'Blimey, you've accomplished in 36 hours what we've failed to accomplish in 17 years.'
Nobody ever created an interesting garden by being timid. In fact, in our opinion, nobody ever created anything of interest by being timid. Being bold - massive swathes of the same plant, rows, avenues, stilted hedges, planting trees that get 'too big' and plants in the 'wrong' place - requires, we admit, a degree of recklessness, courage and confidence. If you feel you may be positively predisposed to such a concept, we can help. Our job is to encourage people to do interesting things with their gardens. If you feel you may be teetering on the edge of doing something interesting, please allow us to at least talk to you about giving you a shove over the edge.
Bold, full, green and beautiful. Sculptural, architectural plants.
A simple avenue of Box balls. Sometimes, less is more.
Clipped Phillyrea latifolia underplanted with Pieris.
The creation of wonderful places using plants is threaded through everything we do. It's in the choice of plants we grow, the way we present them on the nursery, the advice we dispense and the ideas we propose every day. Architectural Plants is about shape - an obsession with the sculptural qualities of plants, where strong, eye-catching outlines, delicious textures and combined shades of green rule. Much air is consumed on the subject of garden design and the implication is clear: all you need for a great garden is a great design - one based on bold ideas, sound principles and a high degree of coherence. We can design a garden for you that observes all of these vital principles.
Hand in hand with this sculptural/textural/verdant thing must come the question - "Yes, but how do I bring it about?" Put at its very simplest, take Kenneth Williams' advice - "Be bold!". In our opinion, there is no other way.
There are a number of fundamentals that we use as guides when helping people design their gardens (e.g. big plants at the back, small plants at the front) but none come as high up the list as 'Be Bold and Avoid Being Timid' - avoid it like the plague.
We can collaborate with hard landscapers so you get the perfect combination of function and green.
No job too small. Sometimes a well-placed Trachycarpus wagnerianus is all you need to give your garden that special edge.
But there's also no job too big. This is the team planting the garden around a tree house at a property in Peterborough.
Before going any further, here's a good opportunity to emphasise the nature of the kind of gardens we do. In terms of size, we can design anything from courtyards and city roof terraces, to country homes and estate gardens; no job is too big or small. It could be formal or it could be exotic, but within that spectrum the emphasis will always be on the sculptural: strong, eye-catching shapes, beautiful textures and bold use of plants. It's all to do with shape, shade, texture and definition - it's not just about colour. For instance, trying to have an engaging conversation with our founder, Angus, about colourful herbaceous borders could be an unrewarding experience; however, get him on avenues, pleached hedges, groves, outrageous topiary and serious jungles and things could get interesting. In short, we only use our plants, so if you like the nursery, you'll like your garden.
We rarely use drawings. The process is organic and customer-centred, with a hands on approach that ensures you're a part of the journey from start to finish. Below is an outline of the design process.
1. You discuss your ideas with one of the sales team
2. Our Design Manager, Debbie, will put you in touch with one of the designers
3. They will visit you for a modest fee, based on their time - including travel
4. A proposal follows, including a summary of your meeting, plant suggestions and the total cost of the plants, planting and irrigation (where applicable)
5. If you agree, a planting date is set, the plants are selected and you're invoiced (just for the plants at this stage)
6. The designer and planting team will arrive on the specified day and the plants will be positioned - a bit like designing on the ground, instead of on a piece of paper
7. Once you're happy with the arrangement, the beds will be reshaped where necessary and the planting will begin
8. Once planted, an irrigation system is installed (this is optional, but we always recommend it), new edges are cut, mulch is applied and everything is left looking lovely
9. You're invoiced for the planting, irrigation system, mulch, etc., and left in peace to enjoy your garden
10. We remind you that it doesn't necessarily end there: creative maintenance, advice and horticultural expansion are all right up our street
Of course, we're always happy to have a conversation with you at the nursery in the first instance, if you'd prefer. Please phone us ahead of your visit to make an appointment and, if possible, bring any plans you have available and photos of your garden that include the following views: