Archives for December 2013

Gifts for gardeners – ideas to help prevent you buying your loved ones socks (again)!

If you’re struggling for what to buy beloved friends and family for Christmas, then here’s some suggestions that might just help you!

Sarah Raven Garden Goodies (UK)


Writer, broadcaster and teacher, Sarah Raven has put together a lovely selection of garden gifts, with everything ranging from tools, gardening kits, clothing, unusual see mixes and much, much more.

Garden Water Features, Statues and Planters (USA)


A really wide selection of fountains and water features to suit most tastes. There’s a good mix of traditional and modern styles in all their products from fountains to planters. If you’re looking for something fun, I will admit to having taken rather a shine to the meditating Zen frog!


LED Planter Lights (UK)

I really love these clever LED planters. By day you have a stylish planter and by night, a stunning living light. A great way to light up dull corners on your patio, deck or by the front door and add a contemporary touch.

Cookery and Flower Arranging Workshops (UK)

Sarah-Raven-CoursesThis is another one from Sarah Raven. If you are looking for the ultimate gift, you can spend the day with Sarah at Perch Hill in Sussex. She will show you how she does her amazing flower arrangements or prepare some sumptuous dishes. Very reasonably priced courses in a lovely location.

iPad-garden-desing-coursesOnline Garden Design Courses (Worldwide)

Having mentioned someone else’s wonderful courses, it would be remiss of me not to mention my own! Any of the online garden design courses or workshops can be purchased as a gift and instant access sent to the recipient for Christmas. Instructions on how to transfer a course as a gift are in the welcome email on purchase. All courses come with a 60 day money back guarantee.

Please note: On some of the gift ideas above, I receive a small commission if you purchase through my link, this helps keep me sufficiently supplied with mince pies over the festive season! Please also note, that I do not have direct experience with the companies listed above, so do buy at your own discretion.

Your suggestions…

What wonderful garden related goodies have you come across? Let me know in the comments below!

Transforming a bland square shape back garden – Case study

Like a lot of gardens, the garden featured in this month’s case study was a fairly typical one. It consisted mainly of just lawn with a few plants dotted around and a shed.


So, if the majority of your garden is lawn, how do you make it more interesting?

Step 1 Create a lawn shape that is simple, yet creates interest and utilises the space well.


Step 2 Add some height to create interest.

A pergola walk, archway or even small tree avenue can do wonders for creating interest in the garden. Any vertical element you put in your garden will lead the eye to it and up, which makes a very flat dull garden a lot more interesting, as there is more to look at.

Step 3 Use paths to both visually and functionally take you round the garden.

Paths are great for making gardens look and feel more interesting. Your eyes will automatically follow them around the garden. Even if you never physically use them, they still draw the eye around the garden.

Part of the main trick to garden design is to create a visual journey throughout the garden. Gardens are always very dull if you can see everything in one go. With any design, it is important that you create an interesting visual journey garden.

The garden featured in this case study did have quite a lot of sheds and a summerhouse to incorporate. So we used paths to link different areas of the garden together and take your eyes away from the sheds. These are practical for getting you to the other end of the garden, as well as visually pleasing.

There was also a hidden courtyard garden at the bottom left which was screened off using trellis. It was paved at an angle with a central focal point to create interest. This cosy area was a bedroom garden where the owners could have their morning cup of tea in the sun.


A large deck area at the top of the garden created additional seating and interest with the rope and posts going around it. And this also helped take the eyes away from the sheds.

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