Monday, 14 October 2019


Our modern meadow has been shortlisted in a national garden design competition.

The Society of Garden Designers Awards for 2020

See feature in Homes and Gardens Website

and please vote for us if you feel this garden deserves to win the 'Peoples Choice'

A career goal, personal achievement and a fantastic warm glow to be nominated as a finalist in a national garden design award. Thank you SGD judges for choosing our garden.

We were luck enough to be finalists last year: Jewel Garden in Kensington, London and a Small Garden in New Barn, Kent and so are super chuffed to be back in the final this year, although we now have to wait until the awards evening at the end of January 2020 so keeping everything crossed.......

So what's different about this garden?

This garden is a little special - I collected the brief from my husband who is mad about wildlife,  interested in insects, moths and butterflies, he runs a moth trap in the summer months to identify and monitor activity and spends most of his weekends out in the field, birdwatching.

I checked in with SGD office to ensure the rules allowed the submission of my own designed garden rather than a clients for this years submission.

Client Brief - Requirement to attract bees, butterflies, moths and birds with a simple layout, a meadow, immersed in nature, and a shady border below the kitchen window.

Include: Wildflowers, native hedges, gaps for hedgehog movement, a solitary bee and insect hotel, spring bulbs, bird boxes, hedgehog homes, log piles and drinking bowls for birds and mammals.

What did I do?

“nature's doing its best in this garden, a bee and butterfly nectar pot with a simple layout of grey sawn sandstone and  quartz paddle-stones offering hiding holes for insects. All knitted together with a meadow mix with bold clipped yew buttresses"

Modern meadow garden includes pops of spring colour followed by a subtle native mix of meadow flowers and grasses in summer. This garden is a sanctuary, to escape those busy days, watching the butterflies and bees busy at work, adding a much loved sculptural insect hotel as a focal point viewed from the lounge and kitchen window.

Environmental Contribution
What have we achieved?

Encouraging Butterflies
17 butterfly species have been counted visiting the meadow:
Small Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
Meadow Brown
Small White
Green-veined White
Orange Tip
Large White

Speckled Wood

Holly Blue

Common Blue
Small Heath

and lots of Moth's 
including Elephant Hawkmoth and Privet Hawkmoth

Garden Birds come in for a drink and the nest boxes placed throughout the garden have been a great success, birds nesting include: Tawny owl, Blue and Great Tits, Robins, House Sparrows, Wrens, Blackcaps, Goldcrests, Bullfinches, Magpies, Jays, Dunnocks, Long-tailed Tits, Song Thrush and Blackbirds.

Slow worms have been found in the compost bins, grass snakes in the meadow, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, rabbits, grey squirrel, wood mouse, common shrew, long eared bat, pipistrelle bats, toads, frogs and smooth newt also spotted.

What have we planted?

We plug and seed every year to improve diversity. Plugs include wild carrot, Ox-eye daisies, Red campion and most importantly Yellow Rattle.

Annual seed Mix
Corn Marigold
Common Poppy
Corn Chamomile

Perennial seed Mix
Wild Carrot
Bulbous buttercup
Meadow cranesbill
Kidney Vetch
Lady's bedstraw
Meadow buttercup
Musk Mallow
White campion
Ox eye daisy
Yellow Rattle

We have common spotted orchids, last count 13. We delayed the cutting this year, allowed the cuttings to dry out and hopefully maximised on seed dispersal.

I add bulbs every year including some native species, some long lasting Ballerina Tulips and alliums

This is a demonstration that a garden does not need to look incredibly well maintained with stocked borders and neat lawns, I'm allowing nature back in, I'm encouraging the pollinators in, I'm rewilding.

Why is this important?

We have lost over 90% of our wildflower meadows in the last century. I have been nurturing this patch of meadow and working on its diversity to help moths, butterflies, bees and insects. It's our mini nature reserve. 

I have included nest boxes, feeders and water bowls for the birds.

How did we start?

With a meadow seed mix, beech whips, yew rootballs and inexpensive birch standards with a borrowed landscape

Here's our movie

We have recently completed the compost area where we often find slow worms, adding additional herbaceous planting, a sprinkling of chamomile seeds and Nigella this year.

I have also planted berry food in the hope to find a Waxwing one day ...
Hawthorn hedge 

special thanks go to 

Clayton at Quest Landscapes who laid paving and built quartz walls and steps
Darrin at UTDSL who fabricated our logstore
Meadowmania - meadow seed
Palmstead nursery, Provender Nursery and How Green Nursery for all plants, shrubs, native hedging and birch trees


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