Every year I undertake some training in subjects that I reckon will inspire me with new ideas that I can use in my garden design business. So far this year I’ve been on a hedge laying course which equipped me to tackle a challenging river bank restoration project on the Thames in Ewen.
Now I’m just starting a planting design training course which aims to teach me more about herbaceous perennials, plants which live for many years but which die back in the autumn, to re-emerge in spring. This course is about understanding the ecology of plants, how they fit into their natural environment, their cultivation and what that means for their design performance.
The course tutor is Dr Noel Kingsbury and already I’ve learnt to understand more about perennials by the way he has encouraged real, hard observation of plants at ground level, and even below ground too. So far we’ve looked at the fundamentals of plant life: perennial lifecycles, longevity and reproduction. I’m really enjoying it and am looking forward to my next assignment which is Designing Gardens Using Perennials.
The photograph shows one of my herbaceous perennial planting plans at its best during late spring early summer.