Blog

New garden design in Lancashire

I’ve been pulling the picture together for this beautiful garden and outdoor living area in Thistleton in Lancashire. We commissioned a bespoke concrete bench for the perfect contemporary look, set off by the grasses. Calamagrostis were the grasses chosen for this garden for their upright feathery plumes, and gentle rustling sound. This perennial has a really long growing season from early spring. In the summer, the silvery pinkish flowers look stunning and then turn into golden seed heads from autumn onwards. It’s easy to look after and just needs a winter cut, ready for the next growing season.   We added a row

Read More
Fesfoc grill WM design garden

Luxury high-end outdoor kitchen equipment

We have recently started working with Fesfoc, which is a very high end, top quality outdoor kitchen equipment manufacturer, based in Barcelona.They offer true craftsmanship combined with advanced technology to create the ultimate in outdoor cooking.There is a choice of professional-level gas or charcoal grill, which is designed to cook to perfection.They also have created a stunning outdoor sink and storage unit in stainless steel for optimum resistance against weather and wear.Their products really do create a stand-out high-end luxury experience, so we’re really excited to continue our relationship and bring more of their products to the UK. Castlefield Viaduct opens The ‘skyline’

Read More
RHS Tatton

Key highlights from RHS Tatton

RHS Tatton was a fabulous show yet again this year, despite the builds suffering from the intense heatwave earlier last week (we’ve been there and it’s hard work!). One of the standout gardens for me was the ‘Working from Home’ garden by 26-year-old Will Scholey, who achieved 'Young Designer of the Year', as well as a silver gilt medal. The design concept was to create a space to work from while reducing the homeowner’s carbon footprint. The ‘daily commute’ was a winding gravel path through native meadow planting with multi-stemmed trees. The hard landscaping was all reclaimed, and there were mounds of

Read More
RHS Tatton

RHS Tatton launches for 2022

The RHS Tatton Flower Show launched on Wednesday this week – and by the time you read this newsletter I will be on my way to take a look. While doing big shows is amazing, it’s really nice to be going this year as a visitor. This time last year, I had just launched the Rewilding Garden, created with Cheshire East Council. In the month run-up to the show, we cordoned off a 10x10m area of the parkland where our garden would be, and allowed wild flowers and plants to grow naturally, and based other planting around this. The whole idea was to

Read More
Outdoor kitchen garden design Michael John McGarr

New outdoor kitchen design for Cheshire

We are just finishing the designs for this outdoor kitchen and garden design in Cheshire. This is the night time view of what it will look like from the back of the house, and as you can see, lighting is really important here. It’s so important to visualise what a garden design will look like in the late evenings and during the winter when it gets dark early. Uplighting underneath the statement trees gives a focus while soft lighting within the outdoor kitchen and dining area means it’s still useable in the evenings. This outdoor kitchen has a large covered area for prepping

Read More

Looking at low-maintenance planting design?

How many of us have spent good money on bedding plants or exotic plants that have either shrivelled up and died or needed to be watered every day throughout the summer? Although we get plenty of rainfall in the UK, there can be weeks where we have very dry periods which can really affect the more delicate garden planting. I have long advocated for designing gardens and creating planting schemes using both native and drought-tolerant plants rather than plants or trees that require intensive care and extra water. Naturalistic planting design has become much more popular in recent years, and is now

Read More
Outdoor kitchen by WM Design

Planning your outdoor kitchen

We are still receiving many enquiries about outdoor kitchens with a full range of facilities – so now is the best time to plan out exactly what you want.It’s best to plan around where the sun falls in your garden, during the middle of summer, and decide which parts of the garden you are most likely to use in the morning, the afternoon and then in the evening. Take a look around and figure out where are the best places to cook, where you would put your dining area, and where you want a sunbathing area. Most people want a high quality

Read More

Five years since gold at Tatton

Five years ago we were in the middle of building the ultra-futuristic ‘2101’ garden for RHS Tatton, which went onto win a gold award. The concept was around planting for climate change, with huge cowboy-film style Saguaro cacti, as well as the large round ‘mother-in-law’s cushions’ golden barrel cacti. We used large format porcelain paving to create a large path and seating area, with shaded pergola to shade from the intense sun. There was also a rain garden, designed to absorb excess rainwater, for climate extremes. People don’t realise just how much work goes into making a show garden picture-perfect, planning every

Read More

Superbloom at the Tower of London

I've been following the fantastic work of visionary designer Nigel Dunnett, with his new project at the Tower of London to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.  More than 20 million seeds have been sown in the moats around the historic landmark, which have just recently sprung to life and flowered. The naturalistic planting scheme is carefully planned to evolve into a riot of colour and scents over the summer.  A slide will transport visitors directly down into the flowers, for a fully immersive experience.  As the professor of planting design and urban horticulture, Nigel is well-known for his stunning Olympic 2012 meadows and

Read More

Award wins for RHS Bridgewater

The RHS Bridgewater welcome building has won a prestigious RIBA architecture award – North West Building of the Year. This is very well deserved news as it really is a beautiful design, housing a café, gift shop and plant centre. The gardens themselves have been hugely popular as the first RHS garden to be created in an urban area. I also noticed that there was recent news of the new National Trust ‘skyline’ garden being created on a viaduct in the Castlefield area of Manchester. Work begun in March and the garden bridge is due to open this summer. Bringing high quality landscape and garden

Read More
Cloud-9-garden-Michael-John-Mcgarr-

Adding the glamour to a wildlife garden

It's a common misconception that wildlife gardens can't be 'sexy' and that growing food in your garden is the reserve of those with land to spare. The Cloud Nine Kitchen Garden put paid to that. Particularly relevant to small town and city spaces, the garden dealt with issues of food security, wildlife conservation and sustainability in a tiny 6 x 4 metre plot. This was my first show garden, at RHS Tatton Park in 2015, and my first chance to show the world my passion for gardens. Back then, the majority of garden designs did not incorporate wildlife and ecology but I wanted to showcase

Read More