads and the anticipation of new bursting buds just below the surface.

I now wonder, could it mean that some of these beautiful historic beds that are being adapted for all year round interest are losing their Herbaceous Border status?

A Design for a Long Thin Garden

3D sketches (not-to-scale) showing how leading from a planted corridor into a large open area can effectively give the impression of a wider garden.

2D plan for a long thin garden

A 2D plan to scale of the same long thin garden on quite a flat site The main requirements for the clients are for an entertaining area near to the house and zones for the children to play.There were two existing trees to be kept so I clustered most of my planting around them creating a jungle-feel green corridor running between the two open areas.