Grow Dirt

At Xanthe White Design not only do we design beautiful, functional spaces - our role is also to share knowledge of plants & gardening, so our gardens continue to grow with you.

Dirt is more than the sacred soil, it is the labour and sweat that goes into our gardens, and the knowledge that we share passed down from generation to generation. Design starts with the passing of this knowledge.

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The Art of Gardening

You can't separate the aesthetic of a garden from the labour. The knowledge of gardening is central to our practise. Part of the process of creating new gardens is also about passing the knowledge of the plants and the skills needed to see the garden prosper. Advice and ideas start from learning how to plant, how and when to prune and feed our gardens and expands into experimenting with new plants and ways of growing.

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Dirt grows gardens

Dirt grows gardens, so understanding the soil that is on your site and how to work with it is the key to success in the garden. Everything begins here. Within soil we need to understand both the particles that we are working with and the biosphere of a healthy and productive earth. From this knowledge everything will grow. In a sandy soil we need to work to retain and store moisture while clay soils need aeration. We can both work to develop a soil over time or learn the plants that are particular to that environment. Both result in successful gardens.

Learn more: Prepare an area for planting
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The journey

The joy of a garden does not just come from sitting back and enjoying it but also from the time spent with our nose in the dirt. Gardening is an escape and a place to make memories. There is as much pleasure in the subtleties of seeing the first shoot push up from a clove of garlic as there is in the harvest. Part of designing a garden is considering these moments and how each garden is tailored to the gardener. For some that's about food or ecology, for a place to entertain or a place to relax, but whatever your unique space means to you we encourage you to be active in your gardens and to make them more and more your own as time passes.

Learn more: How to plant a plant

Feed & fertilise

Being on a deadline to produce flowers and fruit or surviving in less-than-optimal soil can be exhausting for plants, so it’s understandable that sometimes they need a restorative tonic to help them be their best selves.

Feed your plants
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Master plantsman

My wonderful friend Terry Hatch is a nurseryman by trade, but an artist and teacher by purpose. The magic of Terry is not that he can spout off a list of botanical names - in fact Terry taught me that to know plants sometimes you might get the name a bit wrong, or backwards, or even have your own name for it - but more important is the plant's story.

Joy Plants by Xanthe White
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“In a handful of rich earth is the recipe to sustain the full spectrum of life & colour that makes a garden. All it needs is our labour & time, nurturing cuttings & seeds, separating the colours from within the rich brown mix, like light shining through a crystal.”

— Xanthe White

About us

Xanthe White Design is a landscape design studio working across a wide spectrum of projects. With a focus on growing spaces, we seek to match the garden to the gardener.

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If you are looking for help with your garden we would love to hear from you. We specialise in landscape projects big or small, including practical gardening help and advice. Please get in touch via the form below or visit the contact page.

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