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Contemporary Garden Design & Landscaping.

Construction & New Homes

Surrey | Sussex | London
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Planting Inspiration – Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

This is my favourite form of Hydrangea, I find generally all the paniculata species more attractive than the mainstream macrophylla which are commonly found in pinks and blues in a typical garden.

‘Limelight’ grows up to 3m tall with a spread also up to 3m if left uncontrolled. Annual spring pruning of the previous years growth, back to the basic required woody framework size is all that’s needed to keep it free flowering and it’s size in check. It establishes quickly and you can obtain them up to 1m tall from suppliers so can give an instant feeling of establishment to a planting scheme. The flowers are lime green fading to cream and then finishing with a hint of pink, they flower profusely from August to October providing an impressive display.

They are not commonly available in  your regular garden centre as you will find out if you go looking.  
  £35.00 -  Hydrangea paniculata Limelight – Supplied at a height of 1m

Home & Garden Inspiration, Planting Inspiration No Comments

Planting Inspiration – Solomon’s Seal

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum x hybridum) is a lovely perennial plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall.  The flowering stems grow elegantly in a slight arc with delicate white flowers dangling below in clusters of 2-5. 

Solomon’s Seal thrives in light well drained soil, it’s suitable for a shady situation and flowers from April to midsummer.  When the flowers fade blue/black berries appear and gardners must be aware that the berries are inedible and poisonous.

Solomon’s Seal is a superb and valuable addition to any garden and remains eye catching even when not in flower.  Plant with room to spread .  The roots may be divided and transplanted, the best time to do this is in Autumn once it has died back, but you can successfully do it at any time if you take it up with plenty of soil. It is the rhizome root that the plants common name of Solomon’s Seal comes from, a scar is left on the root each year by the stem when it breaks away from the root, this scar resembles the seal of Solomon (Star of David).  You can also tell the age of a plant by the number of seals present on the root.
Solomon’s Seal available to order online from Coblands

Landscaping, Planting Inspiration No Comments

Malvern Spring Gardening Show. Best In Show

Today was the first day of the Malvern Spring show.  Hats off to the designers and construction teams given the weather they have had to contend with.  Congratulations to Graduate Gardeners as they are celebrating their fourth consecutive best in show award for their ‘Restful Place to Reflect’ show garden.  Pictured above.

It’s all about the planting in this garden.  I love the living wall of ferns with the contrasting stainless steel wall of water. The carpet of woodland planting is cool and lush… a perfect representation of the weather we have been having so far this spring.

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Living roofs. A fresh and innovative idea for your garden

Living roofs |
  A green roof or living roof is a fresh and innovative idea for your garden.  Looking at the image above you’ll see the garden studio in the bottom left of the image has a beautiful wild flower roof.   The practice of building green roofs is hundreds of years old.  Today,  with the effects of climate change green roofs will become an increasingly important technology.  Green roofs provide enormous benefits to buildings, their users and the environment, encouraging local wildlife such as pollinating insects, reducing energy consumption  by increasing building thermal properties and reducing CO2 production .

Living roof design is a fascinating area, with a vast array of alternative planting designs which can be used with anything from Sedum matting to wildflower meadows and perennial  planting. We currently have a client  who has commissioned us to incorporate a living roof as part of a structure within their garden.

Garden sheds, garages and outbuildings are a great place to incorporate living roofs.   Our recent new build home was built on a rather challenging triangular plot,  we are currently in the process of finishing off the landscaping and the final touch will be a little outbuilding at the bottom of the garden,  in the tip of the triangle,  which will be sporting a living roof. 

The number of domestic green roofs in the UK is on the increase.  If you are interested in designing and building a living roof in your garden, get in touch with us, we can check that the building structure is suitable and we would be more than happy to build your living roof for you and feature it here for the interest of others. 


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Garden Maintenance Services. In Surrey & Sussex

Company plug alert!   We have some wonderful clients taking advantage of our garden maintenance service, most of whom are busy professionals who have no time on their hands for gardening but do want a garden that looks good all of the time.  They want someone they can rely on to take care of their garden so that they can relax and enjoy their garden to it’s full potential.

