Large Tree Planting. What is a good size to choose for plants and trees in a new garden?

I normally recommend to my clients that we plant trees, shrubs and perennials in a hierarchy of sizes. That means with slower growing items such as trees and shrubs, its best to plant them at least a certain size so we can enjoy the garden the way it is meant to be as soon as it is finished. If the plant needs to be pruned specifically or a particular shape developed, this is another time it’s a good idea to plant a mature specimen. 

03 Country Estate Toot Baldon Oxfordshire
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Curves in Crendon – How can sinuous curves in Garden Design help to deal with level differences on a site?

I wanted to talk a little about complex construction and layers in this blog. This was a garden I designed in Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire. My clients wanted elegant curves, a seating space, fine lawn and flower beds. Robert is a well established engineer and I could see that he wanted a neat, refined design, that was (obviously) well engineered. 

02 Circular Garden Long Crendon Oxfordshire
Interesting Circles surrounded by a curves wall allow us to deal with level differences on a site.
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Alive with Wildflowers – How do we create Wildflower Meadows and Why should we?

Why should we plant Wildflower Meadows?

I believe in very attractive well kept, ornamental gardens, but I also believe in wild spaces. If we have enough ground in a garden I believe in creating some wild space. There are several reasons for this, firstly because of the environment, but also because Wildflower meadows create fantastic mood in your garden. This wildness that can be juxtaposed with mown paths. A sense of getting away in a country estate, a field that has been unused and mown regularly, can have a magical feel all of a sudden, and become a place we actually long to walk and visit, to have a picnic. 

17 Woodland June 15
Mown Path through a Wildflower Meadow in Toot Baldon, Oxfordshire
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Creating a Natural Pond and Wildflower Meadow in Bladon, Woodstock, Oxfordshire – Part 02: The Garden Develops

In the first year as seen in the previous Part of the blog, we can see the meadow is just establishing and can look quite disappointing, it takes faith and commitment to develop a meadow, but now we can see the wild meadow in full bloom in the second full season!

Wild Flowers Meadows Cient Enjoys Cup Of Tea Bladen Oxfordshire
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Wild Pond and Flower Meadow Bladon, nr Woodstock – Part 01: Design

Wild Pond Design

20 panavision wide edited 1st year

The photo shows the pond and meadow in the first growing season, the meadow is still germinating and developing… I will add further photos this next season 2018 as it matures.

The Site & Brief

I was asked to work in the upper area of this long, thin and sloping garden in Bladon. The site had fantastic views across the fields, various wildlife, and also many mature trees that added a lot of presence to the space but had to be worked around.  During the first meeting the client stated that she had been considering having a pond for some years.  She also said that she was very interested in wildlife and wild spaces. I walked around the, surveying, photographing, selecting important views and getting a feel for space.

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Eynsham Garden Design – Woodstock and surrounding areas

Here is a garden we built in Eynsham last year.


Our brief was to create a warm family garden for our client to enjoy with her grandchildren.
The space was closed off before with a fence and two large conifers, this left it feeling cut off from the house. We wanted the client, a concerned grandmother to be able to explore and play with the children in the garden. We felt that leaving the fence meant the client might not feel comfortable leaving the children to play in the space while not being able to see if they were ok from the house. Also the issue with restricted light from the trees made the space difficult to use.

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