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Saturday March 06 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

Recent blog posts

What the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) can teach us about being a Garden Designer

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gbbo-gardendesignerIt’s a happy day when the first episode of the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) new season airs.  If you’re anything like us you’ve been glued to your TVs every Wednesday night watching the trials and tribulations of this year’s wannabe star bakers getting to grips with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood’s stretching, if not seemingly impossible (for us mere mortals), weekly baking challenges.

But watching the initially optimistic bakers’ dozen succumb to the pressures of the signature, technical and showstopper challenges over the last few weeks it’s got us to thinking and as mad as it sounds we think the GBBO has lessons about garden design hidden in its depths.

So, without further ado here’s our take on what the GBBO can teach us about being a garden designer.

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Garden Design Quick Tip - Sound and Wildflower Meadows

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4-weston-2-426Sound isn’t a principle of garden design as such, more a bi-product of it, but it is something that adds ambience and mood to a garden and contributes to that feeling of unity and harmony that we so often strive for in our garden designs.  There are many ways of getting sound into our gardens; the trickling of gently running water or the gushing of fast flowing waterfalls; the rustling of leaves in the trees or grasses in the borders dancing to the breeze; but one of the most uplifting sounds we can generate in our gardens is that of life itself.  Birds chirping, bees and other flying insects buzzing, creatures rustling around in the undergrowth – these are the sounds of a vibrant and bio diverse garden and plants play a key role in attracting the animals and insects that add to that valuable ecosystem.

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Garden Design for Real People - Blue Daisy's top 11 things to accommodate in your new garden design

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RealPeopleGardenDesignWe’re slap bang in the middle of garden and flower show season and if you’re anything like us you’ve been glued to the TV – if not planning or managing to visit every show in the country in person – watching Monty and co bring Malvern, Chelsea and the rest a tad closer to home.

Being garden designers we love looking at show gardens; there’s always something new and exciting to see in the wide variety of plots ranging from the mouth gapingly gorgeous to the bizarrely bonkers gardens on show. We have to admit though that being garden designers for real people, we do often seem to find ourselves forever standing in front of beautiful show garden creations asking ‘where would you hang your washing’ or ‘where would we put the bins’ if that was our garden?

Let’s face it, ‘real’ life tends to have its logistical challenges and your garden is no different to the rest of your home when it comes to having to find ways of accommodating those everyday needs.  In order that you don’t end up with entirely impractical garden space we thought it’d be worth highlighting some of those real life everyday garden challenges that is worth thinking about when considering a garden design...

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7 Key Tools for DIY Garden Design

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diy-garden-design-tools-2015It’s National Gardening week this week and it’s also slap bang in the middle of DIY season, so we thought we’d combine the two and showcase 7 (-ish!) key tools you’ll need to be able to do a spot of DIY garden design

These tools are all about doing. There will be many reasons why you want a change in your garden; the things to consider and think about; resources for inspiration, and much more but we’re assuming that you’ve done all of that thinking prior to starting this DIY garden design project and now just want to get stuck in! And these tools will certainly help you on your way.

So, in no particular order...

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Garden Design Quick Tip - Repetition through Form

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repetition-formRepetition is one of those key elements of garden design that helps achieve that goal of unity in a garden.  Whilst unity is the harmonisation of the whole, repetition is a part of unity, and there are many ways of using repetition in a garden design. A while back we briefly looked at using repeat planting in a way that ‘steadies’ the planting plan and helps each area relate to another by adding harmony to the borders.  In that example we were repeating specific plants but this time around we wanted to widen the scope and application of repetition to include form too. 

In garden design, ‘form’ generally refers to the visible shape or configuration of something and often it is the plants that non-garden designers tend to think about in terms of form – tall plants, wide plants, bushy but compact plants, etc.  While plants are a major tool in achieving repetition when you widen the scope to include other elements in the garden too, that is when you can really start to see the possibilities for repetition; and consequently for better unity in your garden design too. 

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