Ivydene Gardens Garden Design:
Site Map

If you want to start from the uppermost design levels through to your choice of cultivated and wildflower plants then use the following galleries:-

Your chosen Garden Style then changes your Plant Selection Process:-

Garden Style
...Infill Plants
...12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
12 Foliage Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index
...Cultivation, Position, Use Index
...Shape, Form


Otherwise use the Garden Design process shown in the rows below and the pages linked to in the table on the right:-


When you buy a house, you would not paint your toilet in a Gaugin Style with many colours without thinking that you wanted Magnolia paint colour in the rest of the house, because it would look out of place.

This design process hopefully persuades you to think as carefully about your use and enjoyment of the garden as you do about your lounge, kitchen and bedroom and prepare plans that will be acceptable to the whole family.

The most important design consideration is who and how long per week is maintenance on the garden going to be done. One hour-garden by Joanna Smith book helps in this part of the design process.


If you suffer from hay fever, then bee-pollinated plants and very little grass would be useful:-

Bee-Pollinated Plants information in this website using the Bee-Pollinated Bloom in Month Colour Wheel Gallery:-

Besides the plants in the
British Floral Sources of importance to Honey Bees
Bee Pollinated Plants for Hay Fever Sufferers
the following 3 sets of Bee-pollinated plants are suitable for Hay-fever Sufferers; except for the 2 grasses in the second list:-

  • The Bee-pollinated Bloom in Month gallery compares the photos from 13 flower colours per month for many plants from the other Galleries, by clicking on the 1 in the relevant Flower per month Colour in the Colour Wheel down on the right of its pages,
  • the Bee-pollinated Index Gallery provides the tabular index of another 264 plants with the relevant colour in that respective month:-
    • 51 ANNUALS
    • 11 BIENNIALS
    • 4 CLIMBERS
    • 2 GRASSES which cause hayfever
      followed by
  • Click on these extra bee-pollinated plant names:-




Then, view these Garden Design Pages in this order or any order you want before

Before You Start
Designing for a Purpose
Site Survey
The Design Itself
Broad Design
Low Maintenance Style
Cottage Garden Style
Wildlife Garden Style
Japanese Garden Style
Hard and Soft Landscaping
Detailed Design
The Soil
Changing the Microclimate
Plant Selection
The Colour Wheel
Plant Quantities
Companion Planting
Bibliography and further Design Concepts

continuing to the pages in The Mixed Borders Garden Design Topic for further design concepts:-

Additional Garden Design Concepts have been written using the beds at Wisley to provide examples:-

Using the Mixed Border, Jubilee Rose Garden and Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden at Wisley for examples, I am still creating The Mixed Borders Garden Design Topic . The Mixed Borders Garden Design topic may help you in planning your garden, especially if you decide to show your garden to the public - i.e Make plant labels visible in your garden to aid your own plant sales.

I have moved on in March 2016 to create the Garden Style and other design galleries for the New Plant Selection Process at the top of this page.





Parallel Thinking not Adversarial Thinking to find the ‘Way Forward’


Universities are obsessed with history, scholarship and analysis. These do have their value and their place. But according to Professor Edward de Bono, there should be equal emphasis on constructive thinking, on creative thing and on design thinking. Knowledge is not enough. Value creation needs a different sort of thinking. So, Edward de Bono’s book ‘Why so Stupid? How the human race has never really learned to think’, needs to be read not in a defensive, adversarial or critical frame of mind but in an effort to get something from it.


Our traditional thinking is concerned with:

‘What is’

It is not good at all at designing:

‘What can be’

The difference is between ‘judgement’ and ‘design’.


Parallel thinking

Argument is intended to give a defined end point: one party has won and the other has lost. Argument is a combat in words rather than with swords.


Four people are standing around a chateau. Each one insists that the side he or she faces is the best side. They argue (by mobile phone). In the end they all join up and walk around the building so each person is now seeing all the sides. Such behaviour leads directly to the concept of "parallel thinking".


The big difference between parallel thinking and adversarial thinking (argument) is that at any moment everyone is thinking in parallel.

Everyone is thinking and looking in the same direction. The directions then change so all aspects of the matter are eventually covered.

The whole point of parallel thinking is that everyone is thinking about the subject matter not about what the other person has said. For this reason there is a thorough exploration of the subject and, usually, some agreed way forward at the end.

If everyone were to think and to look in the same direction there would need to be some clearly indicated direction. This direction is provided by the symbolic ‘Six Hats’. At any one moment everyone is wearing, metaphorically, one of the six hats. So everyone ends up thinking in the same direction.


The White Hat symbolises ‘information’. Think of white and paper. Under the White Hat everyone is focusing on information.

  • What information do we have?
  • What information do we need?
  • Questions we want to ask….
  • How do we get the information we want?

If there is disagreement, there is no argument. Both differing versions are recorded.


The Red Hat is for emotions, feelings and intuition. Think red and fire and warmth. Under the Red Hat everyone has permission to put forward his or her emotions, feelings and intuition without having to explain or justify these. They exist in a person and so can be put forward. Before the first election in South Africa they asked Professor Edward de Bono to teach the method to the heads of the Peace Accord Committees. They then chose to use the Red Hat as the first hat in a meeting: to allow everyone to express his or her feelings right at the beginning.

