Dahlias - Invaluable Colour from June till the first frost!

Feb 13, 2018 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

Dahlias have a wonderful range of colours and shapes for you to choose from and are very free flowering, often bringing colour to your garden from June till the first frosts. They are tuberous rooted perennials, and a good time to order the tubers is now, from February-April, planting them...

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Beautiful Contemporary Water Features!

Dec 4, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

A Koi Carp pond with a difference! This contemporary water feature is set in a very long, narrow garden, where in order to widen the feel of the garden, I based the whole design on a 45% angle off the house.  The terrace leading out of the house is on...

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Landscapes in Art

Oct 19, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - How To... , Gardeners Choice

A weekend walk to take in the beauty of the landscaped gardens at Blenheim Palace led me to a surprise hidden gem, The Oxfordshire Museum, which is situated in the heart of Woodstock. After an hour of drinking in the stunning, natural beauty created by Capability Brown at Blenheim Palace,...

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Landscape Design - Stunningly Beautiful Prairie Gardens

Oct 6, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

This 8 acre garden is like a huge Impressionist painting that invites you to walk in and around it.  In fact Home and Garden Magazine described the Sussex Prairie Gardens as “A living tableau of plants – a vast, moving sea of densely planted perennials and grasses on a scale...

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Summer in the Oxford Botanical Gardens!

Aug 1, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

Last month, 396 years ago, the Oxford Botanical Gardens was founded ‘To promote the furtherance of learning and to glorify nature’. It is the oldest Botanic Garden in Britain and it is still fulfilling the mission it set out to do nearly 400 years ago. The setting of the landscape...

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Rousham Garden designed by the Father of the English Art of Landscape Design

Jun 13, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

William Kent (1685-1748) was an artist, with his work encompassing painting, interiors, landscapes, architecture, furniture and book illustrations. He is however best remembered as the ‘father’ of English Landscape Design and without him there might arguably never have been Lancelot ‘Capablility’ Brown. Whilst he was clearly influenced by the ‘Grand...

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The Beauty of Blenheim

May 3, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

We were bathed in sunshine over the weekend and I took the opportunity to visit Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, a beautiful palace set in many acres of parkland, redesigned by Capability Brown between 1763 - 1774.  How did he get the name Capability? Apparently on viewing a prospective client’s estate...

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Spring has Sprung at the NGS Garden Open Day at Trinity College, Oxford!

Mar 31, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

As I have just been honoured to have my own garden accepted by the NGS to be open to the public in May, I searched through which of their gardens to visit on Mother’s Day with my son, and came up with Trinity College in Oxford. The college itself is...

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Water Features that Transform the Garden – Whatever the Size

Feb 14, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

Nature by Design! Man has always sought to tame nature and this beautiful small lake that we created in Old Boar’s Hill, just outside Oxford, is a stunning example how, by mimicking nature, you can create the best of both worlds. Designed Nature. Part of the beauty of water is...

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Inspirational Companies Exhibiting at The Surface Design Show

Feb 10, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

This year’s Surface Design Show at the Business Design Centre had some wonderful exhibitors. To view the whole list and see for yourself the SDAwards go to www.surfacedesignshow.com . This blog is about the ones that stood out for me, and the stand of Sterling Studios with their exquisite Eglomise...

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A Japanese Oasis in the heart of London

Feb 3, 2017 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice

The Kyoto Garden is a stunningly beautiful sanctuary in the heart of London’s Holland Park. What with the sound of running water, the stately peacocks and other birds, and the giant Koi Carp swimming in the pond, the Kyoto Garden really does achieve a Zen like harmony in the centre...

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Small and Beautiful Town Garden

Nov 21, 2016 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

‘Who needs to go to Giverny?’ That was the comment one visitor made when she first laid eyes on this small and evocative town garden situated in Old Headington, Oxford.  The garden is constantly on view from the house, so it was really important to create an ever changing picture...

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It’s Autumn and Time to Start Planting!

Sep 21, 2016 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - How To... , Gardeners Choice

Whilst shrubs and trees form the backbone of a good planting design, it’s the perennials that bring that ‘country garden’ feel to your borders.  Perennials add glorious splashes of colour to your borders at different times of the year and because they die down in the winter, it is possible...

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Inspirational Before and After Gardens

Aug 3, 2015 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - How To... , Gardeners Choice

Personally I love a blank canvas!  And although some of these before photos look anything but blank, being choked full of weeds and overgrown shrubbery, they are the perfect starting point to let your imagination go.  Your only restraints are the boundaries, the overall setting and the house itself.  When...

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A Quiet Garden in the City

Apr 20, 2015 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - How To... , Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

Gardens evoke thoughts of tranquil, green oases – places to relax in and unwind after a hard day’s work. But if you live in the city centre you are probably surrounded by constant noise and then some of that noise will intrude into your relaxation. I have recently had a...

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Creating an Oasis in the Centre of Oxford

Nov 3, 2014 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - How To... , Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees, but in this case I nearly couldn’t see the trees for the weeds! This small back garden in the centre of Oxford had been neglected for several years by previous owners, and then had to wait its turn till the house...

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Five Rhododendron AGM Winners

Aug 14, 2014 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

In Joyce's 'Ulysses', Rhododendrons play a significant role in the early courtship of Leopold and Molly, and amongst the Zomi tribes of India, they are used poetically to signify a lady. They are the state flower of Washington and West Virginia, as well as of several states in India and...

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Grow your own herbs

Jun 4, 2014 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

Many of the herbs grown in the UK originally come from the Mediterranean and so are happiest in a sunny spot. However I've found most herbs do fine in what's termed semi-shade, where there's about 4 hours sunlight per day, and some more vigorous growers, such as chervil, coriander and...

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Can you help the bees?

Apr 15, 2014 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

Bees need pollen and nectar for food and we need bees to survive to pollinate the crops that provide our food.  If you have a garden or any outdoor space why not plant a tempting menu for bumblebees? Why bumblebees in particular?  Different bees have varying characteristics and the bumblebee...

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Sow your seeds today and reap the rewards in the summer

Mar 11, 2014 - POSTED BY Anna Halloran - Gardeners Choice , Whats Hot

Thompson and Morgan have their own breeding programme and have introduced a stunning new variety of one of my favourite poppies, Papaver Patty’s Plum. T & M’s new variety is called Papaver Orientale Plum Pudding and it is both long flowering and strong stemmed. It has a beautiful plum colour,...

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