Author Archives: Hugh Johnson


Land form

My second land form which is the movement of tons of soil & sub soil to create a sculptured shape with in the landscape & part of the garden.


Topiary Hedges

In late July rather later than I might have preferred I trimmed our topiary hornbeam hedge. The long new season growths had increased the size of the hedge by about 2 feet. I like my hedge to have a formal shape although one of the glories of the Hornbeam is that it becomes very informal during the growing season.
However I leave a Mohican of long growth on the top or the hedge to give extra privacy and informality, I find trimming a shoulder accentuates the longer growth. Along the hedge are shapes on stems. Inside in our garden is an arch linking with a Yew hedge and an arbour projecting out both formed the hornbeam hedge. The front picture is looking into an arch from the road.

The picture below is the neatly trimmed hedge on our shared drive, which give our neighbours a stimulating view as they pass it !

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Flowering Roses

Kate has been busy developing her skills with roses for a few years now which has given our garden a good show of them, I took these photo’s of one group in our garden from buds to full flower.

They start with pictures in June with Hesperis which is an excellent combination to my mind, then the Roses as part of the garden then pictures during July when they have come into full bloom.


Butterfly Garden


Designed and planted in a Northamptonshire Country Park.  The park’s staff had begun a project in an area, however they needed some help.  Hugh was able to design and research plantings that would not only give the butterfly’s nectar during the summer months but also offer them grasses and other plants that hosted there caterpillars so they could feed and pupate all in its one garden.  It was important that it was a delightful visitor attraction  as well.  In deed part of plan was to set up a volunteer gardeners   to learn about it and to take on its day-to-day care.  This was successful received by giving tlks and guided walks and involving people in the building process.

est eval'n

Estate Evaluation


est eval'n

Consultancy & Design. Hugh was engaged by a large estate in Wiltshire as a consultant to monitor & evaluate the efficacy of the garden / estate team and develop a plan to improve the cost effectiveness and efficiency of the team.  As well as garden designs and plans to improve the presentation.


Oak circle, Specimen trees, Shelterbelt & conservation planting

Design and planting in the Cotswolds. The picture of the oak circle was taken soon after planting early autumn 12. My client felt she wanted a very special woodland feature to celebrate a significant birthday.  We created a magical space in which she could walk to and feel at rest.   All the trees bought and the ground prepared she and her friends walked to the circle and planted the trees with Hugh’s guidance.   Later the area was fenced against deer and will have a wild flower meadow planted within untill it is shaded out. The addition of a rough hewn stone column in the middle & a rose bush will make a very appealing focal point.  Following this work Hugh has designed and planted with friends a surrounding woodland. Additionally a conservation shelter belt using native trees that will support wildlife as well as offering the property shelter form the winds. Later, in the garden we needed to remove two large Eucalyptus trees that had become overpowering and replace them with some large specimens an Acer campestre & a Prunus amanagowna. Both need considerable preparation and aftercare.

There has been a considerable amount of tree planting which is on going during the winter seasons. Pictures show planting & use of tree guards matts are also used but photo’s were taken before they were placed. All this effort is there to give the trees the best possible chance of a quick establishment and growth.

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Island Bed

Design & Planting in West Wiltshire

This island bed is situated in a formal garden in Wiltshire.  It was very run down following many years of neglect.  The owner’s estate team refurbished the stonework. The brief was to design on one side a planting to work with the formal aspect of the garden however the other side had to work with the garden moving into the wider estate and a russet type of planting was required to enhance the late summer views from the estate and draw the walker into the formal area.


Hill Farm Garden

I started this project, Near Bath, Somerset. Following the complete refurbishment of the house. The garden was only areas of lawn or rough pasture with some struggling young hedges & a few trees & very little else. To see gallery click on title.  I am working on a full garden design working in stages and prioritising them, with the clients, he has designed & gardened the parterre and the area round the house.  This has included an overall design, three detailed designs & other projects, creating over the past 2 years, a parterre, cottage garden planting, an intimate rockery feature with steps next to the house, more hard landscaping, a semi circular yew seating area supported by four flowering trees & other plantings, borders and a wild flower meadow, with shrubbery, shelter belt and conservation area planting. Now in the second year the borders are becoming more abundant and a significant increase in bees and birds. Other projects are underway. the clients are very happy with the results.


Overview of projects

Hugh rises to a challenge, his garden designs range from a small urban bungalow, to public & community spaces, to gardens in the countryside.

Designing gardens in; Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire & the Cotswolds.  Hugh & Kate have designed specific localised areas of gardens such as, hard landscaping features as well as; rockeries, climbers, ponds, shrubberies, parterres, perennial borders & wild flower meadows ( to name but a few ).  Kate brings her individual touch to planting plans, complimenting Hugh’s strong forms & structure.

Local Primary School

Local Primary School

Garden Design, consultation, project management  in Wiltshire. From disused allotments to family friendly school garden. This was a challenging project, requiring careful consideration of the landscape as well as health & safety issues for young children. Ensuring the old garden meshed well with the new.   It required working with levels and creating a way of joining one area safely with the other, by redistributing soil on site & substantially change the land form.  We even created a landform.  It required working within the constraints of an ANOB, with the planning authority, the environment agency due to a steam, and tree officers.   Working with the teachers & governors, local communities and parish councils.  Organising, overseeing & working collaboratively with contractors.  In the end it worked well and everybody was pleased with the result.