Gleaning Inspiration

In just a few days I head off to England again to lead this years tour Great Gardens of Devon and Cornwall.

Prior to each tour we offer a virtual get together as well as an in-person gathering (for guests who live within driving distance of us). These provide an opportunity for guests to get to know one another and to ask questions, but I also like to find ways to help them get the most out of each garden visit by presenting a short PowerPoint on Ideas for American Gardens from England. With guests from all over the United States, the reality is that not everyone will be able to grow all of the plants they will see on our tours. But that doesn't mean we can't glean ideas – if we know how to look.

So for this weeks blog post I thought I'd re-share some of the blog posts I've written about English gardens which do just that – teach us how to look past the genus or species and focus on different aspects of the design.

Here are six of my most popular posts for you to re-visit (or perhaps see for the first time if you're a new subscriber).

Inspiration Recap

Ideas for American Gardens from England (2021): covering small spaces, layering, sight lines, the use of foliage and more. Examples from Yorkshire and Derbyshire

The Layered Garden (2023): more is more….

Inspiration for Dry, Sunny Gardens in Temperate Climates (2023): largely using Beth Chattos' garden as an example to showcase the use of texture, punctuation points as well as intriguing plants!

Creating Abundance: Lessons from Great Dixter (2023): One of my favorite gardens with so many lessons

Glorious Abundance in a Pint-Sized Garden (2023): a stunning private garden in Chelmsford with an exceptional eye for color.

Color Snapshots from England (2023): stuck in a color rut? This post is for you!

Remember, that you can use these ideas as a framework whether you are visiting the next state or another continent.

Warning to Future Tour Guests!

Our fabulous 2023 tour group. Several are traveling with us again this year and our coach driver Elaine will be part of our team again too

These are the design elements that get me excited!! I'm just as likely to be down on my hands and knees photographing a detail in a pathway as I am a plant combination. Or squealing with delight as I notice the use of forced perspective or perhaps the juxtaposition of a loose meadow-like planting within a rigid boxwood fence. And of course I have to tell someone…. so tour guests will often be my captive audience when we are all back on the bus as I share my observations….. Good news is you can tune me out with your Air Pods! Or you can take notes – I'm easy either way. But you've been warned.

Summer Break

Cornwall is calling me!

Since I'll be traveling for a month I'm going to take a break from writing a regular blog post over the summer but you know I'll have LOTS to share from our adventures when I'm back online. I'll also post daily photo updates from our tour on my Facebook page if you'd like to follow along.

Have a great summer everyone

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  1. Yvonne on June 11, 2024 at 9:56 pm

    Great post Karen! Look forward to revisiting some of these blog posts.

    • Karen Chapman on June 12, 2024 at 7:01 am

      Hi Yvonne, hope you enjoy them – and your summer garden visits!

  2. Enrique on June 20, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    Your landscape design blog is filled with creativity and innovation. The projects you feature are always so inspiring and beautifully executed. Thank you for sharing your passion with us!

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