About Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury is a gardener and writer based in the west of England. Author of over 20 books, including four collaborations with Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, he is passionate about wild-style planting and bringing nature into the garden.

Author Archive | Noel Kingsbury


with cactus

After however long it is, I’m leaving Gardening Gone Wild. It has been a great opportunity to pass on ideas, thoughts and experiences to the wider garden community, and sometimes to ask awkward questions and to provoke.

I think it is time I devote some more time to my own blog, and to develop other ways of connecting with people in the garden world. I have very much enjoyed contributing, and I am grateful to Fran and the others for inviting me and having me on board.

I do hope you’ll stay connected through my blog, my books – I have a new one with Piet Oudolf coming out in April; the gardeners’ soap opera and a new venture this – a course on perennials I am running for MyGardenSchool. If you want to make sure that you stay in touch sign onto my mailing list on the home page at www.noelkingsbury.com or email me on noel@noelkingsbury.com




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Ideas from the south – tree painting and DIY green walls


Bored with that tree in the garden. Get out some paint! Preferably bio-d and non-toxic of course. This installation was done at not-quite-open-yet-but-soon-will-be nature centre near Tigre, outside Buenos Aires, and linked with the town’s Fine Art Museum as part of an initiative to promote conservation of the unique delta environment. Continue Reading →

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Gardening en Español, a green roof and other notes from Uruguay

Karena Hogg, a Uruguayan landscape designer waves a copy of the book I wrote with Nigel Dunnett on green roofs.

For the third time in five years I’m lecturing in Spanish-speaking America (you can read my accounts of lecturing in Mexico here, and here – that was an experience!) . Being interpreted (see my recent post about Argentina). We always have the same discussion – why aren’t there more books and material on gardening in Spanish? So many books are either translations from English or books published in Spain, and not particularly relevant to the Americas. Interest in gardening and landscape is growing in South America, and the Estados Unidos itself  is gradually turning bilingual. Any visitor to the US, especially the south-west, is aware of how much garden work is done by workers from Mexico and further south; some of whom are now settling and setting up their own garden maintenance businesses. Gardening is turning Spanish, but where are the books and other media? Continue Reading →

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I’ve discovered Chanticleer

This pic sums up Chanticleer: a great place to sit, nicely customized. A touch of whackiness, but completely sound.

This is an amazing garden, not just for being a garden, but for the staff and the way it is run. Working at Chanticleer is not a job, but a mission and a passion.

Fran has written about the garden before on GWG, but it has so much to offer, I make no apologies for writing about it too. At this time of year though (I was there in mid Oct) there is not so much plantlife to write about – its all for its winter hibernation soon. There is plenty else to enthuse about though. Continue Reading →

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The peat debate – or should we really eat kittens for breakfast?

It was not my intention to write about the contentous subject of peat in gardening but a friend of mine sent me an article from the New York Times on the subject, which deserves wider distribution. So, maybe I should take the plunge.

There was a time when, in the UK, we all used lots of peat in gardening, we dug it into the ground as a ‘soil improver’ and used it as the basis for remarkably consistent and high quality potting compost. Some plants did not like it – as it could get terribly soggy in wet winters outside, but on the whole it was a fantastic material for potting compost. It has remarkable stability as it takes a very long time to decay.

Then we realized that in order to supply us with peat, lots of valuable habitat (peat bogs) were being destroyed in order to get at the peat underneath. Conservation organizations began to campaign against its use, and in the UK, they have more or less won, as the NYT piece explains, the government is trying to ban it.

Continue Reading →

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