Fire Pits – Why your Garden wants one this Winter

fire pitsAre you looking out your window, wishing you could enjoy your garden in the colder months? Have you heard of fire pits, they might just be the answer.  In America, they are the no 1 design feature according to the American Society of Landscape Architects.  Here are some tips on using them:

  1. Consider whether it is going to be a permanent feature or something you want to move around
  2. Gas or Wood burning?
  3. Check that the area around your fire pit is free from foliage and branches.  You only want the contents of the fire pit to burn!
  4. Be sure to put the screen on your fire bowl or pits once the fire has burned down
  5. It should go without saying, but we will say it anyway, never leave your fire pit unattended
  6. Don’t try and accelerate the fire with lighter fluid or gasoline
  7. Metal gets hot! So allow to cool before moving the pit or removing the screen

If you are looking for your perfect fire pit, check out these on Houzz.

Things to do in your Garden in November

what to do in your garden in NovemberIf your garden is anything like our clients then at this time of year, you are under a pile of leaves.  Get out there and clear them away and whilst you are there, you can do the following other things in November:

  • Prepare for Spring – plant daffodil and tulip bulbs
  • Add colour for winter – plant heathers, trailing ivy and grasses in brightly coloured pots
  • Give your gardening tools a good old clean
  • Build a new compost heap
  • Prune decidous trees and bushes
  • Care for nature – top up bird feeders and check the base of bonfires as hedgehogs might be sheltering there

More helpful advice can be found on the RHS site including a video about Winter Protection

Join the Pumpkin Rescue this Hallowe’en

Did you know that 18,000 pumpkins are destined for landfill in the UK every year?  Help us with the Pumpkin Rescue festival.

Hubbub have rolled out #PumpkinRescue to save North London’s pumpkins from a fate worse than being dumped this Hallowe’en.  They need your help to spread the word about the celebration of the gorgeous gourd.  You can find out what is going on in your area here.   Choose from Pumpkin Feasting, Cookery Workshops, Community Gardens & Composting or Compost Heap Directory.

Give your pumpkin a life after Hallowe’en!


Hidden Gardens of London: Duncan Terrace Gardens

Spontaneous City in the Tree of HeavenWelcome to a new series of articles which we shall be writing about gardens we’ve come across on our travels around London.  This first article is about Duncan Terrace Gardens.

Tucked away behind Upper Street and City Road is Duncan Terrace Gardens, named after Admiral Duncan.  First opened in 1893, the gardens form an important link in the New River Walk series of green spaces.

The gardens have been somewhat transformed since their first opening in the late 19th Century and were further developed in 2007.

One of the main draws of the garden is “The Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven” which is a collection of 300 bird boxes inspired by the surrounding architecture of the Georgian houses and 1960s flats!

We also love the winding paths, seating and pops of colour in the mix of trees, plants and shrubs.

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10 garden jobs for October

october gardening jobsAs the manic Summer transitions into a more relaxing Autumn for us garden designers and landscapers, we can take a breather.

We can now take a look at our own garden and shall be following the RHS Monthly Gardening tips.

Amongst the RHS top ten garden jobs for October are pruning and clearing up leaves.  Our favourite though is harvesting apples and turning these into apple crumbles and chutney.

What is your favourite October gardening job?

Shortlisted for APL Garden of the Year

We are very excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for garden of the year by the APL (Association of Professional Landscapers). 

You can see our shortlisted garden of the year over on Houzz, which we have now renamed as “Hackney – Shortlisted Garden of the Year (APL)“. You can check out the transformation from a tired old space into a stylish oasis with Sawn Sandstone, wide steps with matching brick work leading up to a Balau hardwood with added lush planting. We finished it off by adding spotlights to the deck and a Rattan sofa to enjoy the peace and quiet of this tranquil space.

Winners are announced at the APL awards in November.  In the meantime, you can follow all the entrants’ adventures on Twitter @The_APL using the hashtag 

Hackney Before and After_01

The Flower Boat

You may  have read our other blogs about unusual planters – wellington boots and phone boxes.  We continue the theme and this time show you one with a more nautical theme – the flower boat!

flower boat boat with flowers

These photos were taken in the seaside port of Olbia, Sardinia.

If you have any photos of unusual objects being used as planters, we would love to see them.

We hope to include some inspirational ideas in our next landscaping projects around North London.


A little bit of Sardinian luxury

IMG_7539One of the Lloyd’s Gardens ladies keeps showing us pictures of her Sardinian holiday.  We were particularly taken by these stunning images of creeping bougainvillea against the white walls of a luxury hotel.

Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu is one of the world’s small luxury hotels.  It was designed to resemble a typical Sardinian village.  The attractive arches covered with the beautiful pink bougainvillea throughout that make the property look as though it is hewn out of the rugged coastal rocks.

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Bougainvillea in Sardinia is used to great effect.  Another flower that seems to take over Sardinia is Oleander, just take a look at our other post – Oh Oh Oleander where it is grown as giant roadside bushes.



Oh Oh Oleander

Oleander dots the landscapes in Sardinia with their lush bright blooms.  Just take a look at their beautiful red, pink and white flowers.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our avenues and gardens lined with these instead of privet hedges?

beautiful bougainvillea plant in sardinia tropical bougainvillea

If you want to have a go at lining your long driveway, like they did in Sardinia then take a look at these tips on how to grow Oleander.



Flower beds in Muswell Hill

Muswell Hill landscaperIf you take a walk along Colney Hatch Lane, you might see some grass verges looked after by the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association (MHFGA).   At the time when this photo was taken, the spring daffodils and crocuses were coming out but we will be checking back throug out the year to see the different plants coming into their own.

The MHFGA concern themselves will all aspects of the local environment and quality of life in the Muswell Hill, Fortis Green and Alexandra wards of North London.

They have taken a lead in ensuring the green spaces around Muswell Hill and Fortis Green are renovated and maintained.  For other examples of their other projects, please visit their website here.

They are always looking for new members, so do consider joining up.

Colney Hatch Lane