Tootie Frootie

A design concept

Here is a design concept created for a brief set by the Blackford Centre for Garden Design. Mr & Mrs Rowntree were after a garden design make over and the concept that I came up with, was inspired by their surname, Rowntree. 

Which made me think of sweets (!) and the fact that the Rowntree’s were keen for their garden space to be broken into sections or rooms. Rowntree’s sweets, come in all sorts of flavours (before they were bought out by Nestlé) they made all sorts of flavours: Rolo’s, Tootie Frooties, Smarties, Fruit Pastels ... so I thought it would be fun to name each ‘room’ after a sweet and allow the planting plan to be inspired by the colours, smells and variety of Rowntree’s sweets! 

Whilst adding this touch of fun, I aim to make their garden, relaxing, contemporary, and suggested a moderate level of maintenance so that they could keep their garden looking fantastic, without breaking their backs, or the bank! 

I created a design proposal, first which detailed how I intended to make the most of the key features and requirements in their brief. I also indicated the kind of plants I felt would work really well in the newly designed areas. Pulling together a mood board and showing examples of how the planting will look. Should I have then been fortunate enough to be commissioned to design their (fictions) garden then I would provide them with a detailed planting plan and incorporate any specific plants they specifically love once planting tastes have been discussed a bit further. At this early stage, I always prefer as a designer to provide a suggestion of planting. 

Below are some of the key ‘must haves’ highlighted in the brief and which I hope to have captured in the design: 

Must haves

• Retain the shed 

• Wheelie bin storage area 

• Keep Gleditsia ‘Sunburst’ tree 

• BBQ area 

• A water feature 

• Screen view of neighbours upstairs bedroom window 

• Herbs in pots, small greenhouse to grow cuttings, tomatoes ... 

• Hammock
• Garden lighting • Compost area 


Hard landscaping plan

The Smarties Room

The Smarties Room is the centre piece to the design. The space where you can entertain, spill out into from the house and a chance to make a real statement. Balanced by a calm, reflective water feature that will bounce the bright, bold colours around. The different colours (echoing a pack of smarties!) and heights will add interest intrigue as to what lies beyond in the garden. Wrapped by venetian trellis that helps to screen the view of your neighbours top windows. A large paved area with raised seating that allows yourself or guests to sit and enjoy the space.

An example of the type of planting

• Lupinus ‘Masterpiece
• Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais' • Geum 'Totally Tangerine' (PBR) avens • Melica altissima 'Alba'
• Siberian melic
• Geum rivale water avens
• Salvia patens gentian sage
• Verbascum ‘Clementine' mullein
• Perovskia 'Blue Spire’
• Iris 'Perry's Blue’ Siberian iris
• Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata 'Black Barlow’ • Eremurus × isabellinus ‘Pinokkio'
• Astrantia ‘Buckland' masterwort 

The Rolo Room

The Rolo Room faces from North East to West and will predominantly be laid to grass, with four strategic borders. The top border by the Gleditsia ‘Sunburst’ tree (which is being retained) is a calm area. An area where one can relax in a hammock amongst the trees and cool off under the shade. Plants required are shade loving, calming, yet with a sense of movement. The old boundary fence is sturdy and to be kept, yet a chocolate vine will conceal its scruffiness. The borders directly behind the ‘Tootie Frootie’ Room, will compliment the planting chosen by the swing chair / hammock.

An example of the type of planting

• Gleditsia ‘Sunburst’
• 4 x Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ‘silver birch’ • Mixture of Ferns
• Mixture of Hostas
• Convallaria majalis ‘Prolificans' Lilly of valley • Leucojum vernum, Spring snowflake bulbs
• Asarum europaeum ‘wild ginger’
• Dicentra ‘Aurora' wild bleeding heart
• Digitalis purpurea 'Sutton's Apricot’ foxglove
• Ammi majus - bishop’s weed
• Polygonatum × hybridum, common Solomon's seal
• Myosotis sylvatica ‘forget-me-not’
• Akebia quinata cream-flowered ‘chocolate vine’
• Digitalis parviflora 

The Tootie Frootie Room

The Tootie Frootie Room, will in effect be a small walled garden. Shelter from the wind and a hot spot for growing veg and drying the laundry! The trellised fence and arch leading to the Rolo Room on to the shed will enjoy a rambling old highly scented white rose. This paved space will be low maintenance with just one single narrow border, one small raised bed for strawberries or herbs, a small lean-to green house and a wheelie bin storage area close to the kitchen. I’d like to use mirrors to bounce the light and some quirky old ‘Rowntree’ signage in this space to add some charm.

An example of the type of planting

• Rosa 'Madame Alfred Carrière'
• Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote'
• Lemon 'Four Seasons’ or
• Olea europaea ‘olive tre ‘ in pots
• Gladiolus 'Purple Mate’
• Allium giganteum
• Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Knight’
• Rosa Munstead Wood ('Ausbernard') (PBR) • Salvia × jamensis 'Nachtvlinder'
• Grape 'Pinot Blanc’ to cover wall above the border
• It would be lovely to plant up an old Rowntree Cocoa vintage tin with Erigeron karvinskianus!