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Garden tips for 2015

PUBLISHED: 11:13 10 January 2015 | UPDATED: 11:22 10 January 2015

Marian Boswall in her own garden

Marian Boswall in her own garden


January is the perfect time to plan changes to your garden. Landscape architect Marian Boswall shares some tips about the stylish spaces she creates

Looking for some garden inspiration? You may have a corner you’d like to transform or be aiming to create your whole garden this year; now is the time to plan while the garden is dormant and the framework is in evidence.

Take a critical look at your site, the architecture of your house, aspect and climatic conditions as well as what grows well in your neighbours’ gardens and the local area. Consider whether you want to echo or contrast with the period of your house, renovate to what it was in its past 
or complement the architectural style.

You also need to look at what you 
want to see from inside the house 
and if you want to create rooms or see 
the whole garden at once.

Calling in a designer can help clarify 
your vision or offer ideas you haven’t 
even imagined that will work beautifully on your site. Landscape architect Marian Boswall aims for timeless elegance, a 
sense of harmony within the setting and 
to imbue the personality of the owners 
in the gardens she designs.

Following a childhood in Italy, 
Marian read French and Italian at Oxford, 
which led to a career as an international management consultant before listening 
to her heart and changing direction to 
join the horticultural world.

She retrained in Garden History, Advanced Horticulture and Garden Design at Hadlow, studied Landscape Design at Greenwich University and after completing her Masters in Landscape Architecture in 2004, set up her practice in Staplehurst.

Here she now has a team that includes industry specialists and designers who share her philosophy.

“Landscape architecture is a field in which you never stop learning, and which can take you from urban planning to wind farm mitigation to wildflower meadow planting or conserving historic gardens.

“It covers art, science and history, 
and so plays to my constant need to 
be interested and inspired,” she says.

Marian has a particular passion 
for historic gardens and is a lecturer 
in Historic Garden Conservation at Greenwich University.

This expertise has seen her working 
on many of the important gardens of 
Kent, including Chevening, Hole Park 
and Godinton.

“The landscape and the history are 
so rich in Kent. I love the literary link 
to Vita Sackville-West at Longbarn, while 
a favourite garden last year was the 
scene of Laurence Olivier proposing 
to Vivienne Leigh, and another was a weekend retreat of Henry James.

“We are surrounded by fascinating history and wonderful working farmland. In my own corner of Kent I am grateful 
for every flash of the kingfisher and hoot 
of the barn owl, and one of our gardens even has a pair of otters,” she tells me.

The projects are often long term and Marian provides a complete landscape design service, from conception through planning and tender to construction, planting and instructions for maintenance.

“Many of our gardens are in beautiful locations or beside listed buildings and 
we want them to look as though they 
may have always been there.

“We use reclaimed materials and 
skilled local craftsmen using specialist techniques in order to remain true to 
the local vernacular.

“The planting will vary hugely between diferent gardens and I aim to reflect the owners’ characters and their own history, their personalities and what will delight them every day,” she explains. n

Get in touch

Marian Boswall Landscape Architects

Bailey Farm, Staplehurst TN12 0DN

01580 890 141 or


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