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Apologies for radio silence!

Apologies for radio silence! Sorry I’ve been quiet of late. It’s not that I’ve nothing to say or show you, I’m just completely up to my eyes in work. It’s all good though & exciting too! Here’s what I’ve been up to then I must get on – I’ve a presentation tomorrow. I’m working on a commercial scheme – eight new dwellings near Henley on Thames. Part of it is a refurbished water pumping station which is nice to be involved with. It’s out in the country & part of the attraction is a large tract of countryside attached which …

A flood story

A flood story Last year I designed a riverside garden for my clients Keith & Kirsty. They wanted a stylish garden to tie in with their stylish house. The existing garden was pretty boring & most impractical too. As you can see, it didn’t really fit with the smart house & the tall step into the house from the deck was dreadful. I redesigned it with practical steps, two large hardwood decks which would both be useful but also reduce the impact of the height difference. We knew there would be flood problems so we had to consider this when …

Planning for Summer

Planning for Summer I am so lucky in that we have not been flooded unlike so many since Christmas. The wind & rain are utterly atrocious!! I mostly work from my studio rather than on site like all the team at the moment, who will certainly be suffering. They are felling trees, laying hedges, creating knot gardens & trying to plant. I am shuddering at the sight & sound of it against my windows & not looking forward to horizontal rain later when I’m off for a site visit. I have four gardens currently being constructed which is exciting, particularly …

Amazing what you hear on Womans Hour

Amazing what you hear on Womans Hour I always listen to radio 4. It has been my informative friend for over 20 years. I remember many years ago sitting at a dinner party beside a scientist who was studying the ability of an unborn baby to repair itself if damaged. She was most impressed I was able to talk a little about this with her & wondered how I knew. I told I’d heard all about it on Womans hour! Anyway – this morning was about a forthcoming exhibition at The Garden Museum in London. I heard “embroidery of the …

A matter of taste

A matter of taste Whenever I travel I purposely look out new & interesting things to inspire & motivate me. I love to see differences in culture, lifestyle & taste. I was in Brussels last week & I found interesting architecture (some very beautiful – some not as in any city), stylish shops, lots of chocolate specialists where chocolates are displayed liked expensive jewels & the most delicious seafood. I’m not sure why but there are two whole streets right in the centre off the Grand Place we named fish streets that were filled purely with restaurants serving nothing but …

21 today!

21 today! My main contractor as you will know if you’ve been following my posts is Rob Jones & his very capable team at The Garden Design Company Ltd. 2 I’ve worked with Rob & his team for several years & it has been a complete joy. Rob always works closely with the designer which is not always the case with contractors. He actually reads my notes & we collaborate throughout the process. This ensures each garden is built as planned & will look fabulous. The attention to detail is excellent always, he knows all the best suppliers & the …

Sculpture in the garden & landscape

Sculpture in the garden & landscape I love to see sculpture in the landscape & regularly specify pieces where I am able. They are fantastic as sight-lines & vistas or as an unexpected hidden gem. They can be simple little glass baubles to catch the light like these by Neil Wilkin the very talented artist or his amazing sun-catchers shown here at Westonbirt a few years ago. I instantly fell in love with his work when I saw these… I take photos wherever I am as I love the medium. Just look at these – aren’t they amazing! I took …

Busy Day Last Friday

Last week I was madly busy preparing for a Friday presentation to my client in Oxford. It’s a contemporary scheme with a south facing front garden where she & her family would like to sit & chill out whilst screened from the world. She wanted a Mediterranean feel & a storage space for bikes & bins. I had to disguise the fact that there was a drive. The rear north facing garden had to incorporate another relaxing area, dining area, lawn, office & a play area with a tree house for the children. How lovely! Here are some sketches & …

Further holiday thoughts…

Have you ever been to Morocco or Marrakech? I thought it a wonderful, fascinating place full of contrasts. Completely different in every way to other trips I’ve taken & I found it really inspirational. My husband proposed to me there so it’s pretty memorable for lots of reasons! Unspoilt is a ridiculously overused term I know but it is true for this place – just look at these two photos I took in the Atlas mountains. I enjoyed the simplicity & totally unspoilt almost biblical landscape. The architecture & style in Marrakech is very modest. From the hot dusty street, …

Thinking about a holiday?

All these holiday adverts on television have made me think about trips past & future. We love to go over to France with our dog Charlie by car & this colourful post today is a quick trip down memory lane to revisit the wonderful gardens at Villandry in the Loire valley. We went about 5 years ago & I really fancy going again. If you haven’t been & love formality & topiary – go! It’s fantastic. Just up the road from Monet’s famous garden – quite a contrast & well worth the journey & of course the food & wine …