We can learn so much by having a great design library. Rosemary Verey was an English Garden Designer who bought a 1697 Vicarage in the Cotswolds and over a 40 year period, turned it into one of the most visited gardens in England. Barnsley House is quite simply one of the finest examples of English Garden Design in the U.K.  It’s a classical walled garden with Roman Roads running on all sides of it. Often Roman soldier remains are found while digging any new construction.  Rooms of gardens surround a very walkable site, punctuated by large trees and sculpted evergreen shrubs.  Now there is a very posh spa there and a delightful cafe called ‘The Potager’.  All the herbs and vegetables are grown organically in Rosemary’s very well-known and studied potager.

Rosemary wrote many garden books, with a favorite being, ‘The Flower Arranger’s Garden’. She believed that there should always be foliage in a garden to provide a basis for a quick or not so quick floral arrangement. It’s a great way to think of garden design. Long, linear beds are really just a long vase, same with square beds or circular. Arranging plants is exactly the same principle as arranging flowers. A great deal of foliage interest and a pleasing arrangement of shapes and colors, a good eye for balance is all it takes.  Every day of the year, one should be able to find foliage of interest in a properly designed landscape.

Get to know a historic garden designer. They will open your eyes to possibilities in your landscape.