Gardeners’ World: Frances Tophill shows how to embrace weeds – ‘very brave’

Frances Tophill gives advice on growing a Prima Donna hop plant

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Frances explained that people tend to remove all wild plants from the garden, but introduced a guest that actually embraces the wild areas in his backyard. A landscape garden designer showed her amazing tropical garden in Clapham, in the middle of London.

The stunning space was filled with huge trees and beautiful flower plants.

He explained that his secret to achieving that result was embracing wild plants.

“All plants are welcome here,” he said.

The amazing garden was filled with tropical plants, bananas, salvias and dahlias which he started growing in pots but then decided to plant on the ground. “And the plants are happier now.”

But his secret to get a stunning garden with tropical vibes is by welcoming wild plants.

“I started to welcome weeds because some can be as attractive as ornamental plants,” he said. “I allow growing both ornamental plants with weeds.”

He explained that a good way to contain weeds is to grow them in pots and revealed his very favourite: Herb robert. “They are really low maintenance, and some can look as good as other plants.”

Frances Tophill said that it was “very brave” what he was doing with his garden. 

Frances recently shared some other tips to make the garden look bigger and explained what are the best plants for small backyards.

In order to make your garden look bigger, the presenter advised you to go big and explained that the plant’s size does matter.

The gardening expert said that when choosing small plants, gardens always look smaller.

“Don’t plant little plants – that’s the biggest thing.

“If you put miniature plants in a small garden, then it will make it look like a miniature space,” she explained.

Instead of filling your backyard with little plants, use large trees to create an optical illusion.

“If you plant one or even two trees and put them at the edge of the garden, then you won’t be able to see down to the bottom of your garden, and it gives the impression that the garden will go on a little bit further than you think,” Frances explained.

“If you plant small plants in a small garden, you can see the whole boundaries all the time.

“Then, because you can see the boundaries, you know they’re there, so it feels cramped.

“Obscure the boundaries with trees or big tropical-looking plants, then you can’t see where the edges are.

“It will feel so much better.”

The expert suggested opting for trees that are “no more than 3 or 4 meters high and have a nice shape” to make your garden feel like a little oasis.

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