DTaylor Landscaping

Suffolk EADT

A fabulous article where we talk about the aspects to consider when thinking about the design and landscape of your garden.
View the full article here  Suffolk EADT 

Suffolk Norfolk Life 

A lovely piece in this publication where we can show a little bit of our Suffolk business profile 
Suffolk Norfolk Life

 

Rites of Spring

There is so much more to springtime garden planting than bulbs.
Below we offer some advice on some alternatives to bulbs to help with your garden design. Suffolk in Spring is quite beautiful  and whether your garden has been professionally landscaped or not, below are a few tips to help your garden be a little bit different.

Most bulbs look their best when planted in vast, Wordsworthian drifts.  There is nothing more charming and nostalgic than ancient Beech woodland dressed in bluebells.  In gardens, however, bluebells don’t earn their horticultural keep.  Greedy and invasive, the ephemeral charm of their nodding flowers is meagre compensation for unruly, smothering clumps of waxy foliage.  It took me years of digging deep to finally eradicate this thug from my own small, country courtyard.

Most of us live in homes with gardens on the smaller side, outdoor spaces in which we require plants to work hard.  The plants we choose need to provide seasonal interest for as long as possible.  One of the best ways to introduce Spring interest into a garden, but to ensure longevity of interest, is to plant small, spring-flowering trees and shrubs. 

The structure of small trees and shrubs is of paramount significance.  All too often, they are left to grow into ungainly, amorphous lumps.  In cases when foliage is no great shakes, structure is especially important.  Take for instance Cornus mas, the poetically-named Cornelian Cherry, whose large and drooping, dull green leaves cannot be described as enticing.  However, if carefully crown-lifted into multi-stem form, they introduce a kind of gnarled, paradoxical formality to garden layouts.  Their greatest attribute, however, appears in early Spring, when its bare stems are fairy-dusted with masses of refined yellow flowers that certainly give the blowsy daffs a run for their garage forecourt money.

For richer soils and later in the season, the timelessly elegant deciduous Magnolia is a good choice.  One of my favourite varieties is Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’, named after the eponymous plantsman and grandfather to the Earl of Snowden.  Small, and well-behaved, in mid-Spring its stems are festooned with delicate, star-shaped lilac-pink flowers that are redolent of hats worn by the Earl’s wife in the mid-late 1950s.  Like so many of the smaller Magnolias, this variety can be crown-lifted in time to create space for underplanting.  Magnolia kobus is a hardier, and larger variety with fleshier, paper-white blooms.

Moving into April, ornamental crab apples and cherries take centre stage.  I prefer the former.  Less blowsy, more refined and somehow more sympathetic to the Suffolk countryside.  For small gardens, I have been enamoured of Malus toringo ‘Brouwer’s Beauty’ for quite some time.  Not only is it the perfect size, either as single, or multi-stemmed specimen, its almost unique semi-weeping habit lends itself to creating a naturalistic feel in urban spaces.  Its lush green foliage, fragrant white flowers and small yellow fruit provide year-round interest.  Standard trees can be planted in rows along fence lines for additional, but softer screening.  In larger gardens, they can be planted in mini-avenues.  Multi-stemmed plants, positioned randomly towards the bottom of a garden create more romantic, rural atmospheres when underplanted with simple meadow mixes.

Lifting the canopies of -or crown lifting- small trees and shrubs, is popular with horticulturists and designers.  Justifiably so.  It creates the feeling of space in smaller spaces and opportunities for additional, woodland-inspired, spring planting.  Shade-tolerant ornamental grasses, such as Hakonechloa macra and Briza media can be planted in low-maintenance carpets through which to weave a whole variety of herbaceous perennials.  A timeless favourite, Myosotis sylvatica -better known as Forget-me-not takes care of itself, and forms azure haze between the grasses and taller perennials.  Aquilegias are popular, and are available in pastel and sultry shades.  Again, they self-seed.  You cannot beat Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Nivea’.  More sophisticated palates would enjoy one of the many new varieties, such as the lime-green Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Lime Sorbet’ or the rarified Aquilegia viridiflora ‘Chocolate Soldier’, which I once used in a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Its chocolate brown flowers are a curiosity.

There are so many other horticultural ways to celebrate the ubiquitous theme of nature reawakening, and hopefully, a few suggestions have been made that challenge the ascendancy of bulbs in the collective imagination. To echo the sardonic words of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada ‘Bulbs   For Spring Hardly groundbreaking!’   

A final word of advice if you still feel the urge to get your dibbers out, confine them to outsize pots, in which bulbs can be layered, contained and supplemented throughout the year with bedding. 

DTaylor Landscaping

View our show garden donated to St Elizabeth Hospice at the Suffolk Show 2019

Take a moment of reflection in this show garden designed by award winning garden designer Frederic Whyte and built by us, D Taylor Landscapes.

To mark the charity’s 30th anniversary, we decided we wanted to give something back and donate a show garden to St Elizabeth Hospice for the Suffolk Show. The garden is in memory of Penny Warburg and we invite attendees of the Suffolk show to stop and take a quiet moment of reflection. 

Talking about his inspiration for the garden, Frederic Whyte said
“We are all unique, and have our own ways of dealing with illness and bereavement. We’ve created a space that invites individuals to commemorate, celebrate or contemplate upon the lives of loved ones. We have designed the garden to be a multi-functional, fluid space, suited to both solitary and more sociable forms of commemoration, and moments of solitude. The design has been inspired by woodland glades and green amphitheatres. The garden will be built with the generous support of D Taylor Landscapes, a Suffolk based landscape contractor specialising in bespoke builds.”

On Thursday 30 May a string quartet from Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing in the garden.

At the end of the show the garden will be taken to St Elizabeth Hospice on Foxhall Road and immediately rebuilt for the hospice patients to enjoy.

St Elizabeth Hospice 

Since 1989, St Elizabeth hospice has cared for over 30,000 patients with a terminal or progressive illness, and the families of those patients. The hospice needs over £10.5 million each year to run and relies on generous donations from local people for most of this funding.

Tizy Wellesley Wesley, a highly dedicated supporter and former trustee of the hospice, who is leading the project, said
“I am extremely excited to see this garden come to life. The hospice helps so many people and it is a wonderful opportunity to allow those visiting the show a moment of reflection whilst helping to raise awareness of the incredible work that the hospice does”.

Attendees of the Suffolk Show are invited to visit the garden, enjoy its beauty and find out more about the hospice’s Great Garden Trail, which runs all summer and into the autumn with 44 open garden events across Suffolk, including 13 open village events. The Great Garden Trail sees several gardens which are not normally open to the public opening their gates to local people in support of the hospice. 

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