Garden Photo of the Day

Design Inspiration From Across the Pond

UK garden designer creates a loose, romantic display

It is always a thrill when we get to share some photos from Istvan Dudas. He’s the caretaker and designer of a stunning private garden in the United Kingdom. The space that he has created is romantic, a little bit wild, and packed with inspiring colors. If you’ve missed his previous posts, you can see them here. Meanwhile, enjoy these photos we have today.

A lot of the new plant varieties I see for sale boast that they have tidy, compact growth habits. But this garden makes a great case for plants that are tall, loose, and a bit wild. By themselves they might look a bit awkward, but massed together they create this wonderful airy magic.

The loose, open plants are intermixed with some more compact ones. The diversity of forms and textures keep the whole planting interesting and unexpected.

These big green mounds are sedums (possibly the variety ‘Autumn Joy’, Zones 3–10), which might look even better now covered with green flower buds than they will when those open to bright pink flowers.

This section of the garden is full of purple flowers accented with silver and white. It looks amazing. I think I’m stealing this color scheme for a bed in my garden.

More purple, deep red, and white. Simple color schemes do a lot to tie a garden together. The purple flowers in the foreground are an ornamental onion (Allium sp.).

Huge white hydrangea flowers look all the brighter for being sandwiched between dark flowers and foliage.

Lavender (Lavandula sp.) in early bud forms the foreground of this image; it’ll be bursting into fragrant purple bloom shortly. Behind it, romantic climbing roses cover the walls of the building.

With ornamental onions and foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 4–9) in the foreground, an enormous white climbing rose makes a show-stopping display in the background.

Hot colors come into play in this part of the garden. Bright orange sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale, Zones 3–8) is in the center, while a red-flowered and red-leaved amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus, annual) holds court in the front.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/16/2019

    It takes exceptional talent and vision as well as an impressive work ethic to make plant choices like these work together in such a pleasing and harmonious way. I salute Istvan on his impressive success. He has created garden vignettes that stir the imagination and makes me wish I was a little braver about inviting taller and looser plants to join my ongoing garden party.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/16/2019

    Absolutely amazing!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 05/16/2019

    Fabulous plantings and garden! I gotta try to grow some Foxgloves this year. And now I'm going to go look at your other garden posts linked here. I already took a peak at the links and how beautiful this garden is. Thanks for sharing!

  4. margotnavarre 05/16/2019

    I absolutely love everything about the garden. The garden is so beautiful and established and full of life. How long have you been working in the garden? Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. btucker9675 05/16/2019

    His gardens are simply incredible! I love the way he makes it appear that these gardens could have happened naturally, like well behaved meadows. Keep these inspirational photos coming, please.

  6. cheryl_c 05/16/2019

    Again, an outstanding show! Thank you so much for sharing your photos.

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