Summer Symmetry

Take a look at this month’s planting design, a great design to smarten up your garden.

Download a full size PDF here

A Stainless Century show garden

A different format this month as we look back at the planting in the RHS Gold Medal winning ‘A Stainless Century’ show garden. The planting design is by Phil Hirst who of course designed the garden. We look at one part that you could take away and use together in a free draining border or raised bed.

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Spring Flowers & Foliage

Add a splash of colour for late spring with some more flowers for later in the summer and a mix of foliage colours and textures for contrast when the flowers have ended.

Download a full plan of the design here (PDF)

Woodland Planting Design

Woodland planting
Many of the early flowers we see at this time of year are from plants that developed in woodland settings.
They flower early to take advantage the extra light coming through the canopy of the trees. If you have
some dappled shade cast by trees or large shrubs, use the plants below to create a naturalised theme in
which you can mix spring bulbs that naturalise well, such as Snowdrops, Narcissi and Anemone blanda.

Mertensia virginica loves these conditions and looks fantastic when grown in large drifts. Put in some volume
with Sarcococca confusa (Christmas Box, which has a delicious scent in January and February. Create a little
height with Digitalis (Foxglove) that flowers later and splash a little early colour by using Helleborus.
Add the bulb of your choice to a few of the gaps and enjoy the display every Spring.


1. Sarcococca confusa
2. Helleborus
3. Mertensia virginica
4. Digitalis purpurea or alba

Summer Flowering Border

Click here to download a full size version of this planting design

This fantastic display was designed and planted by landscape architect, Alistair W Baldwin for the areas in front of our natural swimming pool in Harrogate. Each time we visit during the Summer there are splashes of colour across the border, note how Alistair has repeated the same plants randomly throughout.

Other plants used here but not labelled are Alliums (a good choice would be Purple Sensation), Purple Fennel, Stipa gigantea, Sedum Autumn Joy and Knautia macedonica.

All these plants thrive in free draining soil and will come back year after year.

To print from a PDF, download here summer flowering border

White & Green Planting Scheme

Part or full shade and fairly heavy soil would suit these plants best. You will get flowers from April through to October and although the Pulmonaria is a blue flower, the silver foliage looks good all season and nothing else is in flower at the same time.

You will get a second flowering from the Astrantia if you cut it back immediately after the first flush of flowers has finished. Protect the crown of the Zantedeschia in freezing weather by covering with straw or a thick mulch of compost. This planting scheme with white flowers is perfect for heavy soil.

Download this PDF to print out: White & Green Planting Scheme