10 Foolproof Tips for a Gorgeous Garden

Horticultural hotshot Alexander Hoyle is on a mission to spread “the joy of plants”. They are, he says, “vital to everyday living and enhance our lives so much”. He’s doing a good job so far – as his Instagram following of 32.8k can attest. He’s passionate about the power of plants to improve both our outdoor and indoor spaces.

After cutting his gardening teeth at Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire followed by a stint at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, Alexander is now freelance. For him, plants are life: “I meet people and they say, ‘Your job’s great’, and I’m like, ‘No, no, that’s my life!’”

As the plantsman behind our London pop-up shop's gorgeous greenery, we asked him to share his expertise on how to plan a glorious garden...

1. Think size and sunlight

Always carefully consider the size of the space you have before planting; be aware of the light and aspect and choose plants that will thrive in those specific conditions.

2. Be mindful of seasonality

Think seasonally and select plants that provide year-round interest. A good rule of thumb: try to have something in flower every week of the year.

3. Be realistic

Create something you will be able to maintain with the time and expertise you have.

4. Plan before you plant

Hedges and edges are particularly important, and get the proportions of flower beds right, too

5. Don't be afraid to edit

Look at your existing garden, and ask yourself: is every plant earning its keep?

6. Keep city gardens streamlined

If you only have a small space, keep it simple. Less really can be more, especially in urban gardens.

7. Bulbs are your friend

Need a quick fix? Bulbs are a quick, easy way to inject colour and interest into a space.

8. Seek ideas in other gardens

Gardens like Sissinghurst and Great Dixter are a great source of inspiration. They have wonderful, individual personalities, and a sense of place and romance.

9. The gardening trend to know

Big, mixed borders where you plant trees, shrubs and bulbs together in one space will be the next big thing.

10. If you plant one flower...

Make it roses. An essential part of the English garden.

All images by Alexander Hoyle - for more inspiration and advice follow Alexander on Instagram @alexander.hoyle!