Tempest in a Flower Pot: The New Perennial Debate

It’s that special time when newspaper columnists and writers like to stir the pot with predictions of ‘What’s Hot & What’s Not’ for the coming year.

While they compile such trend lists for the world of gardening, I rarely pay attention because making a garden is really more of a long-term affair.

Coming into 2017 though, I’ve noticed a definite trend in the ether: A few garden writers have surprisingly declared that the New Perennial trend of naturalistic gardening along with its trademark use of ornamental grasses, is on its way out.

Are they right? Or are they wrong? Continue reading

The New Perennialism: Open Source Planting Design

This is a movement which belongs to no one.

In truth, because the New Perennial movement can belong to anyone and everyone.

First and foremost, it’s about seeing plants in all their four-dimensional splendour and experiencing the slow-motion fireworks, which ensue as they flow and interact.

You don’t need a garden to do that. Just the pupils in your eyes. Continue reading

Spring Theories: Ghost Deer in the Garden of the Mind

It’s now full-on spring in the sheltered woodland of my northern un-cottage garden.

The crabapple tree is weeping shell-pink blossoms as the red lady ferns unfurl from beneath its dappled shadow. Spiky filaments of Camassia and Allium light up the sunnier beds in a wandering halo of purple and blue.

If spring is about new life, it’s also about unearthing fresh ideas. With that in mind, here are my ‘spring theories’ – designed to either stir the imagination or stir the pot, as you will.

Continue reading