Tag Archives: exterior design ideas

Jobs in the garden in February

If you are lacking scent in the garden plant a flowering shrub now – try Lonicera x purpusii or Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’. I love the scent of sarcococca by a front door as the scent assails you as you approach. It can be quite heady but at this time of year you just get a passing whiff!

garden design Lincolnshire

Cut back summer flowering clematis to about 18 inches of the ground to encourage them to come back into leaf and create a great display later in the year.

garden design rutland

If you didn’t put them in last Autumn, plant garlic, shallots and onions. They need a cold spell to get them moving so if the soil is unfrozen now is a good time to plant

If you’re lacking some structure or garden features now is the time to tackle it. February is a good month to dig a pond, add a bird bath or sun dial or create new paths. Avoid treading on wet soil as this compacts it and damages the structure. If you have to work on open soil, lay down planks to spread your weight – old scaffold boards work well for this.

garden design Oakham

Remember keep tidy – rake and clear leaves to keep pests down, especially slugs

 

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

If you have a project in mind and would like to have a chat please give me a call: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020

 

Garden Jobs for September

I’m not looking forward to the Winter but after this almost perfect summer I know it is on its way. However Autumn is one of my favourite seasons so the cooling evenings and the misty mornings fill me with happy thoughts.

It has been so nice you can spend the whole day in the garden if you have time (and your back is up to it)  so now is the time to catch up on jobs and get ahead for the Autumn.

garden design ideas

Herbaceous borders

If you spotted some gaps in your borders and took photos to remind you of when and where the gaps appeared you are a step ahead. If not, plant pot grown asters, phlox, echinacea and rudbeckia in the gaps now and they will have filled out for next summer.

Or sow hardy annuals directly into the borders in some freshly drilled soil. They will provide an early display next summer.

Garden design Stamford

Begin to dry off large pots of tender plants such as agapanthus and fuchsias. We lost a lot of agapanthus last winter so ensure you dry pots well and set aside – it can be sitting with their toes in water rather than the cold that kills them.

Prune climbing roses cutting out the oldest stems at ground level. Tie in new growth as near horizontal as possible to encourage flower buds next year.

Buy Spring flowering bulbs – you can never have enough bulbs they brighten even the dullest day. I have stocks of tulips and alliums. Call or email for more information on my current favourite planting combinations. Tulips can wait a little longer but get Narcissi in the ground early.

Tulip attila in a garden design

Plant new climbers, shrubs and evergreens while the soil is still warm.

garden design Oakham

Ponds

Now is the time to net your pond – not to stop the heron but to catch the leaves before they fall in.

Vegetable garden

Keep harvesting courgettes or they will turn into marrows!

If you haven’t already done so lift your main crop potatoes

Plant garlic bulbs, The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight are one of the best around. Visit www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk

Add a fleece tunnel to keep the ground warm and sow winter salads. It’s amazing how easy it is and so delicious to pick a handful of fresh leaves for a sandwich in the depths of winter.

Plant new strawberries now to keep your patch productive

Plant new strawberries now to keep your patch productive

Plant new strawberries. A strawberry plant has about 3 years productive life so continually replanting the runners is the way to keep your patch productive year after year.

I like to clear the greenhouse and give it a thorough clean in September. I know I can leave plants outside for a night or two without them coming to harm so I empty everything, give it a thorough scrub and light a sulphur candle over night to disinfect the whole greenhouse.

If your garden is in need of some TLC then why not give me a call and let me come and advise on solutions. Or if you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

 

 

Why use a garden designer

What does a garden designer offer that you can’t work out yourself? Here’s my view on how I can help you create the garden you have always dreamed of. Whether it’s to relax in, to play in, to cook in or to entertain in, let me help you to create a beautiful garden.

garden design

You wouldn’t dream of trying to create an electrical diagram of your house without consulting a qualified electrician, so why do we think we can design our gardens better than a professional can. For many the mere thought of the costs of employing someone to redefine their outdoor space is a huge hurdle but it needn’t be as costly as you imagine. If you compare metre for metre it can be the least expensive room in your home. It can even save money in the long term by ensuring your money is spent in the best way and avoiding costly mistakes. Having a designer to draw up detailed plans can ensure any problems are smoothed out before any work begins and allows you to budget more accurately.

