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 …

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 …

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 …

My French Foray!

  I can’t remember not loving France & all things French. I find it so inspiring – particularly their grand gardens which are just tremendous. We always spent holidays there with our dog & our dream was to own our own place & work in France for part of the year. A couple of years ago we bought a place in Loches in the Loire Valley & now I divide my time between here & there. It’s working really well; I meet clients here in England, go to site meetings here & then draw over there where there are fewer …

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 …

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 …

A parterre in the making here at home

We garden here on a budget as we’ve quite a large garden at just under an acre & only so much spare dosh if  I’m honest! We’re doing it ourselves, are still creating it & although gardens are always a work in progress, we’re still building the bones of ours. When we bought the place it was such a mess that needed dismantling & sorting out – here’s proof! Agreed? I wanted to create a new terrace within the garden itself as the one we inherited was in completely the wrong position. It was at the bottom of the garden …

Recycling at home

Recycling at home We inherited several sheds when we moved here four years ago together with sand pits, play equipment & other stuff we didn’t need so we had a big clear out to create the garden I wanted. Friends were delighted to receive various sheds, trellis & a greenhouse (providing they helped to dismantle & collect – we weren’t that generous!) but we did keep one large & very practical shed. Here it is in its original position looking very sad & very brown – yuk! sorry folks but I really can’t stand brown wood stain. I’ve been desperate …

A sad tale

A sad tale We have been creating our garden here in Berkshire ourselves over the last four years with a little help for heavy duty stuff from a great local bloke called Oneil. All has been going well albeit slowly but unfortunately just recently we’ve had a few setbacks. Here is a pic of it taken last summer – As you can partially see, we have a wide avenue of cherry trees (Prunus Pandoras) flanking beds containing Miscanthus ‘Morning light’, Verbena bonariensis & Ligustrum jonandrum half standards. All very pretty! We’ve just planted a parterre too & are planning further …

Living with a garden designer

No, I’m not going to talk about my husband or let him tell you abut how difficult living with me might be! This is a quick one today to introduce you to my other companions – Lottie, Dillon & Charlie – For me living without pets just isn’t on. I was brought up with a menagerie & I just couldn’t imagine life without a dog at the very least. This is Charlie. Sadly she didn’t stay this cute – she is 4 now but my companion when I’m drawing, thinking, walking & sometimes visiting clients. She is a Briard & …