The border answered the theme of "Every space counts" and took up a tiny 2.75m x 2.75m raised bed. There’s evidence that pollinators are less abundant than in the past. Yet no matter how much space we have outside, we can all do our bit to increase their numbers. This bed was carefully planted with shrubs, annuals and perennials from the RHS Perfect for Pollinators Plant List.
“We are really pleased with our new garden, designed by Alexa Ryan-Mills.
”We wanted to turn our traditional raised lawn with flower beds into a useable, low maintenance space, teamed with a contemporary cottage feel. Alexa’s initial design consultation really got to the bottom of what we wanted and our level of capability to maintain. She produced two design schemes and together we worked on a final design that has truly transformed our space.
”Alexa explained all her suggestions clearly and produced a fantastic set of plans and sketches along with a list of suggested materials for us to chose from. She introduced us to a landscaping company and project managed the entire build.
”The result is a garden that truly is an extension of our home. We’ve hosted parties in it and had amazing feedback from our friends. The garden is teaming with wildlife and colour and we can’t wait for the years to come.”
— John Peach, Walthamstow
Mediterranean gravel garden
This section of a larger garden in Cambridge has been designed as a low maintenance gravel garden, which needs little water once established. These are photos three months after planting and the Mediterranean plants are settling in well, it’s full of bees and butterflies and smells wonderful. We’ll publish more photos as the garden grows and develops.
I love to create planting schemes for my clients and this may be part of a larger design project or on its own.
“I contacted Alexa for help with my borders that were narrow and being changed each year due to my impulse garden centre purchases not really working out.
”I didn’t need a total garden design so was unsure about approaching a designer. After an initial meeting in the garden Alexa made a planting plan for extended borders which was just what I was after! Really well planned and easy to visualise, with lots of underplanting for year-round interest.
”We did all the labour and planting ourselves (though could have gone through Alexa) but did use Alexa to source the majority of the plants which was amazing to be able to plot and plant the whole lot in one go!
”Alexa also created a garden care plan which is super useful and makes knowing what to do when a breeze.
”Can’t wait for summer to see the results.... and safe in the knowledge I won’t have to start all over again next year.”
— Louisa Potter, Highams Park
As well as designing gardens, I have my own one to nurture. One of my favourite things to do is grow my own food - and eat it! Tomatoes, chillis, salads, potatoes, rhubarb and asparagus are big hitters in our house. And my son loves to help himself to blueberries, strawberries and raspberries - and new this year is cherries. I also love to propagate flowering plants through growing them from seed, dividing them or even taking cuttings.
I love to travel and see as many gardens and outdoor spaces as I can. It’s a great way to see plants and materials combined and used in different ways. Recent trips have been to Lisbon, Granada and Provence. And closer to home, I’ve enjoyed the new children’s garden at Kew, RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Wisley.