colours garden design garden photography gardening grasses hardy perennials light light quality ornamental grasses outdoor sculpture reflections sculpture village gardens water in the garden

Take one little border.

This post will look at a small border in a Gloucestershire garden in a village at the bottom of Bredon Hill. It is a lovely garden, well designed and well cared with a calming atmosphere throughout. The gardeners and owners of the garden are my sister, Penny and her husband, Tony.

This little border in the front patch is a quarter circle in shape and covers only a couple of square metres but the choice of planting partners and artifacts together create a beautiful balanced feel.

The first photo covers the whole border in one shot which gives an indication of its size. The gravel mulch acts as a foil to enrich the colour palette, the bronzes, silvers and bronzes of the grasses and the rubies and purples of the sedums and diascias. The grasses also move and rustle in the lightest of breezes.


Diascia personata and Sedum Purple Emperor compliment each other beautifully.

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Silken heads of soft grasses catch every iota of light and absorbs it to put themselves in the spotlights.

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Well chosen sculptural pieces crafted in suitable materials enhance the plants rather than detract from them. The rust of the corten steel is the perfect material both its colour and texture which allow them to sit beautifully with the silky heads of the grasses flowing past them.

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Clear water with a flat reflective surface borrows the colour of the sky and adds it to the composition. The simple contrast of foliage shape and structure of the plants in the bed works beautifully because of the limited number of different plants used.

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To see the rest of the garden just check back on my post published in August 2013 called “A village garden with a difference,”


garden design garden photography gardening hardy perennials July Shropshire

A Modest Gardener – celebrating a small garden

Our dear friend Jean is a talented gardener who sadly won’t recognise that she is. So I thought I would share a set of photographs with you that I took in her garden in late July so that you can enjoy her lovely garden too. Jean loves wildlife and enjoys sharing her garden with the birds, butterflies, bees and any other creatures that come for a visit or to stay. As with all gardeners slugs and snails may be one step too far.

Come on a wander with me by following my gallery of photographs all taken on the same day. It is easy to appreciate this excellent example of what can be achieved in a small space. As you run through the photos  will see one showing an old blackbird’s nest in the stems of a clematis.



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Anne’s Garden

It is always special to visit a friend’s garden for the first time. Today with fellow Shropshire Hardy Plant Society members we visited the garden of our group chairman, Anne. She lives just over the Welsh border so we had but a forty minute journey.

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The pathway to the front door set the scene with plants jostling for position to make sure they were seen. I always believe this sort of way into a garden heightens the anticipation. You just know you are going to enjoy the garden and discover some real gems. This was just what happened.

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Anne greeted us at her door and from then on we had a very enjoyable afternoon exploring her little garden, drinking tea and relishing cakes. The garden had pathways wriggling beneath trees and shrubs giving the atmosphere of a small copse.

Anne’s garden illustrated the importance of growing trees in small gardens. So many small gardens are full of small plants which just makes you look down. Anne’s patch had your eyes rushing around, upwards, downwards and seeking out the next corner to peer around.

In the front garden Cercis “Forest Pansy”, Pyrus salifolius pendula and a splendid specimen of Cornus “Midwinter Fire” held the garden together.

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The weeping pear’s leaves were fully out and its pure white blossom showed off its black stamens. The Forest Pansy was way behind ,its bare black stems just starting to show bursting purple buds.

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I enjoyed the way so many different leaf shapes, colours and textures juxtaposed so happily.


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Being mid-April spring flowering bulbs added cheer to combat the grey skies of the day.

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Whenever I visit a garden I spot one of my favourite families of plants, the euphorbias. Anne had some fine euphorbias including E. mellifera a variety that we grow but have to take in during the winter as it just couldn’t survive our winter weather. Anne’s happily lived outside all year.

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Acers feature here too and mid-April is a good time to enjoy their fresh subtly coloured new foliage bursting from their buds.

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We have been looking for small Hostas recently to plant around a water feature situated close to a corner where two path meet. We were really taken with those we found growing in pots in a little shaded courtyard. Luckily they had labels on giving us ideas for our own planting.

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Anne’s garden is small in size but it has a mighty big heart! As the last set of photographs below show it is a garden full of interesting individual plants, original plant combinations and many appealing features. We had a great afternoon – thanks Anne.

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