We’re in Homes & Gardens Magazine!

One of my gardens that I’ve written about quite a lot here is currently featuring as a 6 page spread in the May edition of Homes & Gardens Magazine. It is not entirely unexpected as the photographer took photos last summer but it was due to be featured in the June edition so we’re all delighted but a little surprised. Here’s a sneak preview… The article focusses on the natural aspects of the garden as Jane is a huge nature lover. The wild flower meadows are by Rob Jones as he’s the expert there – I do structures & layouts. If …

All change!

This is the lovely purple garden around the Breeze House at my client Jane’s garden. It was one of the first things I designed for her some years ago now & it’s been one of my personal favourite areas. I’d used the purple berberis ‘nana’ successfully before instead of box edging & here I used it to link with the Acers to tie the whole thing together. Indeed it was much admired last year at the open day. The largest Acer is original & we added more to complement it & settle the Breeze House into the area. Rather like redecorating, last summer Jane …

Designer garden for sale!

Here’s the heads up – we’ve decided to sell our beautiful large house & garden. Yes, the time has come to be moving on to a new project. I normally stay around 5 years so it’s a bit of a record to have enjoyed 7 years doing up our large Victorian house & garden here in Berkshire. The garden has been transformed from a seriously awful mess with sheds & island beds galore, into a very simple & stylish formal garden to suit our Victorian house. If you’ve read previous blogs of mine you will have followed its progress which has been …

March news

Guess what is going on here? This woodland garden is being improved to house hedgehogs & lots of beneficial insects. Nothing to do with me this time – I’m no expert on bugs I’m afraid but Rob is & his team are creating very stylish & enticing homes for beneficial & sometimes undervalued critters to live in as natural pest control. The wood is already home to some hedgehogs amongst other creatures who enjoy the eco hedges the team have built – see above. All this stylish accommodation has been created from waste on site so it is exceedingly good …

New year news

Wishing you a chilly but Happy New Year to all! This header photo was taken in France where I spent my Christmas break. I’m not a huge fan of freezing temperatures but it does make everything so beautiful! Thanks so much to my lovely clients for the wonderful opportunities & challenges you have given me over the past 12 months. I had my best year ever last year with an array of fascinating projects of all sizes & this year sees more to come. I will try to keep you up to date but I’m usually so busy working I forget …

NGS – Here’s one we did earlier…

    Last Week the garden titled ‘Estate’ on my portfolio page opened to the public for the afternoon under the National Open Gardens scheme for charity. The forecast was very grim indeed so all were prepared for storms but thankfully the sun shone & the garden looked beautiful. Here’s Rob looking very happy on the boardwalk through the bog garden. This was originally an area that had been pushed to one side as it was a bit of a nuisance with springs popping up from time to time & often being very muddy indeed. We got on with the rest of …

Roof trees – a favourite!

I first saw these gorgeous trees in 2010 in Tuscany at the wonderful Vannucci site. I was there with Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co buying trees for a project. We were shown around their vast & splendid site in buggies in scorching sunshine & were completely blown away by what we saw. The photo heading this blog was taken then – note the lovely blue sky. Going to tree nurseries is always a pleasure, even in the pouring rain & hail, as we did very recently in Hampshire. Shortly after I took the photo above the heavens opened …

Tree planting on a grand scale!

I chose four of these fantastic Pterocarya fraxinifolia (wingnut trees) for my clients’ garden in the Cotswolds last March. Aren’t they fantastic?  Lots of planning since then & yesterday they arrived on site! The ground was prepared in advance & several hours later the 1st one is in the ground…They weigh several tonnes each so sufficiently capable kit was brought in & as you can see this tele-handler almost makes it look easy. Two are going in today to complete the line-up & will match in beautifully with a copse close by. The aim of buying such large specimens was to add …

A fantastic buying trip last week!

My clients flew over to meet me in Belgium last week to select large yew topiary specimens & some trees for their large garden. It was a great day as I’d not visited before – only bought via emailed photos. It makes all the difference actually being able to look at trees in three dimensions & relate to them & we all had a super time deciding which ones would work best. My sketch for this topiary walk is below… There were so many to choose from but we have tagged 24 which we will whittle down a little for the final …

A new garden for a barn conversion

I love doing small gardens as they are very satisfying. They are relatively quick to build (I often design very large estates which are implemented over several years in some cases) & the before & after shots are always amazing. With small gardens everything counts & the whole scheme must work throughout the seasons, day & night, back to front & so on. This counts for all gardens of course but more so here as nothing is hidden; I don’t do mini wild flower meadows for example as I don’t believe a small garden can afford such temporary beauty. I …