Episode 118 - Show Notes & Advice

episode 118 | show notes & advice

episode description

This week is all about top tips for a gorgeous garden and how RHS Chelsea Flower Show can spark creative inspiration. Listen as Sarah catches up with British Designer, Tricia Guild, to discuss their shared passion for colour, and the best ways to incorporate this into your own garden design. 

in this episode, discover

  • Colour as inspiration in the studio and the garden
  • An insight into Tricia’s creative design process 
  • Why being selective in the garden is the key to success

advice sheet

Tricia’s gardening journey (2:16)

Currently in the process of cultivating gardens in the UK and abroad, colour plays a huge role in Tricia’s life, serving as her ultimate inspiration which transfers to her work in the studio with her brand, Designer’s Guild. 

Over the last few years, Tricia has been gardening in Italy, which has allowed her to cultivate a beautiful garden and grow her own vegetables, using seeds from Sarah Raven. She explains that it’s a continuous learning process which allows her to try new things and learn from her mistakes. 

Tricia explains that people are often scared about deploying colour into their gardens, but this shouldn’t be the case, as this is a great way to breathe love and life into any outdoor space.

Tricia’s London Garden (4:45)

Tricia describes her London garden as a contemporary but bright space, which has a water fountain with vivid blue tiles, a blue wall, and lots of bold blue and purple flowers which look wonderful in combination.


In particular, Tricia is always taken by vivid blue agapanthus, mauve hellebores and pink-toned and purple climbing roses. The continuity in colour creates a very contemporary look and works well in the urban space. She also likes to incorporate pots for variety, particularly in wintertime, with clipped cypress and hornbeams. 

As Tricia’s house is pretty contemporary too, the garden works as an extension of the inside space, carrying on the same look and feel which Tricia has created inside. She suggests that this is a great way to make your space feel bigger, and to create flow. 

Tricia explains that it’s important to be just as selective in the garden as you are in the house, using colour to your advantage and considering your palette as a whole. With so much to choose from, cherry picking the plants and flowers you really want to include will create a really considered space.

Sarah suggests that the deployment in colour is about balance and using it in a way that still evokes a sense of calm and tranquillity. 

Gardening in Umbria (7:10)

Reflecting on her time spent in Italy, Tricia says that this was when she first got into growing vegetables and sparked the inspiration to create her own kitchen garden.

This also gave Tricia the motivation to plant herbs which she couldn’t find locally, something that has brought her a great amount of joy. 

Tricia explains that the property in Umbria has a large garden, and she upon taking over the property, she chose to work with Garden Designer, Arne Maynard, and Architect, Stephen Marshall, to create a contemporary garden and home, that would reflect her deep love of colour. And, which uses the vernacular of the beautiful Italian landscape. 

Tricia loves the rosemary, sage, and fig and plum trees, which she says make wonderful additions to her gardens. Plus, she also loves her dahlias in the cutting garden for their vibrancy. The land attached to the properly has also meant that Tricia has had time to experiment with cultivation and creating exciting gardens with different themes. 

Tricia’s tips for the garden and plants to include (10:11)

Tricia loves sage, rosemary, thyme, along with ferns and mint, although she does stress that many will need irrigation and require care for them to thrive.  

Tricia explains that timing is also key with each and every plant she chooses, being careful not to overplant things like salad, so she can avoid waste. 

Tricia’s creative process and floral inspiration (12:10)

Tricia says that starting a brand-new textile collection isn’t too dissimilar from creating a mood board for the garden, assembling your favourite ideas to see if they can work on scale. 

She also takes inspiration from everywhere, whether that’s an ancient batik, Indian textile, or a painting by Howard Hodgkin, creating colours and moods around certain themes. At the end of the process, Tricia then refines her ideas, deselecting and distilling down until something wonderful is created. 

The textiles are then sampled and recoloured, which she says, is all down to detail. Tricia explains that two of her main designers adore nature and natural landscapes, which is reflected in the work they produce. 

Taking inspiration from Chelsea flower show (19:01)

Sarah explains that around the time of Chelsea, the walk along The King’s Road (from Designer’s Guild) to the site, is truly breath taking, with many homes and shops displaying flowery windowsills and gardens inspired by show. 

Sarah says that it’s an excellent source of inspiration, and is always alive with colour.

Tricia explains that it’s very worthwhile to take time to meet the growers at the show and learn all about their processes and practises. She suggests choosing one or two new items and including it into your own garden for added wow and to remind you of a day well spent.

Like a giant tapestry, Sarah says that each garden takes so much time to create and involves an incredible amount of planning before they arrive on site. Don’t forget to check out the retail space also which also has so much to offer, with the latest gardening innovations on display