May & June Update

As suspected time did unfortunately catch up with us and we have missed a couple of CCGD studio updates. There is one rather good excuse, as well as managing numerous design projects a house move and a studio relocation our lead designer Cassandra has just got married!

May was busy ensuring all projects were up to date and clients visited while a small break in design proceedings occurred for ceremonies and honeymoons.

Now firmly back in the swing we have completed front garden project drawings for our large period property in Ingatestone, Essex - rear garden designs to follow later in the year. Revisions were drawn for our Wanstead new build project as the the house plans were finalised and a new car lift included. Concept meetings were carried out in Brentwood for a large family garden and Woodford Green for a modern newly refurbished property, happily both clients were thrilled with our ideas and work is now being carried out on their presentation drawings.

In Wanstead our latest courtyard garden, mentioned in April, is now under construction, you can follow progress on our Facebook page here

New projects have been commissioned in St. Albans and Royston Hertfordshire and we are continuing to meet prospective clients for detailed consultations.

We promise we’ll be back next month but for now here is a lovely image taken recently in our completed Richmond garden.

Perennial planting in Richmond garden design.

Perennial planting in Richmond garden design.

April Update

With the end of April in sight there is just time to update you on what has been happening in the CCGD studio and on site this month.

We have proposed a contemporary entertaining garden to clients in Wanstead for their new home which will be constructed later in the year, the design includes a large cantilever canopy over a kitchen and dining terrace perfect for large gatherings. Second stage drawings are being produced for our period project in Ingatestone and landscaper appointment has been made for our latest Wanstead courtyard garden with construction planned for June.

Out on site we carried out perennial planting at our front garden in the Docklands which was built earlier in the year and construction of our family garden design in Wanstead was completed, followed by planting.

Consultations have taken place on a number of prospective gardens and surveys carried out in Brentwood and Woodford Green, more on these new  projects next time.

Family garden design Wanstead

Family garden design Wanstead

Keatons Planters


Last week we planted a series of containers for a new branch of Keatons Estate Agent in Hackney, East London. 

The planting needed to be resilient, have a long season interest and provide a cool urban feel. 

Nursery stock selection

Nursery stock selection

We selected a range of tough Mediterranean plants with contrasting textures and included a limited number of herbaceous plants for additional colour and interest later in the season.

Planters outside Keatons Estate agent

Planters outside Keatons Estate agent

Pittosporum tobira, Buxus sempervirens topiary and Rosmarinus officinalis prostratus group provide strong structure as well as flowers and scent. Later in the summer Geranium 'Rozanne' and Agapanthus africanus will provide a pop of colour.

New planters outside Keatons Estate Agent

New planters outside Keatons Estate Agent


March 2016

The start of a new month, and March already! Spring is most definitely in the air and gardens are growing quickly, many having seen spring bulbs flowering for weeks already.

We’ve had a steady stream of enquiries keeping us busy through the winter but, as usual for this time of year, more people start to think about their gardens now. It can be difficult to manage the expectations of new clients, a professional design and skilled construction takes time to create and it might be up to 24 weeks before their new garden is finished and ready for them to enjoy.

We’ve been compiling spring planting orders, completing gorgeous new planting designs and, less gorgeous but equally satisfying, working on construction detailing for bespoke water features and pergolas in our schemes. We have some great new commissions booked in with surveys starting soon, more on these next month.

For now I’ll leave you with thoughts of Spring, this from my own garden. Not long now till the Tulips are back!

February 2016

It’s been a particularly busy January so before we succumb to the project schedule I wanted to endeavour to keep up this years promise of a regular blog update.

We have recently completed a small (but perfectly formed) front garden for a previous client in the Docklands. He is thrilled with the garden so far, a simple design of granite pathway and lots of lovely seasonal planting. The shrubs and tree have been planted and we will be back on site in the spring to complete the perennial planting stage.

A great new construction has just gotten underway in Wanstead. The family garden design has been on our board for quite some time now. Originally designed in 2013 we have been waiting for the property to undergo fairly major refurbishment before being able to get on site. With the house just about complete the clients are excited to finally see works start outside.

With lots of new enquiries we have been out meeting potential clients for consultations as well as spending much of the month drawing up presentation designs and second stage construction detailing for projects that will be moving to tender and construction stage in the coming weeks.

Until next month!

Harvington Hellebores

Harvington is a village in the Vale of Evesham, and home to horticulturalists Hugh & Liz Nunn who began to raise Hellebores at their two acre site in 1985. The Hugh Nunn Nursery was recently taken over by their daughter, Penny, who continues to raise the breeding lines of Harvington Hellebores, producing 200,000 hellebore plants each year. Harvington hybrids are strong and reliable plants due to being grown outside and this means they transfer easily into the garden.

Here are two beautiful varieties growing in my own garden in London.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Harvington Speckled White’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Harvington Speckled White’

You need to get down to the plants level to really appreciate the wonderful speckled markings. If you can bare to cut them, flowers can be cut at the top of the stem and floated in a bowl shaped vase indoors.

Helleborus x hybrids ‘Harvington Red’

Helleborus x hybrids ‘Harvington Red’


Hellebores are woodlanders and best grown in dappled shade in a moist, free draining soil, in early winter the leaves can be removed to allow a better view of the downward facing flowers.

Sussex Prairies Garden Visit

This 8 acre garden was created by horticulturalists and designers Paul and Pauline McBride, planted in 2008. The design is based on a spiraling nautilus shell with large borders filled with sweeps of dramatic perennial planting, selected and placed for their contrasting flowers, form and foliage textures.

Wide grass paths allow you to appreciate the contrasting forms across the garden. Visitors are also invited to get in amongst the planting using smaller paths that wind through the borders, allowing you to interact with the plants at close quarters. An unusual and refreshing way to experience the garden.

Deschampsia cespitosa planted on-masse, the seed heads create a golden cloud above the foliage. A designer favourite for creating a naturalised feel.


Contrasting forms and foliage. Astilbe in the foreground, the dried flower heads holding strongly, Deschampsia cespitosa and Veronicastrum (behind) At the rear of the image white flowering Aster providing late season interest and Molinia sp. swaying in the breeze.

Persicaria sp. is another useful late season perennial to provide interest into autumn. The spire shaped flowers dry neatly and can be left standing for winter interest. Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Taurus’ is a similar deep red variety.

Bug hotels are a great way of ensuring you have plenty of helpful beasties to keep garden pests at bay. A great inclusion in a family garden as children can get involved with the building and enjoy monitoring the residents!

See our previous visit to the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden