Love Your Garden: How to get the modern architectural look


The ‘space age’ garden we created in episode three looked amazing. The modern style was sleek and bold but the planting had pretty, flowery elements too.

One of the most important things we have to consider on Love Your Garden is time. Many of our families just don’t have time for a garden that needs lots of work and maintenance. So we choose the plants carefully, looking for high-impact shapes and long seasons of colour and structure.

Evergreen structure


Evergreen plants are underrated in garden design. They provide form through the winter and create a green backdrop to highlight other plants. Plus they hide fences and boost privacy.

We used yew (taxus baccata) and bay trees (laurus nobilis) to line walls and fences with colour. We also planted box, lady fern, festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ and black grass Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens in the borders for structure.

Bold planting


We took inspiration from the Eden project to put in some bold, striking plants. These varieties have strong shapes that create real impact in a garden border.

The garden was in Cornwall so we added coastal plants like sedum, echiums, cardoon (cynara cardunculus) and coast rosemary (Westringia fruticosa).

We also used two types of euphorbia (E. pasteurii and E. amygdaloides var. Robbiae).

Alan added containers planted with bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea spectabilis), agave and aeonium arboretum.

Flower colour


Finally, we wanted to put some pretty flower colour into the garden. We chose flowers for each of the girls’ middle names: Rose Olivia, Violet sorovia Freckles and Iris raja and Iris Langport Minstrel.

We also planted flowers for height. We used bronze fennel, Agapanthus Charlotte, Gladiolus italicus, Allium Purple Sensation and Digitalis Dalmation White (foxglove). All of these plants have tall stems, meaning they complement the existing bold planting.

We finished off the flowers with a peony (paeonia Yackiyo Tsubaki) and honeywort (Cerinthe major Purpurascens).

This is a great low-maintenance garden for someone who doesn’t have much time but wants a growing challenge. Some of the more tropical plants will need moving to a greenhouse over winter.

I also loved the varieties of tillandsia in the greenhouse. These are called ‘air plants’ because they have no roots – the take their water and nutrients from the air. Find out more about tillandsia here.

Plus see the finished garden gallery and check out the photos from behind the scenes here.



  1. Nicola July 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    I love those crisp white block planters how did you create them?? would love these to add a more contemporary look to my garden !

  2. Christine Mclean September 4, 2015 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hi David, I thought I would be brave and write to you regarding an EMI Unit I work within at Colwyn Bay, North Wales. We are a assessment ward and our patients come to us with varying complications at the later stage of their lives bless. We have such a huge garden but due to cutbacks we cannot provide the funds to renovate the garden. It is very uneven and because of Health & Safety Regulations we can not allow them outside. They would so much benefit from a Sensory Garden or even one that they can walk around and enjoy with any problems of falling. ( Many of our patients have problems with mobility, so it does make things very difficult for them to enjoy a simple stroll around the garden) I thought I would contact you and see if you could help us, however, I do understand if you can not. I have watched the programmes you have taken in and if nothing else, you are an inspiration. Thank you for reading this message. XXX Christine Mclean. XXX

  3. Nurielle April 18, 2016 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Hi David! This garden looks amazing! I’m planning to do something similar to my backyard. Just a question, what are the white raised garden beds made out of? Thank you in advance 🙂

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