Classic and Contemporary Garden Designs

25Sep, 2017

West Somerton September

In the course of my work, as a garden designer, I visit a large variety of domestic gardens and meet many different clients. Some prefer neat and tidy gardens whilst others are happy with a less formal style. Whatever your preferred style however, it is important that you feel comfortable in your garden and maximise the enjoyment you take from it.

You may be one of the lucky few people who have a perfect garden, however for the rest of us, there are practical steps to take. Autumn (or spring) is a great time to make large changes, however these should be planned now, whilst your ideas are fresh in your mind. Write down exactly which areas or aspects of your garden make you happy and which don’t, decide on your budget and make a proper plan about what you intend to do. Whether it’s as drastic as replanting an entire area, digging up a section of lawn for a new bed (as I intend to do in my own garden) or just a few new plants, being proactive and working to a plan is a great way to make you feel positive and productive in your own garden.

Earlier this year I converted an area of lawn into a mixed border and have a plan to convert more lawn into borders in the autumn. As well as looking great and being wildlife friendly , it’s also much quicker to cut the grass, which is never a bad thing!

Another successful aspect of my own personal gardening this year was the bumper crop of cherry tomatoes (‘Gardener’s Delight) that we enjoyed this year.  They were so tasty that my twelve year old declared that she couldn’t eat them ‘as they tasted so different from Tesco ones’.  My wife and I, on the other hand, will struggle to get used to eating shop bought tomatoes again!  I would certainly recommend growing your own tomatoes next year, if you haven’t already.  If you do have tomatoes, you should continue feeding with fertiliser, remove most leaves lower down and pinch out the top of the plant to concentrate the growth into the fruit already formed (similarly with runner beans).

Other activities in the vegetable garden include cutting back herbs and thinning parsley (to 25cm between plants) to encourage good root system before winter.  Remember, you can also continue to sow seeds of spring onions, spinach, winter salad, radishes, Pak Choi and various others.

Finally, you can start planting spring flowering bulbs any time now to ensure a great start to the new year – not that anyone wants to think about that in September…!

For any practical assistance or advice feel free to give me a call (07801 252 972) or email

A new island bed that I planted in the spring has come up well over the last few months, with Salvia ‘Mainacht’, Dianthus ‘Devon Wizard’ and Pervoskia ‘Blue Spire’ amongst others.

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