One of the key things a garden designer will do is to make you think about the way you use the space. You may need a lawn for the ubiquitous football goal now, but in 5 years the boys might have grown out of it and you can use the space for something else. A garden designer will understand all this and plan your garden accordingly so that what works for you now, will, with a few tweaks, continue to work in the future. They’re used to manipulating space and will understand the growth rates of individual trees and plants so that you plant the garden once and get it right

garden design Lincs

It’s important that you chose a designer who you can work with. Check out their credentials, look at examples of their work or ask them to take you to a recent garden. You’ll also need to think about how much time you’ll spend working in the garden so the garden you have designed matches your expectations.

garden design Oakham DSCN5773

It’s also important to be honest about what you can afford. A professional designer will aim to design within your budget but you are likely to get a very different garden in terms of materials used, features incorporated and bespoke craftsman designed pieces if you’re spending £10,000 as opposed to £5,000. And it’s not true that given a budget every designer will exceed it – most will want to give you the best garden you can afford so be honest and help them design to your budget.

I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

 

 

 

Garden jobs in August

What jobs should I do in the garden this month?

The garden is currently filled with foliage and flowers and all manner of shades and hues so enjoy it before Autumn sets in. If you need a little garden inspiration now, and into the Autumn, start thinking ahead and plan for a Autumn filled with colour – Dahlias, grasses and Asters are my favourite Autumn plants and if you have space an Acer to give a splash of Autumn foliage colour too.

garden design Uppingham

Borders

Trim lavender once it has finished flowering. Hang to dry and then mix with dry rice to fill lavender bags later, or make lavender sugar. Layer fresh lavender flowers in jars between 3cm layers of caster sugar. Seal the jars and store to use later – it’s delicious in cakes. Remove flowers before using or crush with the sugar in a pestle and mortar.

 

Plant colchicums, cyclamens and crocus to naturalise in grass or under trees.

Propagating and general maintenance

Take cuttings of established box plants as you give them their final trim. Spread a compost mulch around fruit bushes, asparagus and rhubarb. Ensure the ground is moist first.

garden hits and tips

 

Prune rambler roses after flowering. Tie in new growth and remove some of the old stems near to the ground. Give hedges a final trim to get them into shape for the autumn. And trim silver leaved plants to shape now.

If you have bare patches of lawn these can be reseeded from the end of the month if the weather is cool. Collect ripe seeds from flowering plants for a display next year.

Vegetables

Lift and dry onions and shallots. Harvest sweet corn at lunch time and have a pan of boiling water already on the go. Put the cobs straight in and eat as soon as they are ready. They will be delicious as you catch them before any of their natural sugar turns to starch.

Encourage further cropping of beans and courgettes with regular picking.

garden design oundle

 

Look out for potato blight which has become a real problem in the last couple of years. Cut back all foliage at the first sign and wait 3 weeks before digging potatoes.

Complete summer pruning of trained fruit trees such as espaliers and cordons. Prune back to ground level summer fruited raspberry canes.

Start to sow seeds for autumn picking. Sow directly into the ground or in modules to plant out later. The following can all be grown well into Autumn and cropped as cut and come again. Protect with fleece if you want to continue cutting into winter. Sow, kale, Swiss chard, mustard spinach, chicory, lambs lettuce, lettuce and rocket now.

 

If you have a garden, interior or landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it.

If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

What’s in your garden shed

Today the humble garden shed has loftier ambitions. Today it can be quite a grand affair: It has graduated to become an office, private gym, chill out room – the alternative to an extension, adding much needed floor space to the family home.

Seen as an extra room it is a definite ‘plus’ when you come to sell your house, so using your shed as a dumping ground for junk may not be the best use of its potential. If you are considering upgrading think carefully about what you want and plan accordingly. Whether you have an existing structure or not, follow these simple guidelines to create the desired effect.

garden design Lincolnshire

Here are a few things to think about before you get started.

