The Plant Geek

By James Brunton-Smith 12 Sep, 2017
As autumn approaches and the garden begins the process of going into hibernation it sees the start of the busy show season for Outside Spaces, I will be travelling the length and breadth of the UK and exhibiting at some of the most innovative home and design shows. With a compact studio set up I am keen to meet and network with potential customers and industry specialists as I can - its a great opportunity to come and chat to me face-to-face, introduce me to your project and pick my brains for some instant feedback and ideas.

The season begins with the London Homebuilding & Renovating Show at London's Excel Centre in the heart of Docklands. This will be my second year at the show and yet another platform for me to present some of the exciting and dynamic projects that I have been working on this year.
By James Brunton-Smith 06 Sep, 2017
I am increasingly aware of new technology and its ability to assist in the creative industries when it comes to visualisation and in particular helping clients look at their outside spaces in a new way. As a proficient drone pilot I am very excited about the prospects of this new technology to further my abilities to visualise garden and landscape spaces from new and exciting angles, helping to highlight ideas for clients and open up opportunities.
By James Brunton-Smith 18 Jul, 2017
Wonderful to see yet another garden featured in an article on the Houzz website , designed a number of years ago and looked after since then. The garden is a wonderful traditional scheme that is planted to deliver all year round interest for very little maintenance input.
Large serpentine planting beds are packed full of perennials and grasses, existing shrubs were retained and maintenance pruning carried out to ensure their longevity.
This is yet another example of the scope of work I undertake and a wonderful endorsement of the design by Houzz and its professional contributers.
By James Brunton-Smith 03 Jul, 2017
Having spent the last 20 years designing landscapes and garden spaces throughout the UK and overseas I have been, and still am, fortunate to be able to work with plants everyday of my working life. My interests span everything nature inspired, from wildflower meadows to native habitats, urban greening to habitat recreation, photography and beyond. I aim to pass this enthusiasm on to clients and other interested parties whilst building my horticultural consultancy practice.

My qualifications include both landscape design and ecology, giving me a scientific perspective and understanding of landscape design and the successful use of planting in a variety of schemes. I am very keen to design planting that addresses the site conditions and allows plants to naturally survive and flourish, with minimum intervention and maximum return in terms of flowering and interest throughout the whole year.
By James Brunton-Smith 22 Jun, 2017
This week saw me out in rural Lincolnshire sourcing some very interesting plants for my latest interior planting project. On one of the hottest days of the year so far I had the pleasure of visiting Southfield Nurseries on the outskirts of Bourne in Lincolnshire, home of Cactusland - a hidden gem packed with the most unusual and colourful cactus I have ever seen.

Following my successful presentations at this years Ideal Home Show I have been lucky to be asked to work on a number of interesting interior planting projects, including a beautiful and underused greenhouse in the garden of a long term client of mine. We have decided on a scheme that makes use of every inch of the structure and creates a green oasis of calm surrounded by some interesting plant curiosities.

Very popular, cacti and succulents are making a welcome return to fashion, evident across the internet and social media. I spent 2-3 hours immersed in the world of cacti, leaving with a boot full of plants and a wealth of new found knowledge.
By James Brunton-Smith 29 Jul, 2016
I was delighted to be asked to give some advice to the readers of Modern Gardens Magazine, published in the July edition of the publication. It is always a pleasure to know that people find inspiration in the work that I produce and can hopefully take something from my experience after 20 years designing landscapes and gardens around the UK.
By James Brunton-Smith 06 Jul, 2016
Monday saw the preview evening of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show signalling the start of the 2016 event and I am sad to say that this will be the first time for 16 years that I have not been an exhibitor. I have enjoyed many years of happy times at the show, made lots of good friends in the industry and admired the creativity on display around the show ground.

I have also been involved in 3 award winning show gardens throughout that period, an achievement that still makes me proud and charts the development of my skills as a landscape designer. Whilst I am disappointed not to be there in 2016 it is with much confidence that I can confirm I will be back in the not too distant future to continue my love affair with the Show.
By James Brunton-Smith 29 Jun, 2016
Aiding visualisation of complex garden and planting designs is the main role of a garden designer. I use a range of different techniques to help clients understand the concept and how it relates to their space. Most recently colour presentation goes a long way to further enhancing this experience, highlighting the proportion between hard and soft components and allowing me to represent the general palette of planting.
By James Brunton-Smith 29 Jun, 2016
May saw the completion of a small suburban garden in the heart of Essex, designed to evoke a sense of the oriental with a planting pallet of vibrant perennials and grasses to extend the season of interest.

Like many gardens I become involved with, the owners of this nicely proportioned house and garden had spent many years working on the house and left the garden to evolve naturally. A number of important additions had been made to the garden without any planning and the result was a disjointed feel with no real interest outside of the spring bulb season. The brief required a vibrant overhaul of both the front and rear gardens, low maintenance design and vibrant planting scheme all in time for a family wedding in May - deadlines are always a worry.
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