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 …

Can’t we too have stone pavements?

After tree buying in Sunny Autumnal Hampshire I dashed off for a few even sunnier days in Portugal for a quick break with my husband. Besides enjoying 25 degree sunshine & warm balmy evenings – yes in November lucky me! It was great to see & enjoy a different culture. We visited the newly built Paula Rego foundation with its fantastic architecture. She was a local girl (now living in London) & designed the place herself I understand – it’s gorgeous… Pictured here next to it on the right is a scientific research centre just up the road from us. …

Buying mature trees for Autumn colour

Last Monday I spent the day at Hilliers tree nursery in Ampfield, Hampshire. They are a terrific source of British field grown trees & are fairly local to me which is all great. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m working on a substantial Acer glade for my client Jane, so went with my colleague Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co Ltd as he & his team are implementing the scheme for her. We had a wish list of what we wanted & had reserved some on principle but, it’s really important when buying large expensive specimens that you are really …

Latest News

Latest News I have been busy on so many projects I’ve not had time to update my behind the scenes section so here’s a brief update of what I’ve been doing… I am part way through a design for a very large (100 acre) estate in the Cotswolds. My client won’t be moving in for a couple of years & it is currently a building site but forward thinking such as this means we can design & get the landscape establishing first. There’s a lake (see above plan) for example which will have a couple of islands & maybe some …

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 …

A French tale

A French tale We’ve just returned from an eventful trip to Burgundy. The car died & we suffered a great deal of hassle but nevertheless, they are so right when they say how stylish the French are. Everywhere we went the landscape was so well considered & beautiful. My header photo is just typical of what I mean – four fabulous Acers mark the centre of the village & provide shade too for visitors & locals alike. Lines of poplars are everywhere which is of course classic French countryside but doesn’t it just look fabulous? We visited Fontenay Abbey built …