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 …

A sneak preview

I’ve a contemporary scheme currently being built by Tom & his great crew that I’m so delighted with I thought I’d share. It’s a long garden that used to have virtually nothing but lawn & my scheme divides the space into interesting defined segments. Sketches are above & at the top. Below is how it was. As you can see there really wasn’t a great deal of interest, but for me a blank canvas is a brilliant start. I really wanted to break the space up into interesting chunks & give it a personality. My clients love contemporary & wanted …

A slight deviation from gardens

    We’ve been here for just over 5 years & have been gradually doing the house up as well as creating a garden. Above is the old kitchen that came with the house. Everyone said how lovely it was but it just didn’t do it for me. I did what I could with it – had it painted & bought it smart leather handles but really I wanted more. More worktop space, more circulation space, more light as we are north facing, a proper overhang for our barstools so people can talk to me whilst I cook & now …

Garden open to the public

One of my gardens was opened to the public last week under the open gardens scheme & it was a great success. The sun shone, people arrived in droves, much tea & cake was consumed all was well in my world! Jane & Doug who own the garden had it looking pretty pristine – all of us involved with this lovely project were very proud. Over £1400 was raised for the charity & numbers neared 300 visitors. Here are some pics I took on the day    

What an entrance!

As a garden designer I’m always looking for ideas & assessing what other folks & cultures have created. Ideas come from all over the place so I take photos on my travels to refer to when I’m looking for inspiration. An entrance needs to ‘set the scene’ & reflect ones personality or status perhaps. We’ve just returned from a super trip to Provence & I just loved it there. It was all so stylish, I fell in love with their style all over again as I do on all my trips to France. We were driving down a little lane & …

What does a garden designer look like?

I had a call the other day from a lady wanting her garden designed. I was out on site & being windy I couldn’t really hear what she was saying. What I did hear though was that I was recommended by an interior designer who always referred to me as ‘Prada Jo’. Intrigued, I called the lady back when I got back to my studio to discuss her project. According to her interior designer friend I was the garden designer who turns up with a Prada handbag & designs great gardens. It amused me & made me smile – not …

Quite a week last week!

I have been working at least 6 days a week lately to try & keep up with an amazing workload – I’m not complaining – truly! Just apologising for not writing a blog for yonks & explaining what a nightmare it is when I lose a day to ‘unforeseen circumstances’… In case you hadn’t guessed, my car died in London in the middle lane of the A40 just by Madame Tussauds on my way to see a client. I had a full day planned with several meetings but alarmingly spent a great deal of it directing traffic away from my …

Happy New Year!

I know I’ve been extremely quiet of late so apologies to those who follow my blogs – I can’t always find the time to write about what I’m up to aswell as getting on with what I’m paid to do! I am having the best year ever as I’m so inundated with fantastic work.Thank you so much to all my super clients old & new for trusting me with your gardens. How I love my job – I am one lucky designer. I’m juggling quite a few different schemes at present & have some lined up too. Here’s what I’m …