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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.
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February 9, 2017 | Greening the grey with High Line

Every twenty years or so landscape design puts something truly revolutionary into the public domain.    For instance  The Landschaftspark  in Duisburg-Meiderich, Germany, designed in 1991 by Latz + Partners.  Set in an abandoned  coal and steel production plant, the concept  for this site was to embrace the industrial past and preserve as much of [...]

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October 2, 2016 | A visit to Bury Court to see planting by Oudolf and Bradley Hole

I can never make my mind up whether it is best to thoroughly research a garden before visiting first-time round, clued up and laden with information.  A good tactic but equally so is a full dive in without the background history.  This  can give a more sincere response to site, planting and atmosphere.

Over the years [...]

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January 13, 2015 | O is for Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is the maestro of perennial planting.    Aged 71 but he is still working – both designing and teaching.  He continues to innovate and  bring in change – there is nothing static about his plant palette.  The photo below is his garden.  The fantastic white spires are of   Actaea Queen of Sheba.

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September 22, 2014 | In the glistering light of September

Plants that would appear flat and bleached out in bright sun come forward and shine or have a luminous quality in soft autumn light.  First Sporobolus heterolepsis  - this grass turns up  over and over again in planting plans by Oudolf in Noel Kingsbury’s book  ”Planting – a New Perspective”  At last I had it [...]

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July 31, 2014 | Shimmering border at Pensthorpe

Or Oudolf does it again.  Digitalis ferruginea and echinacea.  There was a time, way back in the blurred mist of yesteryear, when the flower borders were losing it for colour and interest  by now.   These two will go on and on.  A brilliant co-planting. 

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July 10, 2014 | So what is this garden coaching malarkey?

Well, one big part of my  garden coaching  is designing gardens.  However a quantum shift has come over me and in the collaborative process, I am keen to get my customers to do the job themselves.  With guidance.   So here are two pictures of a new garden we are working on with views in [...]

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September 22, 2013 | Roses move over: time for the New Planting

Most gardening books  make me yawn.  Soft focus, flowery pictures spinning fantasy – the veritable stuff to clutter a coffee table.    “Planting: A New Perspective”  by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury is off the Richter scale of such publications.  It is a serious, wordy read.

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October 25, 2010 | Border patrol: What looks good in the dog days

Once upon a time in the  garden in winter,  borders were put to bed, plants neatly clipped back to ground level and there was loads of bare shiney turned-over earth.  A shrub or two, carefully chosen for seasonal merit, would break up the lovely monotony of the tilled soil.  Nothing wrong with this at all [...]

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