Garden Art

by Abigail Willis

Entering the garden of 5 St Regis Close is like stepping into Narnia.True there is no snow (at least not on this broiling June day), and nor are there any fauns, but the comparison is nonetheless apt: one minute you are in suburban Muswell Hill, the next in an enchanted realm, where creativity, imagination and joie de vivre reign supreme.

Award-winning wildlife garden

by Abigail Willis

When Thierry Suzanne moved in to his house in Forest Gate in 2007, his first priority was to create an alfresco wining and dining area in the back garden, along with a herb garden and veg patch. But, this done, it wasn’t long before a more adventurous plan began to seed itself in his mind. Seven years down the line, that germ has blossomed into a full-on wildlife garden that is as much a haven for birds, invertebrates and amphibians as it is for its human custodians. And it’s not just the local fauna that appreciate Thierry’s efforts – the garden won Best Small Residential Garden in the RHS/Wildlife Trust’s 2012 Big Wildlife Garden competition. Over a cup of coffee and a bowl of blueberries, served in his newly constructed green-roofed gazebo, Thierry explained the journey he and his garden have been on.

Fan the creative flame in your garden

by Alice Wright

As The Garden Museum celebrates the relationship between gardens and literature, we take a look at how gardens can spark the creative flame.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014: the trade stands

by Drucilla James

What could be more luxurious than the opulent Khora Architectural Dome garden room inspired by the Palm House at Kew? Winner of the Best Trade Stand at Chelsea, this stately pleasure dome of curved glass and steel allows 360 degree views from which to contemplate life, the sky and the universe. Sadly with a starting price of £240,000 the Khora is unlikely to fit every plot and pocket, but if you still want to sprinkle a little Chelsea stardust at home, then try out some of these other sybaritic splendours spotted on the trade stands this year.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014: plants

by Rhiannon James

City gardeners have done well in the The Great Pavilion this year with Birmingham City Council’s garden commemorating the start of the First World War winning the President’s Award and receiving a visit from the Queen. If you’re keen to keep the side up, we’ve picked the best of the small garden-friendly plants at Chelsea which should attract more than a few admiring glances.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014: the gardens

by Rhiannon James

In a year when Chelsea has seen an unprecedented influx of new, young designers, it’s a bit of a surprise that the Show is so grown-up. There are no twitter-operated panels, no tower blocks of vegetables and there are certainly no flying pods in a daring shade of hot pink. Instead, the gardens are pleasant, polished and restrained. 2014 it seems is the year of the nice young(ish) men.

Painting with plants

by Abigail Willis

As an award-winning botanical artist, Rosemary Lindsay is used to working up close and personal with plants and she brings the same forensic attention to detail to her garden in Herne Hill. At 150 x 40 feet it’s a bigger canvas than her watercolours but one that equally reflects her design flair and affinity with plants.

City Planters: West Ham Park Nursery

by Abigail Willis

The merry month of May is a busy one for nurserymen and Paul Harwood is no exception. As the supervisor of West Ham Park Nursery, Paul is responsible for producing the bedding plants used in the gardens and parks run by the City of London Corporation and several Royal Parks.

Small garden design secrets from Joe Swift

by Rhiannon James

While Carol has her cottage garden and Monty has his manor grounds, Joe Swift is a city gardener through and through. His own garden in the east of the capital is a classic London plot with all the essentials: raised beds, built-in seating, and timber deck. His design company specialises in city spaces and given the chance to create a garden at Chelsea in 2012, he went for an “urban oasis feel”. He has written three books on urban gardening and to celebrate the reissue of the second, now called Joe’s Small Garden Handbook, he has shared his top tips on creating a stunning green sanctuary in the city.