A small garden on an estate

  This is my initial plan for a small contemporary garden on an estate. It’s a great location – right in the heart of Newbury & within walking distance of all the amenities. The downside was the buildings around were quite imposing. The builders had left rubbish around & compacted the ground so much the lawn really struggled. My scheme aimed to create an inward focused garden & provide privacy where needed too. The water feature provides a distraction to the bustle going on beyond the garden.   As you can see it was pretty boring when I first saw …

New studio on the way!

If ever you wonder what it’s like working from home – read this! Usually I love it but doing it whilst you’ve got the builders in is just no fun! This is an update on a previous post about our building work… We bought our Cotswold barn last December & we’ve had the builders here pretty much ever since – it’s October 20th as I type!  It’s been quite trying to say the least but it looks like we are getting there at last. The whole house has been refurbished & renovated & now the link extension to my office …

More to a garden designer than you might think!!

I’m working on quite a big scheme at the moment near Marlborough in Wiltshire. My clients have some great ideas & it’s pushing me to be really creative. I talked about their fantastic  Corten tree sculpture in my last blog & as they want a tree sculpture in their new scheme I’ve been looking at options. As I’ve been so taken with the one they currently have holding up their roof I’ve been playing around with that look in card as a freestanding piece that might sit in a pool. One of the things I liked were the strong bold …

Contemporary garden thoughts this sunny June

I’m busy working on several schemes at the moment & am just about to start on quite a large one near Marlborough in Wiltshire. My clients love all things modern & smart & want something elegant & funky too. I’m excited as I love working with clean lines & my clients have given me free reign. They liked several of my schemes including our own small courtyard garden in Henley on Thames which we sold a few years ago.  I thought I’d take a look at it again 10 years on… This is what we bought which was pretty dreadful …

A romantic & contemporary new garden

This quote I believe is by Alfred Lord Tennyson & the carving was commissioned by my client for his wife – I think it is beautiful. I’m not a poetry fan if I’m honest but I think this is just perfect & such a lovely gesture  – so romantic & looks fabulous engraved in this lovely wide oak boardwalk. This is quite a sizeable scheme – not without issues as there is a considerable change in level from front to back. Although a serious headache I actually love to play with levels as the results can be amazing. They can …

A day in Antwerp buying trees last week

There is the most fantastic nursery in Antwerp in Belgium where we occasionally take clients to buy really special mature trees & topiary. This week was one of those lucky weeks where we flew out for the day to see what we could find. I went with Tom Seward of TS Landscapes who build many of my gardens & collected him at 4am to travel to Heathrow. We met our clients there & the nursery collected us at the other end in Belgium. We chatted all the way & as always we were blown away by everything we saw on …

A garden designers own project – from the beginning

I spend my life designing gardens for my clients but always design my own too. It’s something I love to do & learn from as an added bonus. I’ve had quite a selection over the years; a shoebox with my first little house, a large & casual Cotswold garden, a contemporary courtyard in Henley on Thames, a large & very formal garden to suit my fairly large Victorian house in Berkshire that we sold recently & now this. See blog posts regarding both of these last two gardens.  Now I have redesigned what was a pretty confused garden that is …

My drawings for a barn conversion & large garden

I have a great deal of work on at the moment – all of the gardens are really interesting & quite diverse too which is great. Obviously each design has to suit the clients requirements & wishes as well as suiting the environment. I love that challenge although sometimes this means going through a pain barrier to get the creative juices flowing! This project came about quite unexpectedly – I met my clients well over two years ago. They wrote to tell me they would wait a while as the timing wasn’t right; I thought it was just a polite …

A grand day out

I spent my birthday at Chateau Bourdaisiere in the Loire Valley. For me it’s a perfect day out – a fantastic building, a wonderful restaurant, fabulous grounds & a super shop! My birthday is in August so if I’m in the Loire Valley, I’m likely to have great weather. Spending the afternoon sitting in their walled kitchen garden amongst the dahlia collection, drinking local chilled wine under a shade & eating delicious home grown food with my husband is a very happy experience. There are literally hundreds of varieties in so many shapes & sizes – all labelled & grown …

See how this wild flower meadow has come on

Madly busy here lately but all good. I’ve been dashing about meeting new clients & dropping in to sites to see how they are all going. Well! is the answer – all looking great & everybody is happy. This is a project built last year & this is the wild flower meadow linking the house to the walled kitchen garden. It is looking fantastic & we’re all delighted – amazing the difference from when it was seeded & looked very bare indeed! The trees within it are mature fruit trees from an old orchard. They are a mix of pear …