Design Tips

It’s bulb planting time!

0 Written by Lisa on 1st Oct 2015 in Design Tips, Plants

Golden narcissus at RHS Garden Wisley Lisa Cox

I’ve just returned from Surrey after 5 long days planting my project in Weybridge.  No photos yet I’m afraid as it wasn’t looking very photogenic without the lawn and with the protective boards down on the terrace.  But I’ll be popping back at the end of October armed with my camera so I’ll share the pictures with you as soon as I can.

Part of the planting involved 300 bulbs.  It’s one of my least favourite tasks of the year, I think because you can’t see the fruits of your labour until 6 months after the event.

Tulips en masse at RHS Wisley Lisa Cox Garden Designs

But bulbs are an important contributor, especially in gardens that have lots of herbaceous perennials as they fill the gaps with vibrant colour at a time when we need to know that the garden is coming to life again.

Narcissus Thalia Lisa Cox Garden Designs

When you’re choosing your bulbs, think about the succession and try to choose varieties which will ensure a show of flowers for as long as possible.

Snowdrops in the morning sun

Snowdrops, crocus and early narcissus, such as ‘February Gold’ or ‘Rijenveld’s Early Sensation’, will give you interest from mid-winter and, depending on the variety you choose, tulips can be planted to give a show of flowers from March to May.

Spring crocus at RHS Garden Wisley Lisa Cox Designs

Once you’ve chosen the bulbs you want to plant, think about where they’ll look best in the spring.  If, for example, you have an orange summer-flowering perennial you may choose to plant orange tulips which will fill the gap in spring.  Choosing two or three different varieties will allow a succession of flowers throughout the whole spring period.

Planting Mazda Garden Lisa Cox Garden Designs RHS Cardiff Flower Show 2015

Bulbs always look better when they’re planted in groups so be generous if you can and when you come to plant them, drop a handful from a height and plant them where they land.  This will give a much more natural look when they flower next year.

I guess with bulbs you don’t have to plant them all at once.  Each year you can add some more, slowly building up each year until you have a spectacular show of vibrant spring colours.

The importance of creating focal points

3 Written by Lisa on 17th Aug 2015 in Design Tips

Bench in Homebase Garden RHS Chelsea 2014 Lisa Cox Designs

However large of small your garden is, introducing deliberate focal points will help to create a journey around your garden. Read more

Fences won’t work for a windy site

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Jul 2015 in Design Tips

Elder in flower Lisa Cox Garden Designs

What you can always guarantee when you live high up on a hill is a breeze.  A couple of weeks ago when the sun was blazing hot we certainly welcomed it, but on other days it can make things a little chilly. Read more

Softening the edges in small gardens

4 Written by Lisa on 6th Jul 2015 in Design Tips

Grass mounds Hauser Wirth Somerset Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Using curves in small spaces can be a challenge as often there just isn’t the space to allow the curve to be what it is. Read more

Planting – getting the colour tone right

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Jun 2015 in Design Tips, Plants

RHS Flower Show Cardiff 2015 Lisa Cox A Front Garden for Victoria Park Mazda

When I designed the garden at RHS Flower Show Cardiff I really thought the crowd would be divided about the planting because of the warm and vibrant colours.  But I couldn’t have been more wrong, everyone seemed to love it! Read more

Some golden rules when choosing your paving

2 Written by Lisa on 25th Feb 2015 in Design Tips

New terrace East Horsley Garden Design Lisa Cox

I went to Southampton for a meeting about RHS Cardiff yesterday and one of the main things to decide were the hard landscaping materials.  It’s so important when you’re choosing your materials that you check they work well together, and are in keeping with whatever materials are already on site otherwise you could be looking out onto a garden that makes you cringe! Read more

Looking beyond your boundaries

0 Written by Lisa on 16th Feb 2015 in Design Tips

Majestic oak tree in Surrey hills Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Borrowing the landscape is a garden design trick of old.  Even if you’re not lucky enough to have a great view, it doesn’t mean that you can’t borrow some of the features from the neighbouring landscape. Read more

Do you really know your garden?

2 Written by Lisa on 27th Jan 2015 in Design Tips

Snowdrops Lisa Cox Garden Designs

We ventured out into the garden yesterday to do a bit of clearing up. The house had been empty for almost a year before we moved in and before that was rented out for a few years so the garden has really been left to its own devices. Read more

Tackling really small gardens

0 Written by Lisa on 25th Nov 2014 in Design Tips

Bletchingley courtyard sketch Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I’ve just been working on the designs for a client in Richmond who has the tiniest of gardens, just 25m2 to be precise.  Spaces this small can often be more challenging to design because it’s every square inch counts. Read more

The power of yellow…do you love to hate it?

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Nov 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Yellow day lilies at Loseley Park hemerocallis

When I first start to talk to clients about plants, the majority of people say that they don’t want any yellow.  From experience what they actually mean is that there’s a particular plant with a particular tone of yellow that they don’t like or want in the garden. 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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