Plan now to make the most of your garden

I can’t emphasis how important planning is when it comes to creating a well-established garden.

Most of us want instant beauty but with gardens you have to plan, nurture and maintain.

Just look at all the great gardens that we pay to go and visit none have just happened overnight it’s taken years of thought.

It’s also important to do your research so you select the right plant for the right soil and aspect. There is no point planting a shade tolerant shrub in full sun.

You also can’t rush a garden. It often takes as long as five years to establish a garden.

Choose colours wisely

Choose colours wisely

You want to develop a style that is right for you. Think of your garden as being an extra room in your house. You may want a low maintenance look or a garden that is designed for your children’s enjoyment.

A wildlife friendly garden is so important

A bee friendly garden is so important


Bee heaven












I recently read a brilliant article by garden designer Sarah Price which gave really simple and cheap ways of creating space for children to play. Just varying the height of your lawn to create grass patterns such as a wiggly maze or running track can provide hours of fun for your kids.

Even when you have your dream garden you have to make sure it’s pruned, fed and watered.

Autumn is a great time for planning for next year – putting in bulbs for Spring, dividing  perennials, mulching or just thinking about Winter bedding to keep your garden fresh during those cold gloomy months ahead.

Autumn: Plant Allium bulbs for spring

Autumn: Plant Allium bulbs for spring

One garden I take particularly delight in looking after is a communal garden in the grounds of grade II listed building which has been converted in to flats in Herne Hill.

I was involved in the project to redesign the garden to give it a more modern feel with the aim of making it easier to maintain. The square beds were replaced with sweeping curved beds which gives a natural equilibrium to the garden.


This wasn’t an expensive project as many of the plants were recycled with existing perennials divided and only a few plants were added such as Persicaria from the nursery at Beth Chatto’s amazing Essex garden.


Time for a change

Time for a change

Work underway on the curved beds

Work underway on the curved beds

Starting to take shape

Starting to take shape



















For me personally I love prairie planting as you can really abandon your inhibitions and in my opinion it is so important to generously plant up beds to make a real impact.

These pictures show how you can make a massive difference to an existing garden with a bit of redesign and hard work.


Spectacular colour


One of three curved beds created from nothing

Crocosmia and Alliums are instant hits

Crocosmia and Alliums are instant hits

The results: Persicaria and Aquilegia are winners

Persicaria and Aquilegia are winners












All the pictures were taken in the redesigned Herne Hill garden which has been a joy to watch emerge throughout the Spring and Summer months.

Check out some of my personal favourite perennials: Helenium, Echinacea, Kalimeris Daisy, Crocosmia, Agapanthus, Erysimum, , Sedum, Heuchera and Liatris Spicata.

Ornamental grasses are a must in any modern garden choosing from: Miscanthus, Karl Foerster, Deschampsia. Alliums and Verbenna add great height for Spring and Summer and I wouldn’t be anywhere without a Euphorbia especially as they come in so many shapes, colours and sizes.


I love Aquilegia, Geum and of course for Winter colour – the under-rated Hellebore. A garden shouldn’t be without Buxus sempevirans topiary balls for architectural beauty and all year round greenery!

If you want help to redesign your garden or just need some ideas for updating planting: ring Polly’sPerennials on: 07930 354128 or email: