Caroline Wesseling: A Designer with a Passion, sharing her thoughts on Landscape Design

As a designer it is important design gardens that reflect the client’s personality & needs with added “style and flair”.


You need to be able to quickly visualise what’s right for the site and see the end result in relation to the needs and desires (or “brief”) the client conveys. You should then  confidently translate the stages necessary to get to that end result. A designer needs get to know the clients so they can relate their needs and dreams for their property. It is important that clients get a garden they feel comfortable in and have a strong emotional response to it.

When working on a garden design always try to respond to the architecture of the house and the nature of the site, as well as the client’s personality which is mirrored in the interior of the house. Each garden is then “Tailor-made” for the client and the site.

Caroline Wesseling


A consistent theme of Caroline’s work  is emphasis on strong structure, using both hard and soft landscaping materials. Plants are used to manipulate spaces and create strong forms. Some designers view plants as decoration, as a softening element for the architecture.  But strong architecture and strong landscaping can work together.

Plants don’t just add decoration but can be used for sculptural and structural purposes giving that extra “wow factor”. Many plants are not naturally sculptural but can be planted in masses or clipped to give structure to a garden.

In garden design it is important to remember that “green is a colour”. Contrasting variations of greens and the textures in plants give added interest to the garden.  Alternatively use plants with linear upright foliage against rounded shapes, or planting layers of contrasting colour and texture.

Clipped hedging is a passion but Caroline is careful not to use it if it does not fit the theme she is achieving for the garden. With the correct choice of plants flowers and colour can also be achieved on a seasonal basis.

Themes are important and help develop the style of layout and the selection of plants for the garden.  A chief aim is to create gardens that look good all year round with low maintenance. To achieve this use plants not only suitable for the style but also for the conditions of the site. Plants with good form and disease resistance lead to a low maintenance garden.


Much of Caroline’s work is influenced by the modern contemporary gardens of Europe and a recent trip to the Netherlands where designers use blocks of plants both bold and soft to good effect in very small spaces. At other times she uses ideas consciously and unconsciously absorbed through her study and hands on experience with her garden maintenance properties.


Gardens are always evolving. It doesn’t end with the design and installation. Trees grow and the planting around them will eventually need to be changed. As plants grow the amount of sun in a garden will change and more shade tolerant plants may be needed. In fact all plant material varies in its longevity and some plants eventually get to their “use-by date”. cw7
With this in mind continue with your garden maintenance, always revisiting parts of your garden looking at the changes that may need to be made. A garden is a living and breathing thing that is constantly changing with the seasons and time.

To keep your  gardens at the height of their perfection, constant maintenance with weeding, trimming, composting and spraying when necessary are essential .Further consultation and advice from designer will help your  garden progresses to maturity.

For more information or to contact Caroline click here

4 comments on “Caroline Wesseling: A Designer with a Passion, sharing her thoughts on Landscape Design

  1. Nikki Bennison on said:

    I have a high stone wall facing north west which we have planted a hedge of pompom prunus lusitanica on and have underplanted with convulvulus ceonorum which has now passed its sell by date. Is there something else you would suggest underplanting there which still has form, structure etc and likes being a little dry. We have a few tropical plants elsewhere in the garden and would quite like to unify the theme. please can you suggest?? Nikki

  2. Nikki Bennison on said:

    Please can you make a suggestion.

  3. Hi Nikki,
    I would suggest you try either one of these. Your final choice will also depend on what height you are after.
    We have tried both these plants in these conditions and they both work a treat.
    1. Astelia banksii or
    2. Acorus variegata I love this one it is such a hardy plant.

  4. Hi Nikki,

    Sounds like the pompom Prunus lusitanica may already give you the structure and form you require. Adding tropicals to this garden may confuse the eye. So I suggest using layers of classical plants such as Dietes grandiflora or Dianella Border Silver with Cerastium tormentosum in front, which is a low ground cover which will happily trail over the wall as well.

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