Archives for February 2014

Plant Selection – Marvellous in March

Flowering and foliage plants for March are considerably more plentiful than the previous months. I’ve gone for quite a subtle colour scheme this month. There’s good reason, March tends to see the start of spring bulbs. Swathes of bright yellow, orange and pink can appear and cause some mighty awful clashes, if you’re not careful! So this scheme will work well with whatever you happen to have going on in the garden.

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Astelia chathamica Silver Spear

As you know, I’m very found of spiky shape plants in the garden, as they break up the monotony of round and oval shaped plants. Astelia is a great, little, evergreen gem. The striking leaves are glittered silver when they catch the sun and its spiky shape makes for a striking edition to any planting border.

Magnolia stellata

This magnolia is one of the few that can cope with slightly alkaline soils, so they are much easier to grow. It’s not an evergreen variety though, and frankly it is rather dull when not in flower. So, best planted to the back or middle of a border so it can be hidden by more interesting plants in the summer. It’s showy, early spring flowers do make it well worth having though.

Helleborus foetidus

I love the acid, lime-green flowers of this hellebore. They light up dull areas in the garden and make a gorgeous combination when used with blue, white and yellow. Plant them in groups of five for full effect. They flower from January right through to April in good years. If that wasn’t enough, they are also semi-evergreen, so most winters you’ll have something to look at!

Muscari armenaicum (Grape Hyacinth)

Slight caveat with this one – if it’s really cold, they may not flower until April, but even so, they should still catch the hellebore above to create a stunning combination. As Muscari is a bulb, they will need to have been planted in the autumn, but often these days, you can buy pots of them in the garden centres. They add a dramatic splash of blue to your planting scheme.

Abelia ‘Hopley’s’

This variety of Abelia isn’t always the easiest to track down, but well worth it if you do. The striking, variegated, evergreen foliage makes a great accompaniment to the garden. The variegated leaves bring plenty of colour and make a nice backdrop for other flowering plants. It’s also evergreen in milder areas, which makes it a good all rounder. It does have white/pink flowers in the summer, but it’s the foliage that I like this plant for.

BUT do be warned, plants alone will NOT give you a stunning garden – you have to get the design layout right first. If you don’t know how to do that then…

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

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How to Draw and Group Plant Symbols

I’m delighted to introduce Lisa from the Lisa Orgler Design. Lisa is a fabulous designer and artist, she’s very kindly agreed to show us how to draw planting plan symbols like a pro.

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We all have grand ideas for our garden.  We scrutinize local nurseries, plant catalogues and Pinterest for plant ideas and interesting combinations, then sit down with pencil in hand to dream big on paper.  This step often hinders some.  Insecurity in artistic abilities or just not knowing how to draw a plant in plan view (looking from the sky towards the ground) can deter the best garden planning dreams.

The tutorials below show how to draw plant symbols in plan view with either simple circles to complex shapes (you choose).  Once you can draw them one by one, I’ll show you how to group them so you can create beautiful massings of plants.  Enjoy experimenting with a variety of sizes and groupings.  You’ll have a wonderful garden plan in no time.

Plant Symbols

Let’s cover individual plant symbols first.  I’ve included an illustration below showcasing a sampling of plant symbols, plus I created a short video so you can actually see the drawing process.

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Watch the video below to see Lisa demonstrate the drawing process

Now it’s time to group together…

Once you’ve mastered the plant symbol, it’s time to group them (as you would group plants in your garden). A general rule of thumb for planting design is to mass plants in odd numbers (though once you’ve exceeded eight in a group you can drop this rule).  The steps below explain how to pull plant symbols together, plus I’ve included a video for those that prefer an active demonstration.

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HOW TO GROUP PLANT SYMBOLS

1. Circle-template-(Orgler)Using a circle template (pictured), draw your plants using circles. Don’t be afraid to overlap the circles a bit (so in real life your plants form a mass).

2. Use a felt tip marker to outline the outside edge of the group (with whatever plant edge you’d like…see some examples above). Don’t ink the lines that overlap. This technique emphasizes the plant group (rather than the individual plants). Graphically, it’s also easier to read. It’s okay if your pencil lines show, since the ink will dominate.

3. Use a grey chisel tip marker to add ground shadows (all on the same side…typically the bottom right or bottom left).

4. Note that cross-hairs in the middle of the plant indicate it’s proposed, while a dot indicates existing.

5. Only group plants graphically that are all the same species.

HOW TO GROUP PLANT SYMBOLS

Download a great free guide from Lisa on how to create a theme garden

If you’d like to learn more from Lisa, do go and download her wonderful new book that guides you through coming up with a unique garden concept.

http://lunchboxproject.blogspot.com/p/publications.html

Question or a comment?

If you have a question for Lisa or would like to leave a comment, please do so in the box below…

And if you’d like more design tips, attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

[DESIGN SHOW 5] – Modern Landscape Design Ideas

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Modern Garden Landscape Plan Ideas

In this episode, Rachel will share the secrets of creating a modern style garden. She will discuss how to use the “Less is more” method to get that modern style.

Also, she will give a detailed advice on how to create the illusion of a longer garden by using design tricks that can make your garden look wider than it really is. She will show you how you can successfully mix hardwood decking with natural stone paving. The video will also cover how to use rendered block walls and includes tips for incorporating a modern water feature and seating area.

There are also tips on where to place the lightings around your garden to create a cozy environment.

What Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?

I’d love to get your ideas for future shows so that this can be as beneficial to you as possible. Leave a comment me know what topics you’d like me to delve into in future episodes in the comment boxes below?

Need Help with Your Garden?

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

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[DESIGN SHOW 4] – Garden Makeover Ideas

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This Garden Design Show episode features the second quick-sketch challenge. In ten minutes or less, designer Rachel Mathews will come up with as many landscape design ideas as she can for a viewer’s garden in the UK, near Cardiff.

You’ll be able to see how to do a simple garden makeover on a budget. Rachel will plan the garden from scratch, giving ideas on how to best utilise the space in your garden. Rachel will show you how to make your garden look more visually interesting by using some cunning design tricks. She’ll also show you how you can get a feel of the perspective, to help you visualise how your finished garden will look.

She will also discuss the costs of getting your garden built as well as how you can reduce costs to work to your budget. This episode also covers how to create a low-maintenance garden, that suits your home and tastes.

Rachel will also give you the answer to the question featured in the last episode and tell you what it was that made the garden modern and not traditional.

What Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?

I’d love to get your ideas for future shows so that this can be as beneficial to you as possible. Leave a comment me know what topics you’d like me to delve into in future episodes in the comment boxes below?

Subscribe to the show so you don’t miss an episode!

You can subscribe via iTunes, so you can watch it on the move, or via the Successful Garden Design YouTube Channel that has over half a million viewers worldwide.

Need Help with Your Garden?

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

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