Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern

Garden bench under a tree at Scampston Hall Gardens
Scampston Hall Gardens

The longer we linger in gardens and green spaces, the more we value a place to sit. Over the last 18 months one of our most useful garden accessories, the bench, has been widely used and appreciated as never before.

I’m celebrating wooden benches that range in character from beautifully finished to rough-hewn and from classic to contemporary, by way of quirky and downright artsy. If your imagination works this way, try removing the bench from one pictures and replacing it with another. Garden furniture is more than just practical: the style of each bench alters the way we see its surroundings.  Continue reading “Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern”

Santa Rita Garden, Painting With Wine and Just Asking

Santa Rita Living La Vida 120 Garden
Award-winning drought resistant garden

Some of you may remember seeing the Santa Rita ‘Living La Vida 120’ Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show a few years ago. Alan Rudden’s design won a Gold medal and Best World Garden. Boldly coloured burnt-yellow steel feature walls, chunky gabion walls of bright rough stone and seven pollarded strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) were memorable features. Continue reading “Santa Rita Garden, Painting With Wine and Just Asking”

What is a Mixed Border?

Wide mixed border at Foggy Bottom, Bressingham
Mixed borders at Foggy Bottom, Bressingham

A border is a cultivated area of land set aside for growing decorative plants. Mixed borders combine different types of plants in one place: trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, grasses, bulbs and climbers on obelisks or against a wall. Anything you like to grow can be included – if you want to accessorise it with a birdhouse or seat or some form of artwork, so much the better!

Because there isn’t a fixed recipe, mixed borders are versatile and popular. You may well be one of millions of gardeners worldwide who are tending one. Continue reading “What is a Mixed Border?”