From the Blog

Our latest musings and thoughts



December 6, 2018

We are losing soil at a completely unsustainable rate.  According to The Soil Association ‘the equivalent of 30 football pitches of fertile soil every minute’ and yet it takes over 500 years to form 1 inch of top soil. 

7 Favourite Plants for Drought AND What is ‘Chop & Drop’?

7 Favourite Plants for Drought AND What is ‘Chop & Drop’?

July 27, 2018

It’s been an interesting summer so far to say the least.  One which will be remembered for its heat and lack of rain.  It has felt like August since June, except hotter.  Here, we are scratching our heads wondering if its a blip or a sign of the times. 

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Garden – RHS Chatsworth 2018

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Garden – RHS Chatsworth 2018

June 6, 2018

Congratulations to both Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the Experian volunteer team who did a great job building the stand for RHS Chatsworth flower show. 

Designing Resilient Gardens

Designing Resilient Gardens

May 8, 2018

So what exactly does the future hold? Along with a likely frost-free Britain, climate change is forecast to generate greater variables in the weather; more storms, more rainwater, and then longer hot dry spells; so resilient plants will become imperative. We will have a longer growing season and therefore can utilise plants from arid countries

Why Wild Gardens for Children?

Why Wild Gardens for Children?

March 13, 2018

In the good old days, children played outdoors for hours, only coming home when they were hungry – isn’t that the story? Well it’s not quite how I remember it but apparently now, the majority of children today spend less than 60 mins outside a day, which is less than prison inmates.

My Irish Road Trip & Thoughts on Plastic

My Irish Road Trip & Thoughts on Plastic

February 13, 2018

We spent our sunset walk picking up plastic bottles, lids, toothbrushes, toys and straws, some of it was broken and unidentifiable. It was food for thought. This coincided with another big push in the media about the single use plastic issue and ocean pollution. They say every bit of plastic that was ever made still exists – somewhere. The irony of gardeners, nature lovers, producing a material which is not digestible by the earth makes me ponder the plastic plant pot issue which plagues the industry.


As a trade stand exhibitor at the RHS shows I have worked with Renee on my planting requirements for a couple of shows to bring my stand to life. The pressure of doing the planting at a Royal Horticultural Flower Show is best left to the experts!

Renee listened to my needs and reflected my inspiration in her choice of plants, she delivered on trend planting that was much admired by visitors to the show and I was delighted with. I would definitely work with Renee again.

Emma Britton, Decorative Glass Designer
L. Acharya, Wirksworth

Renee absolutely transformed our garden from a paved over patch of cement to a beautiful and tranquil space for all to enjoy in the Puzzle Gardens area of Wirksworth. I am looking forward to working with her again this year as the plants grow bigger we continue to add new elements to the space. Renee has a unique creative talent and is professional and responsive in her work.

L. Acharya, Wirksworth

Renee’s enthusiasm, professionalism and creative eye was already well known to the Trust so when the opportunity came up to develop a garden for RHS Chatsworth we knew who to collaborate with.

Renee’s powerful and flexible design illustrated the charities Living Landscape strategy in the form of a contemporary, garden space; winning 3 RHS Gold Stars as a result.

Jack Roper, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

We are tackling a fairly large project and Renee has allowed us to turn our vision into reality with inspiration, advice and knowledge from the very start.

She has grasped the essence of our brief so quickly and worked with both the period of our property and the local area to design our outdoor space balancing form, function and play.

She designs in an effortless style, very natural but also sophisticated and has a wide network of craftsmen that can incorporate wonderful details into the scheme.

I look forward to and thoroughly enjoy each of our meetings when I feel ideas get flowing and can’t wait for the next stage of design and planting to start.

The garden looks transformed already and we’ve only just started the project.

I would recommend Renee highly if you love gardens but are unsure on how to turn yours from dream to reality.

S. Cooper. Derby

We asked Renee to design our front garden – she did an amazing job of understanding and interpreting our vague requirements! She brought in elements we hadn’t considered (like pollution resistant plants because of the proximity to the road) and enhanced our own ideas. She used local craftspeople and supplies as we requested, and created a beautiful space in a tiny area that gives us delight every time we come in and out of the house. I can’t wait to see what she suggests for our back garden next year!

C Brown, Wirksworth

You helped me in exactly the way I needed. You’ve given me the confidence and motivation to start doing some specific plant removal. With your advice in my mind I resisted pruning today but look forward to some warmer days to start shaping the garden more. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for the boost to get going.
It’s great to have the list of plants you identified (and much easier for me to quickly reference a book with the name to secure an image to re-identify the plant if I forget!) and I really appreciate the follow-up email with your findings. I like the sound of some of the additional planting ideas and the tips on planting my herb garden will be really useful.

Consultation client, Curbar