DISTANCE GARDEN DESIGN

Hello, we are all adjusting to a new way of working.

For us it means we are working from home rather than our studio.

With the current lockdown we are open and able to offer a non-contact design service.

We can help homeowners located in the Home Counties and able to continue to offer plants from our trusted suppliers at great prices.

Your garden is more important than ever. Whether you are looking for a low maintenance garden, a new seating areas or simply refresh a tired border. Now is the perfect time to transform your outdoor space into a beautiful summer garden.

Get in touch to find out more…….we are here to help

Nicola and Viv

 

 

Bulb Cutting Garden

Perennial Border

We know you will….. Those amazing colours, beautiful texture and shapes, the sheer exuberance of them. What’s not to love? We’re talking about spring bulbs, fat sumptuous tulips, scented uplifting daffodils, heavenly hyacinths and sparkling alliums. It’s impossible not to be seduced by these plants after the drab days of winter. The thing is this requires planning. Planning now to reap these rewards in spring.

Purple Tulip

Oh and let’s talk numbers…the less is more mantra won’t work in this case. Garden centres offer them in bags of 25-35 at most, it’s simply not enough. Plant them in their hundreds. They are incredibly cheap to buy and the alliums and daffodils will repeat flower year on year with little attention from you. What’s the catch there isn’t one.

What to do? Well plant lots of them and not just your borders. Plant them as a crop in your cutting garden while you are waiting for annuals to get going. You will have masses to enjoy inside your house. Plant them in pots, in grass there is a bulb for every place in the garden.

P.S We source our bulbs from quality UK suppliers of the fattest healthiest bulbs, available in eye watering numbers at great prices. Ensuring you will be enjoying a flower filled fiesta next spring.

Dividing Time

Perennial Border

Do you think September is the end of your garden year? Far from it, it’s simply the best time to plant in your garden. Why? Well soil temperatures are warm after all those balmy summer days. Yet there will be rain without a doubt so no worries about when to water. You can leave that part up to mother nature. New roots will make good growth before the onset of winter ensuring they will be raring to go next spring.

Perennial Border
Dividing Time

 

So, get yourself ahead of the game. Start by dividing any overgrown perennials then choose some gorgeous late season bloomers to enjoy. Transform your borders now with Acers, Asters, Japanese Anemones, Sedums, Rudbeckias and Ornamental grasses to enjoy late season colour.

Large  trees, topiary and spring bulbs will all relish getting into the ground at this optimum moment.

Take these steps now and you will have all bases covered for gardening this September like a pro. Your garden and your neighbours will love you for it

P.S Need help? Just give us a ring and we would love to give you some advice. 

Shrub Border
Great Time to Plant

The Time For Change in Your Garden

After the heady days of summer a new season is an ideal time to consider a new project, aim or challenge. Holidays give us the chance to reflect and, despite colder days ahead, now is a great time to look at changes to your garden. Our houses get more attention, quite rightly, than our outside space as we inhabit them constantly, whereas many gardens are unloved and woefully under-used. We believe that a beautiful garden enhances your life in so many ways.

Beautiful gardens enhance your life
Colour and shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having been in our gardens over the summer months; it’s a good time to review if it’s working for you.

  • Does it provide enough flexible entertaining space?
  • Is the view good from the kitchen window?
  • Is it easy to care for or are your daunted by the maintenance ?
  • Does your garden complement your home?
  • Do you wish you had more wildlife to enjoy in the garden?

 

Many will think that it’s the worst time to be approaching a project in the garden, but it’s actually the ideal time as it will be ready to enjoy come the spring sunshine. Autumn months enjoy more stable weather than spring and the soil temperatures are warm, still promoting good root growth helped by the added moisture in the evenings. It’s the optimum time to get hedging, topiary and large trees in the ground, along with spring bulbs.

Yew Hedging
Best time to plant hedging

 

Often it’s the simplest of reasons that we don’t use our outdoor space more. You have no seating area – we all have sofas inside. You are a sun lover and your existing terrace sits in deep shade – so you are never going to feel inclined to step outside. We all have plants we love or hate; it’s what gives our gardens personality. If you don’t like the plants in your garden; change them. Friends and family may be happy to take them off your hands. We don’t tend to keep items in our house once we fall out of love with them. Plants are no different. It can be expensive and frustrating however, to choose plants that will not thrive. Research thoroughly so you are sure they suit the soil type, aspect and complement your existing plants.

Plants that complement existing
Plants to suit your soil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The solution to many of these problems is simpler than you think. As designers, this is our job and we thrive on it – often seeing the options available immediately on viewing a garden.

So, resolve to make a change that will benefit your life. It’s easier than you think; no matter how large or small your plot. Give Outside a call today and start making that change in September.

 

August: Subconscious inspiration

Towering Cactus

As August kicks in we’re taking a moment to stop and smell the coffee, coastal air, bougainvillea, roses…. Wherever we find ourselves in August, we always find the less familiar sights, sounds and aromas find a way to seep into our subconscious and start to percolate, ready to give us fresh inspiration for the months ahead. August is the ultimate month of relaxation, and I don’t know about you, but when we relax we start to see things differently – maybe the natural geometry of an Agapanthus or a towering Cactus. Here’s a few of our top summer inspirations

Towering Cactus
Organic Geometry

Shapes and Textures: We naturally look for shapes and textures in our homes – wallpapers, soft furnishings, accessories, sprawling sofas and fireplaces to create an individual stamp, so it’s not surprising that people are increasingly asking our advice to create year-round interest outside too. We see so much on our travels from cosy outdoor seating to amazing planters, plants, fire pits, stone, ornaments, blazing sunsets and much more.

