Posts Tagged ‘Planting Design’

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

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

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.

Helenium at Hauser & Wirth Somerset Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I hope that we’re not being lulled into a false sense of what’s around the corner as, in a way, I’d just like some of those crisp bright days rather instead of the mild wetness that seems to have been the feature of the year so far.

But whatever is around the corner, spring will be with us soon enough and so it’s a great time to be working on planting plans so that you’re ready when the spring does arrive and you can get outside planting.

Here are a few things to consider if you’re planning to tackle a new planting scheme…

Know your site

Soil, aspect and drainage are the keys to getting the planting right.  You need to choose the right plant for the right place in order to create a planting scheme that will thrive. So, if you have a sunny expose site you know you’re not going to be able to grow plants that are delicate or shade-loving.  You need to choose plants that are robust enough to withstand being exposed to the elements.

Shape, texture & form

Gardeners who love plants often get tempted by the delicate qualities of individual flowers, but when I’m approaching a planting plan first off I’m thinking about the plants I’m going to use in a different way.

I tend to consider the shape, texture and structure of the plant before I think about the colour of the flowers.  So I may not even know which plants I’m going to select at the very beginning.  Once I know what job I need the plant to do then I can successfully choose a palette of plants that will do the job I need them to do.


Colour is important as it absolutely affects the way we feel about our gardens.  Rich warm oranges and reds will give a much different mood than soft yellows, creams and purples so you need to consider the overall colour effect of the planting scheme if you are to achieve a harmonious planting scheme.

If you’re mixing colours, try to choose those which have the same tone.  Thinking of the seasons will help you here.  For example, spring colours are generally warm and vibrant, think colourful swathes of spring bulbs which always look amazing together, or, if you’re more drawn to pastels, think of roses and flowers with cool muted tones and the mood you’ll create will be much calmer and serene.

Use tried and tested plants

This may be stating the obvious, but using plants that you know are robust will make for a much more successful planting scheme.  Using plants that have been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM), will stand you in good stead as it’s the RHS’s seal of approval that the plant performs reliably in the garden.

Buy some big things

Shrubs and trees will take much longer to reach maturity that herbaceous perennials so it’s always a good idea, if your budget will stretch, to invest in a few larger things from the off.  Herbaceous plants generally establish within a year or two of planting whereas trees and shrubs in some cases need up 10 years or so to make an impact.  Buying a couple of specimen-sized shrubs or trees will make an impact from the word go, so it’s worth the investment!

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

From the drawing board: Leatherhead garden one year on

0 Written by Lisa on 15th Sep 2014 in From the drawing board

Planting in Leatherhead garden after one year Lisa Cox Designs

Last week I finally managed to get back to see the Leatherhead garden we completed and planted last summer.  I should really have been there in July when all the roses and perennials were looking at their best, but I still think the transformation is quite amazing in just one year and there’s still lots in flower and looking great. Read more

A visit to Sussex Prairies

4 Written by Lisa on 9th Sep 2014 in Inspiration, Plants

Sussex Prairies Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I missed a visit to Sussex Prairies a couple of weeks ago so as the weather was lovely at the weekend we decided to pay a visit.  I’ve been wanting to go for ages! Read more

Big flowerbeds are better

1 Written by Lisa on 2nd Sep 2014 in Design Tips

The Flower Garden at Loseley Lisa Cox Designs

Often when I’m working with clients they are concerned about turning too much of the garden over to planting.  This is especially the case when they want a low maintenance garden.  Although they often become interested, many of my clients don’t start off as very keen gardeners and the reason they want to work with a professional is because they don’t have the first clue about plants and what to do with them. Read more

Some planting design tips to help you along

2 Written by Lisa on 15th Aug 2014 in Design Tips

Planting Oxshott Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Planning a planting scheme takes time.  There’s so much to think about and consider to get it right.  As well as the constraints of the site (soil/aspect/drainage), you need to think about the aesthetic qualities of the plant (shape, form, foliage, colour) as well as how well and how long it performs for and of course how long you have to wait for it to become fully grown. Read more

Create Your Garden course – Week 3

0 Written by Lisa on 27th May 2014 in From the drawing board

Create your garden course Lisa Cox The Decor Cafe Week 3

In the midst of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last week I ran the final week of my Create Your Garden course at The Decor Cafe in Putney, with fellow garden designer, Sarah Speller. Read more

Front garden design tips: What about the plants?

6 Written by Lisa on 7th Feb 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Front garden design London Lisa Cox

This is the last post in my blog series about front gardens.  I hope you’ve found it useful and now feel inspired to tackle your own? Read more

From the drawing board: The finished drawings for a garden in Sutton

0 Written by Lisa on 16th Dec 2013 in From the drawing board

Presentation Plan Irmgard MacAskill

You may remember a week or so ago that I shared the concept design and sketches for a small front garden in Sutton.  We have now finalised the design and the construction phase will start in January so I thought I’d share the finished design with you. Read more

From the drawing board: Planting design for a client in Leatherhead

2 Written by Lisa on 25th Jan 2013 in From the drawing board

I presented the planting design and construction costs to my client in Leatherhead last week and we should be all ready to start the build phase of the project in March. 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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