Category Archives: Sustainable

Anarchic Garden Design in a Post Brexit World

“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader



Garden Design has lost its way.

Garden shows regularly regurgitate the same mixture of recreating the natural environment, another take on wild meadows, naturalistic planting,  ponds, water features,  seating for contemplation, pastiches of Mediterranean, Japanese and other International styles,  landscapes revisited and yet more contemporary modernist patios for small city gardens.  To acheive these gardens for ourselves we need time money and our own space. Once we have these generally we hide ourselves away in our own space and loneliness can slowly creep in.

Gardens are for everyone and co-opererative gardening has tremendous health benefits.

What we need to do to inspire young millennial designers of today is to offer up a new vision of their future and a practical way to obtain it.  Few youngsters have access to land or funds  with which they can let their imaginations run wild and flourish  and yet armed in an escapable free world of computer games,  many young adults and children spend hours  creating entire lands and cities to play in.

Ninety percent of our population now live in towns and cities.  Living in these environments can feel claustrophobic and hectic, unhealthy and grey.  However, when I look at old photographs of my old town Brighton, many streets actually appear quite generous in width, so why do they feel so mean?  Then I realised that this is the only way forward.  I propose that our mission for the future (should we choose to accept it) is to ban all cars, buses and lorries from our built environment and tear up the roads to start planting. We replace cars with a free moving electric public transport system and cycle ways.

Cars will be relegated to underground car parks or on the city fringe.

All roofs will become sources of energy from solar panel tiles and water gathering devices. We reintroduce a network of open rainwater channels to capture and irrigate our newly acquired garden highways and we  plant them with all manner of fruit and nut trees and shrubs, crops and vegetables. The old high streets and parks could be glazed over providing ‘projects of eden’ for growing more exotic fruit and vegetables.  Shopping for all other items will be either via the internet or on the city boundaries rather than the centre.  Let’s turn our cities inside out. Fences and walls between houses are pulled down with a free to roam policy for all. Our air will be cleaner and our garden streets safer for children to play outside once again. Vines could be encouraged to grow between buildings and across roads to provide shade from the sun and prevent the ever increasing number of sufferers from cancerous Melanoma.

We could all then grow food right outside our doors to share within the community.  Horticultural knowledge could pass between the generations and children will understand where their food comes from.  Huge progress is already being made in establishing vertical green  walls  as cladding, to keep our buildings cool, provide flowers for our pollinating  insects and nesting sites for songbirds. So let’s adorn our houses with plants.

We respectfully give  our towns over, street by street, to gardening with a purpose, where ‘sharing’ rather than ‘owning’ is the new language and we bring  back nature, health, safety and happiness into all our lives again.

This is my utopian vision for the future of garden design in towns and cities, child-like in nature but  not entirely inconceivable..







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De Kas Restaurant and Kitchen Garden, Amsterdam

From garden to table, another extraordinary vegetarian restaurant with Chefs passionate about the food we eat, in a perfectly beautiful setting:

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Thank you to The Garden House, Brighton, for bringing us here CHEERS!

A Bountiful Day

Lavender,Crocosmia,Acer, Cosmos, Knifophia, Hydrangea, Stachys, Ammi
Leucanthemum, Miscanthus, Achillea, Bamboo, Viburnham, Artichoke, Fuchsia, Fennel, Box, Cornflower, Gladioli, Iris, Chives, Choisya

…to name but a few.

Such a great starter selection for our Plant swap on Sunday.

Thank you Rosi and Ridgeview Estate and everyone at Stanmer Horticulture (Part of Plumpton College) for such generosity and to Sophie for helping me collect them and make sure they got plenty of water this afternoon.



‘Plant Recycling Plant’


Our Style

photo 4The most challenging of gardens we work on is one with no budget for new plants at all. Initially we felt stifled by this constraint.  How were we going to make a difference? Eight years later and still no money for new plants,  this has defined our gardening style.

Fortunately the garden had many different areas to begin with. The formal, although once overgrown, herbaceous border, the mixed shrub and perennial border, the rose gardens, the wild gardens and the woods.

We had to be imaginative, planting wild flowers in the gaps of the formal areas and ‘naturalising’ divisions of perennial plants in the wild garden because we just couldn’t throw them away.  Consequently the garden now has a wild and slightly unruly charm about it that is very satisfying to work in and our propagation skills have come on a treat.