Articles



Taste and Themes at Chelsea by Daniel Bristow

May 5, 2016

Quite a few of us have ideas about themes and taste at Chelsea (see ‘Do themes help?). But we rarely hear a critical comment from a designer who is actually showing a garden at Chelsea. It takes bottle. Here is Daniel Bristow, (“Propagating Dan”)with his first garden at Chelsea this year, speaking out for thinkingardens. […]

Garden allusions, by Noel Kingsbury, Anne Wareham, and Yue Zhuang

April 6, 2016

This piece, originally posted as ‘Allusion in Gardens’ arose out of a discussion about my use of an informal box parterre at Veddw. The intention is to allude to the local field boundaries indicated on the Tithe Map of the area in 1848, creating a link with the surrounding landscape. Definition of ‘allusion’. The discussion […]



You may do unexpected things – a book review by James Golden

March 24, 2016

This looks like an unusually exciting book. (It’s on order..) I’m begining to wonder if America has all the best gardens now? Anne Wareham, editor A review of The Art of Gardening:  Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer by R. William Thomas and the Chanticleer gardeners “The entrance to the Chanticleer garden, in […]

The Importance of Labels by Rachel The Gardener

March 10, 2016

I won’t generally label plants at Veddw, not just because of the excessive work and the inevitability of mislabelling, but because for me it destroys the aesthetic of a garden. A bit like labelling all the colours on The Fighting Temeraire, maybe. It was interesting to me that searching through Charles Hawes’ extensive catalogue of […]



A slug by any other name by Nick Turrell

January 21, 2016

Well, here’s controversial. It’s well worn debate, but it seems it won’t go away. Should we adopt (and create) common names for plants to save our blushes over the difficulties of using Latin names? What do you think? I believe you predominantly use common names in America already? I guess you have to invent a lot of […]

Colour! by Nigel Dunnett.

December 22, 2015

Ever since the Popes (remember them? Hadspen?) foretold in 1999 that colour would be the big thing in the new century, colour has been perhaps the least considered aspect of garden design among thinkingardeners and their ilk. Though I confess that, unrepentant, it has probably actually been one of my prime considerations in beds and borders. […]



How do you like your edges? by Thomas Stone

October 22, 2015

I have a permanent argument with at least one good friend about edging. I like to see plants creating their own edge, merging happily with the grass and no bare soil in sight. She likes that carefully edged edge. As does Thomas. And you? Anne Wareham, editor           Thomas Stone: It’s […]

Messing about in Boats by Cherie Lebbon

September 23, 2015

“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows   Here’s someone who has responded to that challenge. And contemplated the gardens on the way… Anne Wareham, editor   Cherie Lebbon: I have […]



Peer review by Bunny Guinness

September 2, 2015

Bunny Guinness recently wrote this piece for the Telegraph and it was published in the newspaper. It has not yet appeared online though, so I asked (and received) her permission to use it here. Many thinkingardens readers will already be familiar with this topic and the arguments, but I thought it worth putting in front […]

The Monster Outside by Valerie Lapthorne

August 20, 2015

I know this feeling very well, and I think we will not be on our own. Mind you – there are easier ways to garden than this! Anne Wareham, editor             The Monster Outside, by Valerie Lapthorne It sits there all powerful, knowing that I am trapped, knowing that there […]



Do we need Garden Experts? by Anne Wareham

July 20, 2015

I know – you waited all this time for a new piece and now it’s just me. Still: is it time we changed our perspective on ‘Garden Experts’? What do you think? Anne Wareham, editor     Anne Wareham: This winter, Graham Rice , a garden expert if ever I met one,  put up a post on […]

I’m not renewing my RHS Membership by Julieanne Porter

June 3, 2015

Having just been exposed to the expensive bonanza which is Chelsea, it seemed appropriate to look at the issue of garden costs again. This time the issue is the cost of RHS membership. This is a little close to my heart because the Veddw used to be a Partnership Garden. Until we realised that we simply […]



Well loved – or totally forgotten? Russell Page Exhibition reviewed by Francois Gordon

May 14, 2015

Russell Page is being honoured at present by the Garden Museum in London. To publicise the exhibition, Christopher Woodward, the director of the Museum, wrote a piece for the Telegraph  headed ‘The most famous garden designer no-one has ever heard of’.’ This struck me as totally untrue, because if you ever mention the book ‘Education of a […]

The Cost of a Garden by Tristan Gregory

May 6, 2015

I have to report, with mixed feelings, that the demands of happy domestic life have taken over one of our best and most prolific contributors. How could I not be happy for Tristan? Or sorry for us? So this may be one of fewer Tristan Gregory contributions. One thing is for sure: a happy domestic […]