Bowles & Wyer

Inside the Garden of a Designer

Written by Rosa Hinton

Intrigued to see inside the garden of one of our Assistant Landscape Designers, James Smith? He takes us on a virtual tour round his family garden…

Welcome to my little green haven in Northamptonshire. Like many, during the Covid pandemic I’ve focused on turning my garden into a green space, where it feels like we’re surrounded by nature and colour. The timber pergola with aromatic climbers has been constructed to create some privacy from the neighbouring properties, as well as providing an outdoor entertainment space for family and friends.

I see the planting throughout this garden as a bit of an experiment – discovering which planting combinations work well together and which plants grow better in the different areas of the garden. The current planting palette is very green so I’ve tried to introduce more colour into the garden with Agapanthus ‘Poppin Purple’, Rudbeckia ‘Giggling SmilyZ’ and Carex Testacea for added texture.

The construction of the glasshouse has added an extra dimension to the garden. I’d like to start growing plants and vegetables from seed to introduce throughout the garden, as well as experimenting with my edible border.

As you might notice, we have a model garden railway, built by my brother! Although I’m not a fan of trains, it can bring me beer to different parts of the garden, which is a plus I suppose!

Agapanthus 'Poppin Purple'
Inside the glasshouse

At the end of the space, we have a shaded fern garden featuring a recycled whisky barrel as a water feature. I’ve found this area particularly interesting as nothing has grown well there for years, until we introduced a range of ferns that do add a lot of texture. The water feature, which although unfortunately is not full of whisky, creates an interesting focal point when sitting in the conservatory. Introducing aquatic plants to the feature adds another form of planting that I’m able to experiment with!

As many say, a garden is never finished and is always developing – and I look forward to developing mine further.

Recycled whisky barrel water feature
Merlin the dog also enjoys spending time in the garden

August 10, 2020