Friday, March 02, 2007

Garden Fashionista's

We visited Norfolk, England early mid-summer intending to visit Sandringham the Norfolk home of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, only to find that the Royal shooting party was in residence and therefore the home was closed to visitors. We were disappointed but that gave us extra time to visit the Nursery and gardens of Blooms of Bressingham.
Now an international Garden Nursery Chain with a reputation for producing interesting variations amongst their stock, Blooms are always worth a visit. We particularly enjoyed our time in the display gardens designed and planted by the Blooom family for their private space. Sixteen acres all beautifully planted and maintained with new features like the winter garden being introduced.

If you follow this link you can take a virtual tour of Adrian Bloom's Garden.

"I'm known as Mr. Conifer
and Mr. Heather, but I do grow plenty more besides"

Adrian Bloom was much courted for his gardening idea's at the time, in particular his winter garden display and use of conifers and heather. On a much smaller scale we too planted conifers, in the cold north east of England winter colour on those long grey days was more than welcome.
In recent years conifers have fallen out of fashion, and the young aspiring garden designers like nothing better than to grub up the old evergreens and burn them. Urban chic with it's stark modernist lines seems to have won the day.

There are many more species of trees, shrubs and plants available to the present day gardener,
and native species are now fashionable. Our gardens developed and evolved through the work of the plant collectors like Joseph Banks. Plants from across the world made available to the home gardener have shaped our environment and fostered the interest of professional and amateur growers alike. If we had confined ourselves to native species then I don't think gardening would be anywhere as interesting as it currently is. There should always be room for native species but there is room for more exotic fare too.

Fashion changes as quickly in garden design as in everything else, and many of the modern offerings seem little more than flower arranging a quick fix for television and magazine viewing. Few of the gardens presented are ever allowed to reach maturity but a swept away for the current horticultural vogue.

On page 54 of this months edition of Gardeners World Magazine, Adrian Bloom has written an article about his Norfolk garden. This is a garden that is outmoded in the current design school of thought, it is however a garden that has stood the test of time. Adrian himsef as the article says,'has no truck with plant trends. Take a look at that virtual tour and I'm sure that you will decide that it is a garden you too would enjoy visiting.

March 2007

We too have been cutting down conifers around our small UK garden, not simply because of the fashion trend more realistically because they have outgrown their allotted space. I know that it is possible to design your garden and plant one or two trees that in the fullness of time will remain in proportion to the plot size. Though an alternative is to enjoy a tree as it develops and replace it as and when the need arises. All of our plants where bought as tiny specimens and have given much pleasure over the years. Now though much change is required and everything is looking a bit ragged. A lot of hard work will be undertaken and one or two design ideas incorporated though I hope nothing too contemporary!

It is something of an irony that in the UK we have a small plot with frequent rainfall ideal for growing trees; whilst in Spain we have a large plot capable of displaying and in need of large specimen trees though without the water to sustain them.


  1. Saw Adrian Bloom's garden years ago on BBC 2 Gardener's World. It's a lovely garden and mr Bloom is right in not caring about fashion, a beautiful garden is a beautiful garden regardless of trends and fashions.

  2. Gardens take so long to mature it is unrealistic to follow every trend. Some of the best gardens arise from people ignoring the fashion and developing their own style.