A sneak preview

A sneak preview SO busy I’ve been chasing my tail of late… I’ve been to see a lovely new job in Norfolk, been tree buying in Nottingham, picked up five new schemes & finished three so apologies for radio silence! I got a lovely photo of an almost complete scheme on the outskirts of Henley on Thames this week so I’ll tell you a bit about it then when it’s finally done I’ll upload some smart photo’s of this really lovely scheme.   I actually designed this a couple of years ago but my clients put it to tender then had some …

Using water in the landscape

Using water in the landscape I love to see water in the landscape – whether it be a lake or a small bowl with a single water lily. This cover photo was taken in Bangkok by a very smart shopping centre. It’s such fun & very stylish which works very well in a public space such as this. It would cool you down in the Thai heat too if you felt the need! I’ve used water in many of the gardens I’ve created as they form fantastic focal points or provide sound to soothe or smother, depending on what might …

What to do with Ivy

What to do with Ivy This is an article that Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co Ltd wrote which I thought was worth sharing as so may of us ponder the merits of ivy in our trees. It’s well worth a read… Octobers’ Wildlife Column in the Royal Horticultural Society’s The Garden Magazine waxed lyrical about the benefits of Ivy. “Ivy offers food and shelter” the article stated and this is accurate  to a point. Anyone walking past an ivy clad fence experiences the hum of bees and other insects seeking out its late flowers in the late Autumn, …

Wondering about willow

Wondering about willow I do love willow. I love it as a tree – particularly the contorted type, but also in its full glory beside a lake. I love it as cut twigs in a vase & I love what creative people can do with it – just look at the top two pictures today. Aren’t they amazing? By artist Emma Stothard. Today’s post about willow came about as we are creating a new parterre here in our own garden. It’s a series of formal squares with a tree in the centre of each (I’ll post photos of it throughout …

Like a child in a sweet shop!

Like a child in a sweet shop! I had a super day yesterday – in the sunshine no less! I went out with Rob, my landscape contractor to see some of my gardens being constructed, then on with Emma, Rob’s plant sourcer to buy specimen plants & trees for new gardens. We started near Henley at Nick & Nicola’s sloping garden where the team have been felling unwanted trees & laying a new hedge. It’s looking fantastic – such an improvement. I will post before & after shots shortly. Next onto the Estate garden near Amersham to say hi to …

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 …