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April news

posted in Creating gardens for my clients

April news

It’s been a busy month as usual but I thought you might be interested to read what I’ve been up to so here’s my April news.

I designed several schemes from my French studio throughout February & March & this month I have been presenting them. Wednesday’s presentation was for Jane, a client I have worked with for many years & this is the fifth garden I have designed for her & her husband. It’s so incredibly flattering to be asked to do this – I am very aware of my good fortune. I recommended Tom Gresford who is a fantastic architect based in Oxford & together we are designing the house & garden in Old Amersham. I showed some of the drawings in my last blog but here is the main layout & a section view seen from the kitchen…

Plan view of a contemporary garden by Joanne Alderson Design
Plan view
Drawing by Jo Alderson Phillips of section through the garden in Old Amersham
This is a cross section of the garden as seen from the kitchen showing amazing cherry trees & a fabulous water feature beside the terrace

The garden is very much inward looking so every detail is important & the view from every window or balcony has to be great! There are a couple of dramatic water features, topiary, large terraces, pretty cherry trees, a kitchen garden, roof garden & outdoor fireplace. It’s quite a place & I hope will be very much enjoyed year round by my very sociable clients.

Jo Alderson Phillips selecting multistemmed cherry trees at #Hilliers
Here I am at Hilliers choosing trees for this project in Old Amersham

This is me at Hilliers trade nursery in Hampshire selecting cherry trees for the project. These are fabulous Prunus Ichyo multistems & match my wish list perfectly. Thanks Jim for showing us around & tagging these wonderful specimens!

These drawings below are part of a grand plan for a 25 acre estate in South Wales. It already has fabulous views & an existing lake but not great gardens. My scheme includes harmonious new planting, large terraces, a boardwalk across the lake with a deck, new boulder fields to make the most of those existing currently dotted randomly around the site & a fabulous entertaining space with outdoor kitchen.

This is wildly different from my norm & as you can see involves lots of boulders! Below is the entertaining space with outdoor kitchen, reflection pool & smart planting. I love designing with cherry trees & these are snow goose.

Contemporary garden with reflection pool & outdoor kitchen for entertaining
This is their home office & the garden is designed for entertaining with an outdoor kitchen

Next is a scheme I have designed in Bath on a sloping site. There will be a swimming pool, terracing with beautiful Bath stone walls, a great kitchen garden & a natural pond. Here is one of my drawings of the pool area. I am really excited by this one but it is a tricky one as their site is steep & there are restrictions due to it being in a conservation area. Tom Gresford is also involved in this one as are engineers & planning consultants. There is a terraced garden too that contains the kitchen garden & lastly a wildflower meadow with natural pond. My client is involved in the Green Planet series on television so this area is very much his favourite. You can see these drawings in previous blogs.

Swimming pool & terraces by Jo Alderson Phillips @ Joanne Alderson Design

Next is phase 2 of a large scheme I designed a few years ago that was built by Tom Seward & his team near Henley on Thames. This phase connects the garden to one of their barns that will soon become a yoga studio. Here is a sneak peek of that.

The walled courtyard garden beside the new yoga studio

There are a few other gardens I can’t talk about yet so those will be in another update. Here in our own garden Spring has finally arrived & the leaves are appearing again on the trees – hooray! We have added several Zantedeschia to the pond which look terrific with the Spring flowers.

Spring has arrived at last!

I said in my last blog how the greedy heron had been & taken all our fish whist we were in France. We were so disappointed & debated what to do. I cleaned it out over the bank holiday (lucky me!) as there was quite a bit of debris too big for the pumps & I like it to look immaculate. So I donned my waders, net & pond vacuum & set to work – see below. Imagine my delight when I saw what I thought was one of Bruno’s toys by the filters & found it was one of our fish! A really beautiful big orange one. I hadn’t seen him before as it’s quite deep there but the poor thing must have been hiding away for weeks! Now we are here & Dillon our cat is on patrol again we will restock. The new fish can hide if they need to under the planting shelves & when we return to France we will try a fake heron beside the pool & keep our fingers crossed.

Me cleaning out our reflection pool
This heron under a road in Oxford stood here for at least 3 hours! We saw him going & returning from our dog walk – such patience!

Funnily enough, it was bank holiday Monday yesterday so we took Bruno to walk by the river in Oxford. My husband spotted this heron under a busy road bridge waiting patiently for a passing fish. When we walked by on our return at least 3 hours later he was still there! Such tenacity!! Fingers crossed for our newcomers!

Finally, very different news. My sister lost her beloved dog a while ago so I tried my best to find her a new puppy. It took a while as they are rare but last week I went to visit Hattie – her gorgeous new Bernese Mountain dog. Here we are…

Me & Hattie yesterday

Until next time!