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Ours is an urban garden of about 1/4 of an acre. South facing, with heavy clay soil. We back on to Walsall Arboretum and have the advantage of that 'borrowed landscape'.

We have always shared a passion for gardening. We wanted to create a garden to be used by the family and to be exciting in all four seasons. In our planting scheme we enjoy bold contrast and bright colours. It has been described as 'a garden like no other!'

Since 1992 we have totally re-landscaped and re-planted our garden without outside help. We have planted all but two of the many plants in our garden. We won the battle with weeds, laid a network of yorkstone paths, built a chalet store, summer house, large wooden oriental pagoda, smaller pagoda and four water features, including a cascading 17m (55ft) stream.

We created three completely different areas in our main garden. The 'upper garden' is the largest area and has a lawn and more formal planting, including many acers. The 'middle garden' contains the jungle, pagoda and a small stream. Plants in the jungle include ferns, bananas, palms and bamboos.The 'lower garden' has woodland like features, an area for perennials and the large stream.

In planting, we especially contrast bold shapes and forms and the colours red, blue and yellow. In particular we use bright and bold evergreens as a backdrop for flowers. We find that timely pruning is the key to maintaining our garden.

In early spring, flowers include tete a tete daffodils, primulas and camellias followed by erythroniums, tulips, pansies, scilla and wisteria flowers. During May there is a stunning array of azaleas together with the new growth of acers and conifers. Other May flowers include anemone blande and muscari. Colour continues in June with foxgloves, alliums, poppies and lilies of various sorts.

In summer the acers and conifers provide the backdrop to display the riot of colour in the upper garden from flowers including pelargonium, begonias and bedding plants. The perennials in the lower garden include asters, leucanthemum, hemoracallis, crocosmia, thalictrum, helenium, agapanthus and phlox. The jungle becomes especially exciting in summer.

Autumn starts with the rich red colour of the Virginia creeper. This is quickly followed by the intense colour changes especially in the acers and azaleas. By late autumn the Japanese acer leaves have become vibrant with scarlet and gold colours and they serve as “autumn flowers”.

In winter, we use the colour red in the form of photinia, the red oriental ornaments and the red acer Senkaki stems and contrast these against the blue and yellow conifers and bright yellow hollies. Lighting in the trees creates a magical atmosphere, especially when plants are draped in snow. Winter flowers surge through in February with snowdrops, crocus, aconites, cyclamen, hellebores and early camellias. The colour white is accentuated by the multi-stemmed Betula Jaquemontii. Other tree barks, including acer griseum, snake bark maples and serrula, give winter interest.

We enjoy sharing our garden during charity open days and our main beneficiary has been the National Garden Scheme.
Since 2006 we have welcomed more than 12,500 visitors and raised over £40,000 for charities

Winner Walsall in Bloom large rear garden category

Winner of the Daily Mail National Garden Competition

Winner ‘Overall Gardener of the Year’ Garden News National Competition
BBC2 Gardeners’ World half-hour television ‘special’, showing our garden in all four seasons.
Featured in magazines in China ‘Floral Time’ and Holland 'Home and Garden'

Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time feature
In one day, featured in Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Mirror and Telegraph
Romanian magazine ‘Adevarul’
BBC News photo gallery website “In pictures: Spectacular autumn colours in Walsall garden”

Featured in National Geographic Traveler (China) magazine

Great British Garden Revival, trees episode.
Featured in magazines in Greece, Romania and New Zealand

In one day, featured in Daily Mail, Times and Guardian.
Featured in Russian magazine.

6 January, ITV “Britain’s Best Back Gardens”. Awarded first place by Alan Titchmarsh for achieving the impossible: "A show garden no matter what the weather or season."

For our open day dates, please visit our website:

And we've also loaded some photos onto Flickr:
In 2016 the views of our photos on this site reached over 10 million!!

Latest photos

  • Four Seasons garden on 14 May 2016
  • Autumn at Four Seasons
  • Autumn at Four Seasons
  • Autumn at Four Seasons

Latest blogs

2016 Charity Open Days

Posted on 9 May, 2016 11 comments

What else

Joined in Mar 2008

Country: United Kingdom

County: West Midlands

My website