March 2018

I shall be away from the UK for the first two weeks of March - combining business with pleasure! A week in Singapore visiting family and exploring the incredible Gardens by the Bay, botanical gardens and other horticultural delights, then a week in Japan, exploring traditional Japanese gardens in Kyoto, seeing something of the countryside before a visit to Tokyo - catching up with old friends and experiencing the sensory overload of the city. I plan to eat my body weight in sushi. It will be Ume season - plum blossom, with perhaps the first hint of cherry

December 2017/January 2018

With a tiny break between Christmas and New Year winter has progressed full steam with pruning, digging up unwanted rose suckers and tired old shrubs (the ground is so soft here in some of my Essex/Suffolk border gardens just now, they just slide out of the ground!) and planning planning planning to fill those gaps.


Its been a joy to find already that buds are swelling, birds are singing and spring is certainly in the air.


The tiny bit of snow we had, much as I loved it, rather ruined the beautiful Piet Oudolf-esque effect of winter grass and seed heads in one of my gardens. Flattened grass isn't pretty, so chop chop chop - but next year's growth was already in evidence, so that's OK


Rivenhall now have their plan for the new school wildlife garden. The children's involvement at the site analysis and design stage has resulted in some lovely ideas that us adults hadn't considered: a 'hill for watching sheep' and an outdoor stage. Sadly the school decided not to go with the zipwire idea (understandably!) but I hope the children will be very proud of their new outdoor area, and, once they get involved with constructing minibeast habitats and planting in the spring, I'm sure they'll take care of it.


This project brought home to me the truth of what I already believed: that giving clients, no matter how old they are, the opportunity to really think about what they want and share their ideas at the outset will result in the most satisfying outcomes


One last thing, which is still under wraps, but soon to be made proper news... I have been asked to co-lead an extremely exciting design project with fellow garden designer Wendy Smith. This is a 'pinch myself I must be dreaming' project and we are both ridiculously excited about it! More details to follow once everything is concrete...   but here is a sneaky peak at part of the initial site survey drawing I produced from our measuring up morning:

October/November 2017

Autumn has whizzed by in a haze of plans coming to fruition, lorries of plants arriving, lists being checked and borders being planted. Fantastic! 

I've still had time to maintain my lovely clients' gardens (but rather neglect my own) and have had some fantastic Designer Development Days and Networking opportunities with movers and shakers in the wider industry:

  • A day of inspiration at Cambridge Botanic Gardens with Neil Lucas of Knoll Gardens sharing his extensive recommendations of beautiful grasses for any space
  • SGD Autumn Conference: Inspirational talks on the subject of using water from Tom Stuart-Smith, Philip Johnson, Mette Skjold, Andrew Wilson and Andrew Ewing 
  • A fascinating talk from Giles Heap of CED explaining the pros and cons of using different stone pavers in a variety of locations. Lots of technical details and pitfalls to be aware of. So useful to us designers.


September 2017

September Blog post: A Day in The Life of A Gardener   (a little hymn to the joys of garden maintenance)

September Already?  The greatly fanfared blog is still waiting for me to sit still for a minute, the problem will be deciding what to write about as it's been such a busy and interesting summer. Garden maintenance work has been hugely satisfying, getting some really beautiful gardens under control. Design projects are gearing up for the planting stage so busy times ensuring ground is prepared and orders are on schedule.


My personal plant collection has reached ridiculous proportions - thinking of ways to create more space is fun


Industry events have been really enjoyable - from an illuminating and inspiring symposium at Majestic Trees to  The Landscape Show in London. Connecting with other professionals in the wider industry - it's great to see developments in vertical wall technology and develop a deeper understanding of the strength and porosity of different paving materials from specialists in the field.


I'm halfway through a course 'Planting The Piet Oudolph Way' assessed by the one and only Noel Kingsbury. There's some familiar stuff there, but enough new nuggets to make it a useful thing to do - so anyone wanting a Dutch Wave perennial border, get in touch!


