Notes from a garden designer - March 2018

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

The long drag of grey winter and endless planning is replaced by warmer air and a surprise burst of energy.

I am making a garden at RHS Chelsea and RHS Chatsworth this year and even I have been surprised by the sheer volume of work which feels like it has suddenly appeared.

To that end I am spending most of March like a nomad.  I am working currently on a wonderful rural project in France which has already seen me snowed in once and will be there again this month.  Its a particularly interesting project as the owners are keen to use and reinstate traditional methods including hedge laying.

Later in the month I am in Tel Aviv, a vibrant melting pot of ideas and people who have an amazing zest for life so I know I will leave brimming with inspiration and ideas.  

Away from travel and dashing around I have a lovely cotswold manor house project which sees plants going in the ground at the end of month, here we have used Honeymede Limestone to complement the hues of the building.  Many people may use Cotswold stone paving but its a soft stone which easily becomes slippy or shales so is not suitable.  The limestone will be a perfect partner to areas of Cotswold clippings.  The garden will be planting with hues of pink, deep magenta and blue with classical pyramid shaped hornbeam cones and box hedging.

This month is always one which takes you by surprise.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

This month also see’s me in Cornwall looking at Quarries for a particular type of slate for my Chelsea Garden.

At some point I hope to spend some time in my own garden. I neglected it badly last summer after making vegetable beds with high hopes so this year I aim to grow something which I can harvest such as runner beans and courgettes which are relatively easy. The rest fo my garden is in desperate need of a good weed and light dig over, its been very wet so I am waiting for the soil to drive a little before I venture on it, not for my shoes but because its easy to damage the structure of soil when it is wet and best to leave well alone for a better day.

If you are planning any garden projects this month we would love to hear about them, you can always tweet Bradstone, gardening is a great way to share ideas and next month as Chelsea looms I will be sharing some behind the scenes images of our plants and materials with you.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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