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Entries in contemporary garden designers (9)


Contemporary Planting Plans for Raised Beds - Hornby Garden Designs - Landscape Design - Landscape Design Plans - Low Maintenance Planting Ideas - Shrewsbury - UK

Comptemporary Planting Plans for a New Development 

These planting plans will provide a wealth of colour even thought they only contain 3 to 5 elements.

Using grasses - Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster', Stipa barata, Carex testacea 'Prairie Fire' and Phormium 'Margaret Jones' as evergreen colour. 

The grasses are further complimented by the addition of perennials, instilling colours across the spectrum from early spring to late summer. 


50 Shades of Grey in the Garden - Garden Design - Garden Ideas - Garden Planner - Hornby Garden Designs - Large Garden Design - Shrewsbury UK

50 shades of grey in the garden

A tale of how to get dark in the (flower)bed

Right. It’s time to unleash your naughty inner horticulturalist. The gardener in you who loves to take risks. Who says just because everyone likes to do things the nice, safe way, doesn't mean it's right. The part of you that loves to take risks.

Because 50 shades of grey isn’t just for the bedroom, it’s also a great way to spice up your flowerbed.

OK. So let’s get serious, for a moment. Why should you consider using a silver, grey or for that matter, black palette in your garden?

Simple aesthetics for one. The use of monochromatic plants will compliment nearly every garden and it’s a great way to make a statement. If you have an area that is predominantly grey and then have a splash of colour in the centre of this, you are instantly creating a focal point that’s sure to grab attention. Likewise, an area of grey plants can be an excellent contrast to green and breaks up the monotony of single coloured gardens.

The use of grey plants in a specific area can also be used to create a feeling of sophistication and tranquility. So if you’ve got a corner of your garden or an area of decking where you like to sit to get away from it all, highlight this sense of serenity by planting a few monotone flowers.

This takes me on to the second very good reason for grey plants. If this area is shaded and dry, using silver-leafed plants may also be very practical, as a large number of plants with grey and silver foliage are native to drought-like environments. The main reason for this is their hairy foliage or the waxy texture that some silver leaf plants have. Both of these characteristics enable them to reflect sunlight and conserve water. Which means not only less work for you, but they can also be a good way to ‘lift’ a previously dark area.

No matter how or why you decide to use grey plants in your garden, I’m sure that it’s a decision that you’ll be glad you’ve made as this neutral colour will ‘spce up’ your garden and will help you to reassess a space in the most simplest of ways.

Silver plants:

  •       Lambs ears (Stachys byzantina)
  •       Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  •       Faassen’s catmint (Nepata x faassenii)
  •       Siver Mound (Artemisia schmidtiana)
  •       Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum)
  •       English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  •       Woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)

Black plants:

  •       Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
  •       Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty'
  •       Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Knight'
  •       Dahlia 'Black Narcissus'
  •       Alcea rosea 'Nigra' (Hollyhock 'Nigra')
  •       Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
  •       Aquilega vulgaris var. stellata 'Black Barlow'


Garden Ideas - Garden Design - Landscape Design Ideas - Garden Planner - Hornby Garden Designs - Landscape Architecture - Shropshire - UK

Go green and do yourself a world of good

Why we all need to live where there’s plenty of greenery

We need cities. Since 1950, 79% of the UK population lives in a city. By 2030, this will have risen to a staggering 92.2%!*

The reason more and more of us are drawn to these concrete jungles is simple – work. So we’re just going to have to live with this fact. But the trouble is, living in a city isn’t conducive to a healthy life.

A recent study by the University of Wisconsin has shown that if someone lived in a neighbourhood with 10% less tree cover, they were more likely to report signs of depression, anxiety, and stress. And that’s before we even touch on the health hazards of being surrounded day-after-day with toxins and pollutants.

Green is good

Homosapiens are simple creatures. When we live somewhere that looks and feels nice, we feel good. It’s a simple cause and effect. And let’s be honest, a great tree beats the hell out of a grey wall any day of the week.

Improve the air around you

Trees, shrubs and turf remove smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air – fact. More than that, one tree alone can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions. Taken further, one acre of trees has the ability to remove 13 tons of particles and gases annually. But it’s not just trees; 2,500 square feet of turf absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe.

Green is cooler

Come the summer months, living in the city can be a sweaty hell. But don’t worry, this is where green comes to the rescue again - a lawn can be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt.

It makes sense

So, there are good sound, environmental reasons for greener cities. But the reality is, councils and governments are slow to react and with caps on budgets, they are increasingly finding it hard to invest in these areas. But it's not all doom and gloom. It’s easier for you to make a difference than you might have thought.

Start small and simple. Get as many house plants and window boxes as you can.

Within a very short time, you’ll notice a lift in your general mood. And don’t worry about killing them – there are plenty of hardy varieties available that can still thrive on neglect.

If you do have the luxury of a garden, make sure it’s as good as it can be. This doesn’t mean throwing money at it, rather it’s thinking about what you can do to make it a space you’re more likely to spend time in. 

If you’re not sure how to go about this, I’m more than happy to give you a free consultation. The great thing is that I’ll work within your budget so you know what to expect. However to get some ideas, why not have a look at my portfolio for some inspiration?

Use what’s there

Thankfully, all our cities generally have very good parks, so make the most of them. Apart from being free, a regular walk in a park will lift your spirits (the exercise won’t do you any harm) and throughout the year it can be fascinating as you see the seasons come and go. It also shows your local council that there’s a real need for more green space; meaning they’ll be more likely to consider investing in them in the next budgetary year.

I’ll leave the last words to Dr White of the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health.

"We've found that living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space can have a significantly positive impact on wellbeing, roughly equal to a third of the impact of being married."

* The 2009 


Landscape Design - Garden - Landscaping - Landscape Garden Design Ideas - Garden Landscaping Ideas - Hornby Garden Designs - Harringey - UK

After our initial site meeting the soft and hard landscaping design features for the Arena Design Centre in Harringey, North London, are now installed.

The tanalised fencing has been constructed to replace existing, and planted with a mix of Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Veitchii' and Hedera helix, the result is a fresh vibrant feel to this area.

The raised beds have been constructed from green oak sleepers to a height of 300m, planted with contrasting Nandina domestica, Carex pendula and Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood' softening their rectilinear appearance. The sleepers over time will turn grey/silver which will give a lovely changing appearance to this new development

The whole area is now creatively pleasing to the eye with contrasting complimentary colours, in the raised beds and vertically ascending the wires against the tanalised fence.

Wherever you go there is a pocket of colour to greet you all year round.


Contemporary Garden Designers - Garden Design Ideas - Urban Garden Design - Low Maintenance Garden Design - Garden Patio Design - Garden Services - Hornby Garden Designs - Shrewsbury - UK

Sign and Poster - Shrewsbury

A new sign nestled amongst the Dahlias of this front garden in Telford, which we designed some time ago, but regularly maintain it for this customer. With Artemisia 'Powis Castle' and Lavandula Angustifolia 'Hidcote' located near the front door greeting the residents with a wonderful scent.