Shaping things up


Using the natural shapes and habit of plants is a joy, but some of us like a more direct kind of creativity. Topiary and management such as cloud-hedge clipping are high maintenance, but can add a really personal touch to the appearance of a garden. Even the tiniest box ball or holly pyramid in a […]

Grow Your Own


Countless gardeners now want to combine food production with a beautiful garden. Few of us have the space for a separate kitchen garden, and such a thing is hugely labour-intensive, but growing some vegetables which are attractive as well as delicious can be fitted into most schemes. Handsome perennials such as Crambe maritima Sea-kale, or […]

Creature Comforts


A crucial question in modern gardening is how the gardener views birds, insects and animals. Are they ‘pests’, ‘treasures’ or ‘threatened species’ ? The chosen attitude ties up, of course, with the question of organic practice. Do you reach for the poison chest, or concentrate on making your garden a naturally healthy habitat. What you […]

Neat or Not?


Some gardeners welcome chance effects, some love order and neatness, and plants often decide to blur the distinction. Tidy bedding on exact terraces can be admirable, but even an orderly potting shed in the neatest of gardens may gain an unintended ivy wreath ! Most importantly, you can always work with plants to please your […]



You may not have bothered to have your colours ‘read’ (at great expense) because you know very well which you like, and as Christopher Lloyd showed with such elan, flower colours can be either mixed or matched, can be planted to make brilliant clashes, or keep to the softest of palettes. Mingling plants is really […]

Wild Ideas


Some of the most important influences for garden style come from wild flowers. Look at woodland vistas with bluebells or wild garlic, and see what enabled the 19C style guru William Robinson to define and promote the concept of drift planting. Think of the colour and texture visible even in roadside hedges. Consider spring flowers […]

Style at Lilstock


No craft is more individual, more personal than gardening, but inspiration can come from countless sources. Visiting gardens, walking in the countryside, looking at pictures or photographs, travelling, choosing a fabric or paint, just seeing a bunch of flowers on the kitchen table in a certain light – so many chances can bring on that […]