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 team are …

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 …

Talking tree houses

Tree houses are incredibly popular at the moment & why indeed not! They are fantastic for all – adults & children. I stayed in one in South Africa when I got married & we had monkeys joining us for breakfast. It was so stylish & well equipped – quite amazing. I am being asked more & more for tree houses with two currently on my books – one town & one country. There are lots of wonderful options so imagination & funding are the only limits. This is only a brief post today as I’m chock-a-block with work & meetings …

Unearthing a wine cellar!

I designed this bed full of pompom topiary for my client Jane to replace the overgrown straggly shrubs that were there. Whilst the guys were digging over the ground they found a hole! it was a filled in hole, but curiosity got the better of all so the team kept digging! stairs were found too! They lead sadly not to an amazing tomb filled with riches but a large underground room. How interesting – hmmm what shall we do with it? A wine cellar was considered a great idea but how do we stop little ones falling in? A lovely …

Land sculpture

As I was telling you yesterday about a project near Henley that involves land sculpture I thought I’d share some images of how we did it at another site near Amersham. It’s the garden titled ‘Estate’ in my folio. Here are a few ‘before’ shots – as you can see, the terrace hovers over the garden with an ugly retaining wall with no safety barrier. My client wanted to bring the garden to the house so land sculpture seemed the ideal solution. Here is my sketch for a substantial new raised garden! As the garden is so large, the scale …

Hi ho hi ho….

Happy New Year everybody! I hope it brings you everything you wish for. Thanks again to all my existing clients for such wonderful projects – it’s been a pleasure. I hope you continue to enjoy your gardens for years to come. Yes – I’m back to work today. I have a few schemes on the board at the moment & a few others brewing so I’m hoping for a really busy & interesting 2014. Of course I will share here & talk about processes before all the beautiful finished photos go up on my website. My priority is a site …

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 & …