White Oleander
Amazing Planters

 

Sunset over sea
Blazing Sunsets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour & Plants: Relaxing and soaking up the rays presents a kaleidoscope of colours behind the eyelids from pale yellow to burnt orange to deep red. But it’s when you open your eyes that August colour really packs a punch. Everything is bolder, stronger, more intense – from urban landscapes where sun bleached concrete meets vibrant summer clothes, planters and splashes of blue sky t coastal paths hugging miles of cobalt sea to sunnier climes bathed in the brightest, deepest natural hues imaginable – endless lavender fields, rivers of sunflowers and long stone walls clustered with bougainvillea. Back on the beach the wet sand traces strong shapes that reflect wall art. Inspiration everywhere.

Date Palm
Intense Colours
Wet Beach sand
Strong Shapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while everything is in full bloom in the UK, it’s the calm before the design storm for us.  With September only weeks away, we’re getting ready to start designing and planting throughout the Autumn months, the very best time to plant a garden. So, if you want to talk to us about your summer inspiration and how we could turn those dreams into a reality in your garden, do get in touch.

Our award winning ‘Living in Sync’ show garden is on the move

'Living in Sync' Show Garden

It seems like ages ago that we were standing in very hot June sunshine on our show garden at the NEC Birmingham talking to huge volumes of visitors. This was our first venture into the show garden world with a garden about the importance of green space for us, wildlife and the environment. Not a new topic but one that we all have to keep talking about if we are to change mindsets now and in the future.

'Living in Sync' Show Garden
Nearly at the end of the build phase, it’s all in the detail

For our first show garden to win a Silver merit was a great achievement but the real highlight for us was the amount of people that came and told how they already had a bug box or insect friendly plants in their garden or were going away from the show packed with ideas to keep a green space instead of paving over it and making it work for them and the wildlife.

'Living in Sync' Show Garden
Giant bug boxes in position

This was so encouraging and now as we enter August we are about to re site many of the elements of the show garden to a small day nursery in East London. The day nursery has a small garden in a urbanised area so adding new hedging, plants and bug boxes will add to the garden and inspire young minds to keep connecting with wildlife. Its hoped that eventually the nursery school could open up their garden to other local schools to help support the science curriculum and make some money.

'Living in Sync' Show Garden
BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2017 – Our ‘Living in Sync’ show garden
'Living in Sync' Show Garden
BBC Gardeners World getting ready to film on our show garden

So would we do another show garden in the future? yes is the answer it was a great experience of working as a team, thinking detail all the time, having some fun and engaging with the public. Plus now elements of our show garden will live on and have a purpose.

TOP PLANTS TO ATTRACT WILDLIFE TO YOUR GARDEN

‘Living in Sync’ Garden – BBCGWL 2017

Plant List

Perennials

Alchemilla mollis
Centranthus ruber red valerian
Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’
Erigeron Karvinskianus
Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fens Ruby’
Geranium x oxonianum ‘A.T. Johnson’
Geranium ‘Brookside’
Hypericum olympicum
Nepeta x faassenii
Phlomis grandiflora ‘Lloyd’s Silver’
Phlomis russeliana
Sedum telephium ‘Karfunkelstein’
Veronicastrum ‘Adoration’
Soleirolia soleirolii
Thymus various
Viola colnuta

Shrubs

Baccharis patagonica
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’
Helichrysum italicum
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’

Climbers

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Tree

Malus toringo Scarlet Brouwers Beauty

Hedging

Arbutus unedo
Corylus avellane
Forsythia intermedia ‘Lynwood’
Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Golden King’
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Varigatum’
Viburnum opulus

Grasses

Briza media
Briza maxima
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

Bike Shed Planting

Wildflower Turf

Bin Store

Wildflower Turf

6 SUREFIRE WAYS TO BOOST WILDLIFE IN YOUR GARDEN…

BUG HOTELS

If you go down the woods today…

Yes this is what you’ll find – four crazed individuals stuffing giant bug boxes made from recycled pallets with old leaves, fir cones, logs in fact anything that bugs love to live in.

Why? Well back in Nov 2016 Outside were asked by Artemis Landscapes to design a show garden for Gardeners World Live 2017 . We jumped at the chance. Our urban front garden design made finalist (woo hoo!) Fast forward six months to June and our bug box production line is in full flow!

Our garden – Living in Sync – is all about reconnecting with wildlife and creating a sustainable environment where wildlife can grow and thrive. Nothing new here but sadly green space in urban front gardens is disappearing, and with it wildlife is going too at an alarming rate so we blended contemporary design with sustainable ideas to inspire ways we can incorporate into our space.

It took two days and a massive team effort to collect, chop and carefully stuff nineteen bug boxes that by the time we finished were already alive with happy bugs. Plus let’s not forget Dave from Artemis Landscapes who built every box by hand, and they are big hands – a bit like Monty Don!

Fancy bringing more wildlife back to your garden with your own super bug box? See our top tips here Wonderful Wildlife.

CONTAINER IMPACT

Container Impact

We’re making the final tweaks to our latest project – a beautiful bespoke Hampshire home where old and new materials have been carefully combined to dramatic effect. We chose these Atelier Vierkant pots, handmade in Belgium to frame and add impact to the entrance porch. The colour reflects the flint work on the house and we’ve lit them from below to make a statement that will last from twilight to dawn. Simple, massed planting with the grass Carex ‘Evergold’ looks effortlessly elegant year-round with minimum care. Our pots feature lots of Leca, a lightweight natural material that ensures the pots remain free-draining and protected from frost damage in the winter, and we’ll be back to scatter bulbs throughout for spring interest. Finally, to allow for gradual, easy care watering over three week cycles, we’ve concealed a discreet irrigation reservoir, just under the plants.

It’s great to see our plans coming to life and creating the ultimate warm welcome.