I skived off work on Friday to see Grayson Perry

  I’ve always loved old maps – particularly the illustrated ones of London & the Thames. My parents had a copy of one with ‘fluvius’ written through the water – it was enlarged & filled a large part of a wall in their bedroom but the detail was still small & just wonderful. When I first saw Map Of Days by Grayson Perry it reminded me so much of that image but this perhaps was even better. The detail, word play & humour in it was just brilliant. It was so intriguing I really wanted to see more. I have …

A Cotswold garden site visit today

It’s a lovely life being a garden designer & today was no exception. I visited a large Cotswold garden & despite being blasted by freezing cold wind & a threatening grey sky I was delighted with what I saw. Last time I was there there was a great deal of brown as it had all been seeded. Being forty acres that’s a lot of brown! It’s still really early spring but you can see it all coming to life & the structure is as I had hoped. Below I have planted Prunus Serrula trees through gravel for structural interest whilst …

Buying topiary for my clients

I love my job as a garden designer. I say it all the time because it is true. One of my favourite things after actually drawing is shopping for trees. I was in Belgium last week looking for trees for a few projects. Unfortunately the weather was pretty dreadful but other than that it was great to visit my favourite nursery again. I went for two days – the first day I travelled with Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co & our client Ginni then I stayed in Brussels & met with Tom of TS Landscapes the next day …

Progress on the home front!

Moving on from my last home blog I am delighted to report I finally have a lovely studio to work in. So much space too! Phew! It’s been a long haul & quite a drag but it’s all worth it now – hooray! Here are some photo’s of its journey… We moved into our Cotswold stone barn just over a year ago & we’ve had the builders with us pretty much ever since. They have finally left now & we’ve been able to enjoy living here. The layout wasn’t ideal so I redesigned it the way I wanted it to …

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 …