your logo



Welcome to my blog


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.

RSS Feed

Web feed

By Sarah Kay, Aug 7 2018 02:30PM

I will be visiting Croatia on holiday soon so though it would be a good idea to research the flora and fauna of the area to get an idea of what I might see there.

1. Iris Croatica - This is the national flower of Croatica and can be found abunduntly on the roadsides, hills and forests of Croatia. It's usually in flower earlier in the season around April and May so I may be too late to see one but I will keep my eyes peeled for one. It's protected so if you do see one, don't pick it!

2. Linum tauricum

This has been seen abundantly around Dubrovnik.

3. Antirrhinum majus

Otherwise know as snapdragons these are regularly seen by roadsides

4. Convolvus thunbergii

Again are widespread by roadsides and rocky places.

5. Iris pseudopalida

Bluer than the Iris Croatica but just as lovely. Widespread on the Dalmation coastal hills.

By Sarah Kay, Aug 2 2018 01:30PM

We are still in the midst of the longest heatwave for over 30 years so now is the time to get out in your garden and keep it looking lovely for you to enjoy for the rest of this long hot Summer.

Here's my top 5 jobs for August.

1. Water your containers

Containers dry out quickly in the heat so give them a really good soaking every other evening.

2. Trim Lavendar

Cut down finished flower heads to the next leaf to keep bushes a compact shape. Make sure you don't cut into old wood as it won't regenerate.

3. Cut back herbs

Encourage another flush of your herbs before the frosts set in by cuttung back now

4 Check for Clematis Wilt

Wilting leaves and black discolouration on leaves and stems can signify Clematis Wilt. Cut out infected material and put in the household waste.

5. Recycle your water

If this dry period continues there are bound to be hosepipe bans. Consider installing a water butt or save washing up water in a bucket outside for watering beds and lawn.

By Sarah Kay, Jul 24 2018 04:26PM

Before I redesigned my N16 clients garden they had a beloved Wisteria which grew abundantly across the back of the house. Prior to the garden redesign they had a kitchen extension built which meant the Wisteria was pulled back from the back of the house and tied back onto the boundary wall.

Once the extension was completed and the garden redesigned the Wisteria was trained back across the back corner of the house.

This is what is looked liked then, in October 2015.

By the following May when it should have been producing flowers it was still looking a little in shock. I advised my client on some formative pruning and to add some stainless steel training wires for support.

This was how it looked with the wires added.

The following May we had good growth but still no flowers. After a formative pruning of the side shoots to five leaves in July and a harder prune in January or Feburary to 2/3 buds.............

By May 18 we have some flowers being produced.

And significant growth both across the wires and the trellis down the left hand boundary. I look forward to an abundance of flowers next Spring.

By Sarah Kay, Jul 19 2018 11:17AM

In June 2017 I planted up a new planting scheme for a client in Leyton E10. My clients wanted a colourful planting scheme that would look good throughout the year, but mainly through the Summer months including Salvias, Lavendar, Alliums and Geraniums.

Here's some photograph showing the progress of the Tall & Fragrant planting design I developed through it's first year.

Trachelospernum Jasinoides, Allium and Geranium Rozanne after planting
Trachelospernum Jasinoides, Allium and Geranium Rozanne after planting

The Geranium Rozanne has really thrived spilling over onto the patio and softening the edges. The Trachelospernum is flowering profusely and starting to cover the fence and the Choisya Ternata now fills the space in the corner.

This image shows the Verbena Bonariensi, Festuca Glauca and Clematis Armandii just after planting.

The same border had sprung to life with height created by the lilac heads of the Verbena and the white spires of the Veronicastrum.

This was the rather empty herb bed after planting in June 2017

And this is it in July 2018 with the Originum, Rosmarinus, Salvia and Thymus thriving in this sunny corner.

By Sarah Kay, Jul 9 2018 08:34PM

This week I've working on a planting plan for my Oak Slate family garden in Wanstead. This is how it's looking.

There were a few nice mature shrubs in the existing garden which I would like to retain including a Cherry tree, a mature Hydrangea anomala petiolaris, a Pittosporum, Spirea Japonica and Kerria Japonica which will form the back bone of the planting along with some new evergreen shrubs and ferns including Sarcococca confusa and Polystichum setiferum.

The shady bed underneath the Cherry tree is also planted with evergreen Luzula Nivea interspersed with Astrantia major and Fritillaria meleagris to provide some seasonal colour.

The sunny raised bed on the right hand side of the garden will contain a Cornus florida 'Rainbow' which is perfect for a small garden which has changing leaf colours through the seasons and large white bracts.

Three Pittosporum make up the evergreen shrubs in this bed with a combination of Stipa teniuissma and Allium Spareocephalon and Festuca Glauca providing height and colour. The boundaries are covered with fragrant evergreen climbers including Trachelospernum Jasinoides and Clematis Armandii.

Finally 3 Anthracite trough planters will contain combinations of edible herbs including Rosmary, Thyme and Bay.