“To plant and maintain a flower border with a good scheme for colour, is by no means the easy thing that is commonly supposed.”
Gertrude Jekyll, Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden, 1908
Plants are fascinating and they all have their own unique personalities and individual preferences. Some plants love the sun, others are happier in shade, and while certain species thrive in dry soil, others need wet and boggy conditions to flourish. As if that wasn’t enough to think about, each plant chooses a time of year it loves the most and puts on a wonderful show during that period – whether that’s in the form of fruits, flowers, edible berries or colourful leaves. Some plants produce flowers for one year only (annuals), others take two years to make a flower (biennials), and some produce flowers year after year (perennials). Then there are those that are woody and like to stay above the ground – shrubs and trees – some of which stay green all year (evergreens) and others that decide to shed their leaves in winter (deciduous). Other plants pop up and die away again between spring and autumn, only to come back stronger and larger the following year (herbaceous perennials).
Fascinating as they are, plants are also complicated – particularly if you are new to gardening. With so many to choose from in the garden centres, it can be difficult to know where to begin when you are planting a new garden from scratch or looking to redesign an area of your existing garden. That is where I can help.
Planting design service
If you want a garden that is beautiful, healthy, interesting and vibrant, I can help you choose the correct plants that are suitable for the conditions of your garden. I offer a full border design service which means choosing plants that will look beautiful when planted together, not only in terms of colour but also structure, scent, height and positioning. I can also advise on plant quantities – whether you want a ‘full’ look to transform a space overnight, or are happy to be patient and wait a few years for the garden to come into its own. Budget will obviously have a significant role to play here and I will work with you to advise you on how much to spend in order to achieve the look you want.
My expertise is in plants and planting plans, but I can also assist with the planning of hard landscaping elements too. I can put you in touch with professionals who undertake this type of work.
How does the planting design service work?
I will arrange a visit to meet you and get an introduction to your garden so that I can understand the conditions of your space, such as soil ph, aspect and climate. During this visit, we can discuss your likes and dislikes, including colours and textures, as well as seasons that you would like the garden to look at its best. It can be helpful here for us to look at Pinterest boards and magazine clippings to understand the planting style (formal/informal/prairie/cottage/minimal) you like best. We will also discuss practicalities including how much time and energy you are able to put into your outdoor space as that will have a significant impact on the planting choices that we make to ensure your garden is right for you.
Following this visit I will produce a report, and visuals where relevant, with my recommendations for plants for your space. I will only specify plants that are hardy and that I know will do well in your locality, as well as the specific area of your garden that you have in mind.
If you would like to go ahead with planting, I will advise on appropriate quantities of plants and then source a quote for you from my plant nursery. I ask for payment up front for plants before they are delivered. Once delivered, I will provide a full layout and planting service, as well as advise you on the aftercare of your plants to ensure they are kept healthy and happy.
The cost of this service will vary depending on the size of your garden – I will be able to advise you once I have seen your garden and have an understanding of the scope of the work. Prices start from £200 for a design. Layout and planting will be charged separately.