DO I NEED PLANNING PERMISSION?

A shed or outdoor room is generally seen as a temporary structure by the planning authorities, but this does not mean you can build anything you want. Many garden rooms do not require planning as long as the structure is not higher than 4 metres, is more than 5 metres from existing structures and nearer the house than the public highway. However, it is ALWAYS best to check with your local planning department especially if you are going to install a multitude of services such as toilets, etc. Remember that to run an office from home technically you will require planning permission.

Check if you house is listed as the grounds may be part of that listing. Conservation areas also require planning approval so do check with planning. .

Substantial brick structures are best in larger gardens, as these can be considered “small houses”. These will most likely require planning permission and are the costliest of the three options. The granting of planning permission will always depend on intended use and a quick call to your local office may save you much time and money.

All garden rooms must comply with Building regulations – you will need to ensure that your outdoor room complies with structural strength requirements, fire safety, insulation, ventilation, water and energy efficiency to name but a few.

 interior design stamford

FUNCTION

What will it be used for? Do you need a quiet area away from the kids and hustle and bustle of a busy home? Is the room to be used as a studio or craft making area? A home office? Gym? Once you have decided there are decisions to be made…

interior design Oakham - Harlequin

SIZE

The building should not overwhelm the garden. As a rough guide the structure should take up no more than 25% of the available garden area. Even small gardens can benefit from an outdoor room but remember to keep it in scale.

LOCATION

Size is not everything and location is just as important. Tucked away in a corner of the garden and lightly screened from the main house is perfect for a restful retreat.

Placing the outdoor room at the bottom of the garden will create symmetry and allow a good interaction with the rest of the garden. Placing the room to the side of the garden creates more interest and is not so obtrusive.

new house interiors, Harlequin_Landscapes_09_LR

APPEARANCE

The look of the building is very important. If it clashes with the house then it will stick out like a sore thumb when it comes time to sell. There are many materials to choose from – wood and glass being the most common. Wood need not look like Grandpa’s shed! Traditional wooden structures can be painted or if you like the natural look, make sure you use a good quality wood preserver. Wood can also look extremely modern when mixed with glass walls and steel supports. Ensure the wood comes from sustainable sources, the FSC certification and seal should be “de rigueur”.

Bold colours and simple shapes work best in general but keep the nautical look for seaside properties and the Swiss chalet-type look …for Switzerland! Out of context structures can put people off when it comes to buying your property and although you may feel it makes a bold statement, others may see it as a deal-breaker.

Remember that an all-glass structure is very visible to all, so ensure you have allowed for adequate storage in an office room otherwise the mess will be there for all to see.

Folding or concertina doors are great for multi-function rooms; you can open up or divide the space with minimal fuss and disruption.

If you’re inspired to go and seek out a garden shed to install in your garden but need a bit of advice on what type to look for or where to site it then please get in touch. I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

What to do in the garden in July

Garden Jobs for July

July can be one of the most beautiful months in the garden but to be honest whether it will be this year is anyone’s guess! You should begin to reap the rewards of your hard work in the vegetable plot so make sure you are cutting every day to keep new produce forming, remember to clip herbs too as this encourages them to keep growing – you are mimicking grazing animals in the wild remember.

garden design Uppingham

Your herbaceous borders might have peaked at the end of June last year but this year they are only just getting going. Remember to fill and gaps with pots of colourful late flowers – salvias, cannas and dahlia’s will all extend the season with Michaelmas daisies (Aster) will take you right through to Autumn and beyond.

Vegetable gardens

I think it will be the end of the month before you can even start to harvest garlic and shallots – hang to dry in a cool dry place for 2 weeks or more

Thin out direct sown seedlings including beetroot, raddish, lettuce etc

Sow swiss chard now to ensure you have crops well into winter

Sow swiss chard now to ensure you have crops well into winter

Plant out winter cabbages, spinach, beetroot, kale, broccoli and leeks. Repeat sow lettuce, salads, French and runner beans, carrots and beetroot for crops later in the season. Now is the ideal time to plan your autumn sowings of salad crops and herbs to get ahead.