  • What do I feel about this?
  • My intuition is as follows…
  • I have this feeling…
  • I am very angry about this…

There are many doubts…


The Black Hat is for thinking that is cautious, careful and critical. Think of black and a judge’s robes. Under the Black Hat we think of the ‘downside’; why something may not work; what he potential problems might be. This is the ‘critical’ hat.

  • Does this fit our budget?
  • Is this ethical?
  • Will this work?
  • What can go wrong?
  • What are the risks?

Under the Black Hat, thinkers are encouraged to be as cautious and negative as possible. This fits both the natural behaviour of the brain and also a critical thinking culture. The Black Hat is an excellent hat and probably the most important of the hats. It is also the basis of Western thinking culture. But it can be over-used by those who believe it is enough to be critical.


The Yellow Hat is for the ‘logical positive’. Under the Yellow Hat we look for the values and benefits. We look to see how something can be done. All of this does have to be reasonable – it is not the speculation of creativity. In all constructive thinking it is important to develop ‘value sensitivity’. We have a natural ‘danger sensitivity’ but we have to develop ‘value sensitivity’.

  • What are the values here?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How can this be done?
  • What are the positive aspects?

The Yellow Hat is much harder and much less ‘natural’ than the Black Hat.


The Green Hat is the hat of creativity and energy. Think ‘green’ and vegetation and growth. Under the Green Hat everyone present at the meeting makes a creative effort. This is the time and place for creativity. Under the Green Hat we look for fresh ideas, alternatives, modifications of an idea, possibilities, etc.

  • Here is another alternative…
  • We could change the idea…
  • We could also do this…
  • There are these possibilities…
  • What new approach might there be?

In ordinary thinking the critical mode is available at every moment. Under the Green Hat it is formally excluded.


The last hat is the Blue Hat. Think blue and sky and overview. The Blue Hat organises the thinking. The Blue Hat decides on the focus. The Blue Hat decides the sequence of hats to be used. The Blue Hat enforces the discipline of the hats. The Blue Hat puts together outcomes, solutions, designs, next steps, etc.

  • What are we thinking about?
  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What is the outcome here?
  • Can we suggest a solution?
  • What is the next step?

This surprisingly simple framework can be very powerful. Meeting times can be reduced to one quarter or even one tenth of their usual time.

What is most important is that each thinker is challenged to use his or her experience, information and ‘brain power’. It is totally different from ‘clever case making’.

The hats may be used individually to request a type of thinking. A manager (parent) might suggest an idea. Those around would point out the dangers and why the idea might not work. The manager (parent) would listen and then say’ that is the great Black Hat thinking, now I would like the Yellow Hat’.

Normally if someone is against an idea that person is not going to put forward the virtues of the idea. But with Six Hats thinking, the person is challenged to do exactly this.

What is particularly interesting about the Six Hats method is that once the subject has been thoroughly explored the ‘way forward’ often becomes obvious to everyone (family or work colleagues) at the meeting. It is no longer a matter of arguing one proposal against another, or of voting.


When the ‘road map’ has been laid out clearly, it is easy to pick the right road and create a great garden design.

Private Garden Design
Private Garden Design Introduction.
What is your Budget and What are the purposes for your garden?
Designing for a Purpose: Areas which require answers before
answering your Designing for a Purpose Questionnaire.
Then do the Site Survey with Photograghs , before
putting the Current Garden Design on paper or PC.
Using the Broad Design elements of Scale, which Garden Style to use:-
Low Maintenance Garden Style,
Cottage Garden Garden Style,
Wildlife Garden Style or
Japanese Garden Style and the
Hard and Soft Landscaping elements, create the Broad Proposed Design.
Then, the Detailed Design of each Hard Landscaping item
followed by the Soft Landscaping elements:- The Soil,
changing the Microclimate; and the
Plant Selection is influenced by
the Colour Wheel, with
Plant Quantities determined by time to establish versus width between
plants and Companion Planting will provide helpful neighbouring plants.
Garden Design Bibliography.
Garden Design Site Map

Site design and content copyright ©December 2006. Page structure amended October 2012. Chris Garnons-Williams.

DISCLAIMER: Links to external sites are provided as a courtesy to visitors. Ivydene Horticultural Services are not responsible for the content and/or quality of external web sites linked from this site.  

Next Page is Introduction


Garden Design Pages

Site Map *
Before You Start
Designing for a Purpose
Site Survey
The Design Itself
Broad Design
Low Maintenance Style
Cottage Garden Style
Wildlife Garden Style
Japanese Garden Style
Hard and Soft Landscaping
Detailed Design
The Soil
Changing the Microclimate
Plant Selection
The Colour Wheel
Plant Quantities
Companion Planting
Bibliography and further Design Concepts



See Explanation of Structure of this Website with User Guidelines to aid your use of this website.

Case Studies
Companion Planting
Garden Construction

Garden Design *
...RHS Mixed Borders
......Bedding Plants
......Her Perennials

......Other Plants

Garden Maintenance
Offbeat Glossary
Tool Shed
Useful Data

Topic - Plant Photo Galleries
Colour Wheel


Your chosen Garden Style then changes your Plant Selection Process

Garden Style
...Infill Plants
...12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
12 Foliage Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index
...Cultivation, Position, Use Index
...Shape, Form

Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Tree
Evergreen Perennial
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Tree

Herbaceous Perennial
...P -Herbaceous
...RHS Wisley

...Flower Shape

Odds and Sods

Soft Fruit
Top Fruit
Wild Flower

Topic - Wildlife on Plant Photo Gallery