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Garden Inspiration Tips from RHS Gold Medal Winner

Terry Winters is a gardener and creative and the proud owner of Ordnance House where he has designed and created the garden from scratch. He was hugely honoured to receive an RHS Gold for the ‘My Chelsea Garden’ competition in 2020, held in conjunction between the Royal Horticultural Society and the BBC One Show. It was an initiative to engage gardeners during the period when RHS Chelsea was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Terry has kindly shared his top tips to give you garden inspiration for this Easter weekend. Whether you’re starting a new garden, creating a bed or border from scratch, or refreshing an outdoor space, here are some things to think about.

Know what you want from your garden - decide how you’ll use your space. Place seating where you can see the beauty of your plants while enjoying their lovely scents. Get up close to the bees and butterflies they attract and witness the glories of the natural world.

Plants and pollinators:

  • Nepeta Walker's Low
  • Monarda Cambridge Scarlet
  • Echinacea purpurea Magnus
  • Cephalaria gigantea (Giant Scabious)
  • Sedum spectabile Autumn Joy
  • Lavender (favourites are x intermedia Grosso, Sussex and Edelweiss)
  • Allium Purple Sensation

    Views and vistas - Design your garden to have interconnected views and vistas between its key features. Not only within the garden but from inside the house out into it. After all, we spend a lot of the year inside.

    Blurred lines - All gardeners like to be in the garden so design your outdoor seating to blend with your inside space. Try to blur the lines as you move seamlessly inside and out.

    Travel the seasons
    - A garden should be a space for all seasons, so plan it to look good in Winter as well as Summer. Own all four seasons not just a couple.

    Make it your own - Gardens inherit the personality of the person who created them. Let your garden express who you are and the planting you like.

    Be inspired
    - When you see gardens you admire or have a chance to visit, always come away with a little piece of inspiration that you can add to your own space.

    Get to know your ground - Soil sounds boring but it provides a clue to making a garden work for you. Know your soil and you’ll know the plants that will thrive in your garden.

    Work with nature
    - Is your garden sunny or in shade? Does it get very cold or extremely hot? Work with the conditions you have, not against them and your garden will thrive.

    Make your plants feel at home - Plants need to feel loved. You’re wasting money buying plants that want their roots dry through Winter by planting them in cold, boggy conditions where they’ll die off.