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Monday April 19 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

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

Garden Design Quick Tip - Colour - The Benefits of Blue

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echinops ritro veitch's blueDid you know that blue is a fantastic colour to use in the garden because it's so versatile? It has a recessive quality to it which some people may find ambiguous but it is that exact quality that makes it such a useful colour to use in a garden design.  Simply by receding, it can be used to blend other colours together in planting; or to create an illusion of depth be that in planting or within the landscaping materials; it also has an ability to pick up the mood of its neighbouring plants too.

Blue can add depth and space to a garden so it’s a great colour to use at the back of a border to make it seem like the vista is extending even further.  There are so many different hues and tones of colours but pale blue for example, can add lightness through intense saturated hues – think of cornflowers on a hot-summers day!  

It also works really well in shady areas as it picks up the light and this colour is well known for creating calm, restful and contemplative spaces.  So with that in mind it’s really important to use the right colour in your garden to obtain the right feel and ambience that you are trying to create.

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Garden Design Quick Tip - Design for Structure

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structure1I thought I’d take a slightly different angle than my usual garden design topic and actually look at the garden design process itself in terms of structure since above all else having your garden designed adds structure to your project.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) the word structure has many meanings and all of them are valid in relation to garden design.

Firstly, structure is ‘the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex’.  Make no mistake, your garden design is a complex undertaking requiring skills across a number of disciplines – even the ‘simplest’ looking garden design requires the designer to wear many hats ranging from land surveyer to plantsman; creative to structural engineer; sociologist to psychologist (yes, really!); soil scientist to environmentalist, visionary to pragmatist,  and more;  and sure, we can all have a go ourselves but we each have to weigh up the cost of hiring a professional garden designer against whether or not our own skills can produce results as well, or as efficiently, or as knowledgably, or as thoroughly, or as creatively, etc.  In the vast majority of cases the investment is well rewarded. 

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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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