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Here I'll be telling you what I've been up to, whether it s a new design, community project or just things I've seen that I like.

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By Sarah Kay, Jan 7 2019 09:50PM

Happy 2019 everyone!

So a new year is here and there's no better time to make some resolutions for how you work in the garden to help the environment and save time and money.

Here's my suggestions for the coming year:

1. Make your own compost - Save money creating your own compost using your garden, food and packaging waste (untreated cardboard only). It's best to have a couple of bins so that you can turn and rotate your compost and I think the wooden slatted type are the best. Site them in a sunny spot if possible.

2. Think about your plastic purchasing - the horticultural industry is one of the worst culprits for single use plastics. Try to buy plantsin compostable or recyclable (brown) pots and if that's not possible then reuse or pass on your empty pots to a community or school garden project who can reuse them.

3. Propagate your plants

Many plants are really easy to split or propogate from cuttings. Do this where you can - it saves you money and help create repetition which give rhythm to your planting.

4. Save water - Install a water butt or if this is not possible try to reuse grey water (cooled bath, shower and washing up water) to keep your garden hydrated over the Summer.

5. Plan your planting - Finally rather than visiting a garden centre or nursery and choosing plants randomly because you like them, think about planning your entire garden in advance based on plant combinations which are right for your soil and aspect and put plant together which offer form, foliage and colour variation throughout the year.

A garden designer can help you to acheive this. Contact me for a consultaton.

By Sarah Kay, Dec 5 2018 09:38PM

It's that time of year. This year I'm looking for the plants that really shine during the Christmas period. Here's the first week of the advent.

Day 1 - Nordmann Fir

We have to start with a Christmas tree

Day 2 - Hydrangea macrophylla - lovely dirty pink colour

Day 3 - Clematis Cirrhosa 'Jingle Bells' - great Winter flowering climber

Day 4 - Jasminium nudiflorum - burst of sunshine for the Winter

Day 5 - Cotoneaster horizontalis - lovely shades of red foliage and berries

Day 6 - Nandina domestica 'Fire Power' - Explosive Winter colour and great in pots

Day 7 - Hylotelephium spectibile -Flowers hanging on into Winter

Look out for week 2 coming soon.........

By Sarah Kay, Nov 18 2018 08:38PM

I was approached in the Summer by a local family who were about to embark on major kitchen renovations and were looking to create a garden with a private and lush dining and relaxation space and to maximise the view from their new kitchen.

The existing garden consisted of a raised area at the back with a trampoline and playhouse, damaged and ugly brick boundaries and worn grass down the middle. There was only one planting area down the right hand side.

I chose a digonally based design to help disguise the long narrow shape of the garden, to give it a more enclosed feeling and to direct the eye through the garden. Triangular oak sleeper raised bed/benches provide substantial planting areas and additional seating throughout the garden and a gravel area leads through the garden to the semi enclosed oak pergola dining area at the back.

Privacy is created using horizontal batten cladding/trellis where required and a London brick herringbone patio provides a link to the house materials and an area for a small table and chair in the morning sun.

The planting will provide focal points when viewed from the kitchen using strong architectural forms and texture. Tall plants will provide a feeling of enclosure within the pergola and climbers will be used to soften the pergola and fencing structures.

Planting will follow a Mediterranean/Tropical feeling with bold foliage, architectutal forms and strong flower shapes.

Watch this space for the full planting plan.