Articles



Getting youngsters into horticulture: why bother? by Rachel the Gardener

October 19, 2017

Our regular readers will observe that we have a new advert in the sidebar. I had practically given up on adverts as worthless clutter, apart from our trademark and faithful Everedge. But this is good stuff by another reputable company. If you want to learn how to plant like Piet Oudolf and be taught how […]

Bring Me Stories, Bring Me Songs, by Caleb Melchior

August 23, 2017

This is effectively the third post about Conceptual gardens. Or at least, about concepts and gardens. Does it take us forward? Anne Wareham, editor          Bring Me Stories, Bring Me Songs: Growing a Richer Garden Ethic by Caleb Melchior. I come from a family comfortable with teetering back and forth on the […]



The Problems with Conceptual Gardens by Charlie Bloom

August 3, 2017

I believe that Jay Sifford’s interesting piece about garden design suffered because I accepted his use of the word ‘Conceptual’ in the title. Some people got little further, due to the feelings they have about Conceptual Gardens as understood in the UK. The term has come to be quite specific, as Tim Richardson discusses here. […]

Designing a Conceptual Garden by Jay Sifford

July 13, 2017

I’ve never been quite sure what a conceptual garden is. Victoria Summerley made a brave attempt at defining it, as “a garden that seeks to portray an idea, rather than provide a landscape design solution.”  And very recently, on the back of Hampton Court ‘Flower’ Show the idea became controversial.  Renamed strangely as a ‘statement […]



A Chelsea garden in Monmouthshire reviewed by Patterson Webster and Anne Wareham

June 22, 2017

I recently had a very welcome visitor – Pat Webster of Site and Insight and garden maker of Glen Villa. Arne Maynard’s garden, Allt-y-bela is only half an hour away from Veddw, in Monmouthshire, and is basically only open to Bed and Breakfast guests (or people attending events) so Pat booked in for B&B and obtained […]

What style? by Kate Cox

May 11, 2017

If you’re a garden designer, do you design gardens based on what you love? On what originally inspired you to become a designer? On your own garden? On major public gardens? Or what the client wants? I hope Kate won’t mind me saying that she struggled with this piece, developing her thinking as she went […]



Posh Day Out for Katherine Crouch

April 13, 2017

Although this took place quite some time ago, it seems to me that many thinkingardens readers will find interest in what goes on at this prestigious annual event. And others will simply find it very entertaining. With thanks to our willing victim, Katherine Crouch. Images courtesy of Society of Garden Designers. Anne Wareham, editor   […]

The Ultimate Visitor Experience by Janna Schreier

March 15, 2017

This is the question that a great many of us would like to make sense of, and here is someone actually seriously researching it for us – with your assistance, I hope.  It would be great if you would answer the survey and help add to our understanding of our experience of gardens. Anne Wareham, […]



A Matter of Words by Patterson Webster

February 9, 2017

This is an important topic to me. I love words and I love to find words in a garden, as long as it’s not about a garden being a lovesome thing, or something about being nearer God’s heart. So let’s find good ones in gardens more often? Patterson Webster is a visual artist whose amazing garden, […]

Can a walk be a garden? The High Line revisited by Bridget Rosewell.

January 25, 2017

We’re back, troublesome as ever. Has anyone else bar Bridget found the High Line less than perfect? Count on thinkingardens for a different view… Anne Wareham, editor           Bridget Rosewell: What is it about the High Line in New York which generates such plaudits?  I visited it in the summer of […]



‘There is a place for jokes, and a place for not-jokes’ – Ambra Edwards meets Ian Hamilton Finlay

December 1, 2016

This is the first of a series of repeated and rejuvenated early articles from thinkingardens. I’ve been aware for some time that there are excellent pieces on here which many people don’t find. (though there is an index on site) And that if they did, they’d find some of them rather less presentable than I’d like, […]

Designers Damned by Lou Nicholls

November 3, 2016

I know that garden designers, gardeners and garden makers read and contribute to thinkingardens, so here’s a cat to set amongst you pigeons. Does it hit a spot? Or is it totally unreal? Feel free to comment, or even to offer a piece countering the case made here. Anne Wareham, editor         What […]



The Lesson of Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden

September 29, 2016

Troy Scott-Smith  suggested that Andrea Russo and Paola Avesani would be good people to review Beth Chatto’s latest book Drought Resistant Planting. It turned out that language problems were going to make that difficult, so instead they wrote a piece for thinkingardens about their interest in learning from Beth Chatto’s garden. Anne Wareham, editor       […]

Robin’s Big Statement by Paul Morgan

September 1, 2016

In the spring I visited a garden. It doesn’t matter which or where. It was perfectly adequate as a garden apart from having no seats. But it left me cold. And I realised that that is the thing which probably always comes first – the emotional response. Judgement follows. As Paul Morgan now explains. Anne Wareham, […]