Prune trained apple and pear trees in the middle of the month. Remember you are reducing the spread and enabling the tree to put all its energy into producing fruit for next year.

garden design Oakham

Borders

Continue to deadhead in your borders to encourage repeat flowering

Prune wisteria taking long stems back to 6“ of the main stem

garden design stamford

Cut back hardy geraniums to encourage fresh foliage and repeat flowering.  If you are going away for a couple of weeks over the summer just before you go is the ideal time for this. Cut the foliage right down to the base, they will look terrible while you are away but will have put on new foliage and be about to flower by the time you return!

General

If slugs are a problem, get a couple of chickens! Bantams do hardly any damage to your garden and provide you with fresh eggs. They won’t lay all year round like a more robust breed such as Long Island Red but they will keep pests at bay.garden design lincolnshire

Make sure you have a couple of nice places to sit and enjoy the garden – perhaps one seat positioned for sun (if only we had some) and one for shade. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy all the work you’ve put in but if you don’t make it easy with a well positioned seat you may miss it and only ever go into the garden to toil.

If you have a garden, interior or landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Designing small gardens

 

It’s that time of year when we all look at our gardens and wish we had thought about the design a little more carefully, and a little earlier in the year. But it is no good hurrying the process now. Small gardens in particular need to be planned with as much, if not more, care than large ones, so take your time.

garden design Rutland

Think about how you want to use your garden throughout the year. Make a mental note, or draw a plan and mark on it where the sun falls during the day as this will dictate your seating and plant choices. Think about what features you want to keep, or not:  a stunning stone wall might be a major decorative feature, or perhaps you need to disguise a neighbour’s rather ugly fence.

 garden design Lincs

 

The trick to getting the best from a small garden is planning. Before you begin, you need to narrow your wish-list to your top priorities. In a bigger garden, for example, you might have a barbecue area; in a small garden, you may have to settle for a space for a portable barbecue and devise a storage plan when it’s not in use.

 garden design Oundle

I think small family gardens are often hardest to plan as you often want to get everything you’d have in a larger garden into such a small space. You probably still want a play area, some borders, a shed and a place to enjoy lunch or a BBQ.

 

If you would appreciate some help in defining your garden space then give me a call and arrange for a consultation Tel: 01572 747318/ 07973843020

 

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Gardening jobs in May

Oh the joy of Spring. It makes my heart leap when I hear the song thrush singing in our walnut tree and wake up to a bright sunny day. Unfortunately it is still punishingly cold but if it’s bright I can almost live with it.

garden design Oakham

We have been out  in the garden doing a really thorough Spring clean. It’s so important to get on top of things now as it will save lots of work later in the season so here are my thoughts on jobs to complete this month.

 

Borders

  • Do a final tidy through of borders cutting back all the herbaceous plants you left with foliage on last winter. Weed where soil is light and crumbly.
  • Support taller herbaceous plants especially delphiniums and paeonie’s.
  • Prune flowering shrubs which have finished flowering. Walled trained shrubs and climbers like Jasmin, Akebia, Garrya and Lonicera which have got a bit out of hand can also be pruned now.

garden design Uppingham

Maintenance

  • Mulch, mulch and add more mulch – add well rotted horse manure together with the contents of my compost bin if you have it. Add a sprinkling of bone meal to established hedges – rake up any leaves and sprinkle on the soil at the base.
  • Hedges are hungry feeders so fertilising is really important to keep them healthy.
  • Keep turning the compost heap and adding fresh material. If you have access to manure (chicken or horse) add this in layers and it will help to get the composting process going.

DSCN7078 garden design stamford

Lawns

  • Your lawn should have had its first few cuts so you can start to set the blades a little lower – but go easy.
  • Renovate grass as neededDSCN4714 garden design rutland

Ponds

  • Clear ponds and begin to plant marginal pond plants. Leave cleared plants on the waters edge overnight to allow any creatures lurking in them to find their way back to the water.
  • No is a good time to plant up your pond including establishing water hyacinths and Pistia stratoites (water lettuce)

garden design Lincs DSCN7645

Think ahead

  • Plant up containers for summer and keep under cover until all frosts have gone
  • Sow annual flower and herb seeds.
  • Plant scented leaf pelargoniums (you will find some of my favourites at The Herb Nursery at Tistleton)
  • Plant out pot grown pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers once frosts have passed. You can also sow Sun flowers now.

garden design Oakham

Don’t beat yourself up if the garden isn’t perfect – you have time yet.  I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home and garden. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Trends in the interior, fashion and garden design world

I just love the way fashion, interiors and gardens are coming together these days. You can see trends emerging in one which then filters through to others. When we were in Norway earlier this year we found an amazing fashion shop in Tromso. They had a big pink tractor in the window which I loved. My camera came out and I was shooting away in the Moods of Norway store gathering inspiration for both my garden design and interior work. Pinks and oranges seemed to be on trend over there.


interior design oakham, Harlequin_Landscapes_Cover01_LR

Is orange going to be a big trend in interiors over the next year? The design houses believe so but I do wonder. Perhaps for some of us it has too many memories of terracotta interiors of the 1990s!
interior design Stamford, Norway 2013 620 (484)

That big pink tractor

 interior design Uppingham, Norway 2013 620 (490)

The tractor translates to shoes too!

Back in the UK, I see that similar colours have come through into our Spring wardrobes too. I just wonder if these pinks and oranges will translate into the designers’ gardens at The Chelsea Flower Show this May. It’s been a difficult year for plant nurserymen and I know a few designers who are worried about what they’ll have in terms of colour and plants for the show this year but as always. It will come together and we will see a fusion of design ideas to stimulate us in the year ahead.
garden design Lincolnshire, Norway 2013 620 (486)

I just love this wall

If you need some inspiration for your home or garden this year then please do get in touch. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Gardening jobs for April

No one can really believe it can they? The weather feels like it has changed for the better, but has it really. I’m ever the optimist so here are a few of the jobs I’ll be tackling in the garden this month.garden design Rutland

Potatoes

  • I should have done this last month but I’m only just getting around to chitting my potatoes! Put them into egg boxes in a cool bright place ready to plant later this month.

Borders

  • I’ll be doing a final tidy through the borders cutting back all the herbaceous plants I left last winter and weeding where soil is light and crumbly.

    The rose border in a garden I designed in Lincolnshire

    The rose border in a garden I designed in Lincolnshire

  • Support taller herbaceous plants especially delphiniums and paeonie’s

Maintenance

  • Mulch, mulch and add more mulch – I’ll be adding well rotted horse manure together with the contents of my compost bin. I’m also just in time to add a sprinkling of bone meal to established hedges – rake up any leaves and sprinkle the bone meal on the soil at the base. Hedges are hungry feeders so fertilising is really important to keep them healthy.
  • Turn the compost heap and begin to add fresh material. If you have access to manure (chicken or horse) add this in layers and it will help to get the composting process going.

Lawns

  • Your lawn should have had its first cut but remember to continue to set the blades quite high as you begin to get back on top of the lawn.
  • Renovate grass as needed – if like my lawn it is filled with moss you can use this to your advantage and rake it up to make decorations for the house. Wire bunches of moss and flowers (blossom, primroses, and newly emerging leaves) around a wire ring or heart. Keep them watered or spray every day and they will last for up to a week.
  • East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk

    Get your lawn ready for its first cut

Ponds

  • Clear ponds and begin to plant marginal pond plants. Leave cleared plants on the waters edge overnight to allow any creatures lurking in them to find their way back to the water.
  • Designing garden ponds can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your garden

    Designing garden ponds can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your garden

Think ahead

  • Plant up containers for summer and keep under cover until all frosts have gone
  • Sow annual flower and herb seeds.

Don’t beat yourself up if the garden isn’t perfect – you have time yet.  I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home and garden. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

 I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.