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 …

A front garden being created

There’s a lot going on at the moment. I have several schemes being built & quite few on my drawing board too. It’s all quite exciting particularly as they are all quite different. My client took these photo’s & sent them to me yesterday. She is delighted & so are we. I am back on site on Friday & looking forward to seeing further progress. This is part of a very large scheme that has taken a while to get under way due to several things – one being awaiting the house completion! A row of mature elm trees are …

Chelsea week & lots of media attention!

    It’s been a pretty manic but really interesting week this week. It kicked off last Saturday with photographer Oscar Kornyei from Metro newspaper visiting. We are selling our house & Metro had decided to showcase our place as the cover photo for their property section. Jo Knowsley;  a journalist is delightful & was so enthusiastic about our house it was quite infectious! Having lived here for seven years I’d got used to our garden & had forgotten all the stuff we’d changed to make the house our own, but it came flooding back as we were chatting. Oscar took lots …

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 …