And finally, I'll leave you with a pretty picture. During a brief holiday to the Lake District I visited  Lowther Castle to see the relatively new work of one of my favourite planting designers, Dan Pearson. Enjoy 



July 2017

New Blog   The Border Designs blog has arrived. Give it some time. At present there is a test welcome haiku of dubious quality. New blog post notifications will be published on the Border Designs Facebook Page as they emerge

June 2017

June has been a wonderful time of growth for Border Designs, along with the plants!


I've been rather too busy to update the website as I've been occupied with planting design work, horticultural consulting - from private gardens to school grounds, and of course, lots of lovely gardening in some beautiful spaces.


My SGD membership has been fantastic as I'm meeting lots of great designers and broadening my knowledge - a recent course on construction detailing has shown me how interesting hard landscaping and construction can be, and how much you need to know before you undertake construction jobs.


I've managed to squeeze in some garden visits - Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate Court this month, as well as a brilliant day at the Chelsea Flower Show. Looking forward to July.


May 2017

My First Article Published for Thinkingardens    


A blog created by Author and Garden Maker,  Anne Wareham  'For people who want more than gardening from gardens. 


Read my ruminations on garden design: 'What Style?' by Kate Cox

April 2017


So excited to announce that I have been accepted as a Pre-Registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers

As THE professional association in the U.K. for garden designers, the standards are extremely high. As a new designer I've got to get a few more designs under my 

belt before there's sufficient evidence for full registered membership. I'm looking forward to meeting lots of other designers and landscapers, sharing tips and training. Exciting times ahead! 










March 2017

NEW FOR 2017 - GARDENING COACHING  with Kate from Border Designs


Prices start from £120 for a half day session 


Spring is here, the sap is rising, now is the time to get back out there


If you need a bit of guidance on what jobs you need doing to make your garden gorgeous this year, or a bit of company to make the work more fun, get in touch and we can work out a plan!


February 2017

If you get the opportunity pay a visit to some Winter gardens this month. I have had a wonderful visit to Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge this month and came away really inspired for new planting ideas. Visit my Border Designs facebook page to see the full photo album.

January 2017

New Planting Design at Firstsite, Colchester

So excited to have been asked to re-design the planting outside Colchester's Firstsite gallery. The original planting is long gone and the empty bark enclosure is not a worthy fit for the fabulous construction or the gorgeous neighbouring Minories garden.


I'm looking forward to selecting beautiful hardy low maintenance plants suited to the varied conditions of the site - from hot sun-baked to deep shade, robust enough to thrive in a busy public space.


Watch this space! 

Photo: East Anglian Daily Times

November 2016

Worshipful Company of Gardeners, London: Award

A real honour to receive this beautiful certificate at the Worshipful Company of Gardeners' Autumn Court Dinner at Carpenters' Hall. A fascinating talk from Juliet Sargeant, excellent food and a warm welcome to us prize winners.

October 2016 

Hertfordshire Garden - replanting 


The Leylandii hedging was dying out at the base. The soil was depleted of nutrients. Soil improver would need to be incorporated before re-planting with dry shade tolerant plants.




As the Leylandii hedge plants had become tall trees they were no longer fulfilling their role as a privacy screen.




An Acer needed liberating from the trees. 




Willow screening installed by Chris Milner of Milnscapes to wind between the trimmed back Leylandii tree trunks. With the soil improved a selection of dry shade tolerant perennials could be planted. 




With privacy secured a golden stemmed bamboo was planted between the Acer and camellia in one of the clients' pots. the lower level planting in between consists of perennials with contrasting foliage shapes and colours. The new turf was edged.




A potted black stemmed bamboo contrasts with the smart white paving and creates a focal point closer to the house.

September 2016

Border Designs is making a guest appearance on The Honey Hunter blog, as featured in In Style Magazine


Visit for my top tips on supporting honey bees and for suggestions of flowering plants that will provide pollen and nectar for honey bees throughout the year


All images Copyright Kate Cox unless otherwise stated

We are located at: Colchester, Essex

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