This is just an example of what our garden maintenance service includes:

Lawn management
Lawn fertilisation
Grass cutting (fabulous stripes:)
Plant design & installation
Pruning & shaping
Keeping the beds neat and tidy and edges trimmed
Patio, driveway & terrace cleaning

William Grace garden maintenace packages can be tailored to suit individual client requirements.  You’ll get so much value out of having a beautifully manicured garden.  In addition we’d like to offer a Springtime incentive - Sign up with us before May 1st and your first month is free.  contact us for more information.

Our garden maintenance service is restricted to Surrey and Sussex.

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Rescue roof restoration work that was a bit of a Monkey Puzzle!!

Something slightly out of the ordinary to share with you today.  Yesterday we completed restoration works to the roof of a family home in Lindfield.  The roof was severely damaged after a 50ft giant Monkey Puzzle (Araucaria araucana)  tree fell on it during the severe winds in January.  The picture below was taken by the Mid Sussex times on the day it happened.  Kate Nunn lives in the house with her husband Nick and two young boys (who were very interested in us:)  Kate and Nick were a delight to work for and we’re pleased to be leaving them in peace now.  We repaired the damaged roof with reclaimed clay peg tiles, so the areas of replaced roof matched seamlessly with the existing roof.  Both chimmneys were removed and re built due to damage from the falling tree and are now ready for lighting an open fire again.  The scaffolding comes down next week and I will show you a picture of the seamless new roof.

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Patio Design Ideas: A Reigate garden is transformed with a cool floor of slate

A garden in Reigate is transformed by our landscaping team. The Winters family of Chart Lane approached William Grace Ltd for some patio design inspiration. Our brief was, something contemporary and unusual.

The end result is this wonderful, stylish cool dark slate patio. The striking patio is enhanced further by it’s low surrounding wall, which is topped in slate with a bull nosed edge (rounded). This detail gives a stylised feel.

The garden now feels like an extra room in the house, an extra two rooms actually as the paving extends around the side, providing a lovely courtyard area.
We will shortly be completing a garden design and build, which is also incorporating slate paving . I will add that garden onto this post soon.

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Our favourite Rattan Garden Sofas

Relax and entertain in style this summer with our pick of  luxurious rattan garden sofa sets.  The rattan is hand woven, fully weatherproof and UV light resistant to ensure that the colour never fades.  And at these fantastic prices an absolute bargain to share with you.

This 6 piece Rattan Garden Sofa is currently only £599 down from £999

Designed and manufactured by Modern Living via Amazon

This 4 piece rattan garden sofa set is currently only£499 down from £899

 Also by Modern Living via Amazon

I’m still swithering over which one to buy.  I think it will probably be the 4 piece set.

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Inject some Tangerine Tango into your garden this summer

The colour experts at pantone have chosen tangerine tango to be the colour of 2012.   It’s a vibrant reddish orange hue.  You can discover more about the process pantone go through to select their colour of the year here - interview with colour expert and Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman.

Here is some tangerine tango plant inspiration for you.


We just love these original Fatboy beanbags for the garden,  they come in a variety of colours.  If you’re a follower of fashion? The orange ones are a great way of giving a nod to this years energetic colour trend.  We have just finished a garden where a key feature was a floor of cool grey slate and I popped back there last week and adorning it were two fatboys looking uber funky.  They’re super comfy to lounge and sit on.  A quirky addition to any garden.  Worth every penny of their £136.00 price tag. 

Fatboys are available from Amazon at the most competitive prices. 



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Designing homes and gardens that look deceptively large

Wecome to the new home of the William Grace blog.  We love our new website, what do you think?  We’re hoping it’s rendering fine on all browsers but please let us know if you come accross any issues.  All of our subscribers from the last blog will remain subscribed to this one, we are just having the final interactive elements coded up now. 

What will be going on here?  We’ll be blogging regularly on planting and new landscaping techniques,  providing you with lot’s of inspiration for your outdoor space.  Calling all interior designers.  We’ll have a home section which you’ll love.  We’re experts at designing homes and gardens that feel and look deceptively large…..

Tangerines coming up next….. It’s this seasons on trend colour and we’re taking it into the garden on our next post.



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