RHS Flower Show Cardiff 2016 – My pick of the show gardens

0 Written by Lisa on 21st Apr 2016 in Inspiration

Last weekend I went to RHS Flower Show Cardiff.  There were moments over the past couple of weeks when I was very glad not be on site building a garden – the weather at times has been far from idyllic. What a contrast from last year when we were blessed with warm sunshine – I seem to remember I had to use suntan cream!

Amelanchier in flower Lisa Cox Garden Designs

In our garden this week the Amelanchier, which took prime position in my show garden, has come back into flower so I think Spring has caught up with itself at last.  Some of the bulbs I managed to rescue from the mice over the summer are also in flower so it’s been a nice reminder.

I felt mixed emotions when I arrived at the show because part of me wished I’d designed a garden this year.  Who knows, I may do another one again in the future, we’ll see!

So I wanted to share a few images of my two favourite gardens at the 2016 show.  I have to make a confession however that I left my camera at home (not on purpose I might add) and had to use my phone instead so the images aren’t as good as they’d normally be.

Alfresco Gallery Garden

Alfresco Gallery Garden RHS Cardiff 2016

The Alfresco Gallery Garden was designed for a client with a passion for horticulture and art.  It’s a place to appreciate the form and structure of plants.  I loved the balance of this garden, the corten steel planters and water feature and the link between the box balls and the circles on the wall.

Alfresco garden at RHS Cardiff 2016

Alfresco Gallery Garden at RHS Cardiff 2016

RHS Cardiff 2016 Alfresco Gallery Garden

The Hiraeth Garden

Hiraeth Garden at RHS Flower Show Cardiff 2016

Hiraeth is a Welsh word for which there is no direct translation, it’s used to capture a sense of yearning or longing for a place.

This garden was designed to appeal to our sense of nostalgia as well as a subconscious longing to be in the outdoors.  It incorporates elements of ruined buildings which is a reference to those found scattered around the Welsh countryside.

As well as a Gold medal, it was awarded Best Show Garden.  I liked the natural stone, the informal planting and the sense of the past.
Hiraeth Garden Best In Show RHS Cardiff 2016

Hiraeth Garden RHS Cardiff 2016

RHS Flower Show Cardiff is smaller and less formal than Hampton Court and Chelsea, but it has a really nice local feel to it.  It was great to see the Show Manager, Katie Draper, and also the guys who are instrumental to the logistics each year as well as some of the exhibitors I met last year.

A visit to Raglan Castle with my camera

0 Written by Lisa on 7th Apr 2016 in Inspiration

Raglan Castle Lisa Cox Designs

I remember going to Raglan Castle when I was little.  We always spent some of our holidays on a farm near Brecon so we stopped en route I suspect.  We used to love it, feeding the orphan lambs and helping when it was shearing time. Read more

From the drawing board: Concept design & sketches for a Monmouth town house

2 Written by Lisa on 31st Mar 2016 in From the drawing board

Garden Concept Design Monmouth town house Lisa Cox

I’ve recently been working with a client in Monmouth to help them to redesign the garden for their Georgian town house. Read more

From the drawing board: Concept design & sketches for a client in Milan

0 Written by Lisa on 23rd Mar 2016 in From the drawing board


I’ve recently been working with a client in Milan who wanted some help to transform her small and tricky courtyard garden.  To add to the challenges of the site, she lives in a conservation area and this means that she’s not allowed to construct anything that will involve excavation or concrete. Read more

Choosing plants that fit with their surroundings

0 Written by Lisa on 8th Mar 2016 in Plants

Fallas festival Valencia Lisa Cox Designs

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Valencia. A really great City that was just warming up for their annual festival “Fallas” which takes place in 2 weeks.  We experienced lots of firecrackers (a reminder of my days in Greece at Easter) and a daily afternoon firework display in broad daylight, which felt a little bizarre! Read more

Why are gardens forgotten in house renovation projects?

0 Written by Lisa on 25th Feb 2016 in Design Tips


Have you been watching the BBC2 programme The £100k House – Tricks of the Trade?  I love it! It’s so inspiring to see what people do to their homes with modest and sometimes really small budgets. We’re certainly getting some great ideas for our own house. Read more

Protecting our precious trees

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Feb 2016 in Design Tips, Plants

Oak tree from the wood floor taken with wide angle lense by Lisa Cox

I’m currently working on a project where we have few trees on site that are subject to a Tree Protection Order (TPO).  Obviously I need to be absolutely sure that I create the new garden in a way that will ensure that the trees aren’t damaged so I’ve been taking advice from a professional arborist to ensure that we’re doing things right. Read more

Planning a new planting scheme – some tips to help you get started

1 Written by Lisa on 5th Feb 2016 in Design Tips

Helenium at Hauser & Wirth Somerset Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Now’s a great time to be planning for what’s to come in the garden and it seems more urgent this year with the rather early appearance of some of the spring bulbs.  Even on our windy hill we have Narcissus ‘Tête-a-Tête’ in flower already and primroses too, which have virtually been flowering since Christmas. Read more

Dealing with sloped gardens – five things to consider before you start

2 Written by Lisa on 25th Jan 2016 in Design Tips

Surveying kit

I’ve just started working with a new client who has a small but tricky garden because it slopes quite steeply and there are two pine trees that are subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Read more

Bird feeders for the style conscious

0 Written by Lisa on 13th Jan 2016 in Garden accessories

koziol-pip-bird-feeder-green Red Candy

I’ve started feeding the birds now that it’s finally getting a bit colder.  We get so many more species than we did in Leatherhead including woodpeckers, tree creepers and even a fat pheasant who seems to have successfully avoided the fortnightly shoot so far! Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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