Philip Riall Landscape and Design 0800 7569863

  As a keen gardener, photographer and seasoned traveller I am fortunate enough to travel and see many gardens in Britain and throughout the world. On this page I would like to share my observations, gardening tips and thoughts with anyone who has a similar passion.

September 12th 2012

When I set up this website I was full of good intentions about how I really must update regularly with all the amazing gardens I have visited and the work that I have done. Well.................. I havent !

There have been many distractions since commencing this blog most of which have been work related or holidays/garden visits. I will, I hope, try to catch up with a few of the amazing places I have been to this year very soon - Wisley Flower show, Hampton Court and Chelsea Flower shows, Blenheim Palace and gardens, Strawbery Hill, Syon House, Villa D'este, Hidcote, Snowshills Manor, Chiswick House and Gardens, The Olympic Park, Kingston Lacey.............. In between having a jolly good time visiting lovely places and eating some (rather a lot of) equally lovely food I have of course had to work which has not left much time for much else, but as the nights start to draw in I will have a wee bit more time to do some writing and share pictures of some rather interesting and inspirational places.

Below are just a few pictures of some of the best places that I have been this year;

 Villa D'este ( January 2012)

 Blenheim Palace and Gardens (July 2012)

"The Secret Garden"

Friday 6th April 2012

Its been a just over a  month now since I applied the topdressing to this part of the lawn and already I can see vigorous lush new growth, less patches and have managed to fill in quite a few holes dug by the wildlife. So all in all a very positive result !  I have taken many pictures of this garden in the last few weeks and will bundle them all togther in a sperate web album soon, needless to say there has been quite a spectactular show of Camellia's and other spring flowering shrubs, but the place to REALLy go and see these is of course Exbury gardens which I visited over the Easter break.

We arrived quite bang on 10.00 and were the 4th car into the carpark, my slightly miffed companion remarked that we really did not need to leave quite so early and surely another hour wouldnt have made any difference?

Monday 27th February 2012

One of my great pleasures is being the Head Gardener at "The Secret Garden" as we call it, this is a garden in Fleet, Hampshire that is around one and half acres in size and was started from scratch by the current owners over 50 years ago.

The garden has been thoughtfully stocked with a great variety of shrubs and bulbs but particular emphasis has been the planting of masses of Camellia, Rhododendron and Azalea this is a real spring garden with a great diversity of colour just getting under way.

I spend just a day a week here and over the last 4 years have managed to recover this garden from becoming overgrown and potentially lost forever.

There is still much work to be done and everything will be fantastic in the end, and if it is not yet looking fantastic it is not yet the end!  

This week in the Secret Garden

This week it has been lovely and dry in our part of Hampshire and it is time to start giving the lawns some much needed attention. Over the last few months we have suffered with animals digging up the lawn looking for bugs and grubs, snow and the general effects of winter. So to help fill in the holes, give the grass a good feed and stimulate new growth I am going to spread “Topdressing” over all the grass areas.

This involves barrowing and spreading tonnes of lovely brown sieved compost and spreading with a springbok rake over the surface of the lawn, by raking out some thatch and getting the compost right into the roots we should see some real improvement in the next few months. In a few weeks, depending on the weather, I will give the grass a feed with a high nitrogen content fertiliser add a bit of sunshine and just a smidge of light refreshing overnight rain and hey presto we should have a lovely green lawn. Well that’s the plan anyway!

Looking good in the Secret Garden

Iris reticulata, Snowdrops, Camellia, Rhododendron are just starting, Sarcocca are still very fragrant as is a huge Daphne bhoula and some lovely Mahonia japonica and lonicera purpusii winter beauty. Even some lovely Narcissus are just opening their blooms, probably as a direct result of the super weather we have currently been enjoying.

Have a walk in the garden with me;

Below are a selection of, not so great pictures taken with my camera phone, but it gives you some idea of what it’s like in this fantastic garden.

Sunday 26th February 2012

It was a bright sunny day, I was in London and thinking abpout starting this blog, so armed with camera and a reasonably willing assistant we set off to Chiswick House and Gardens to see...............

If you click on the link to Chiswick House and Gardens it will take you to their website.