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 …

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 & …

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 …

Buying trees in winter

I love to plant trees – they instantly add drama & height to an environment & are in fact incredibly good value. A simple cherry tree for example can cost less than a medium size shrub! This time of year, we plant bare root & rootballed specimens which are only available whilst the trees are dormant & the ground is not too hard. It’s a great process; my design will propose certain trees of a certain size – silver birch for example so we, the client, me & my contractor – usually Rob of The Garden Design Co Ltd will …

Our Garden

The main garden is approximately an acre & was pretty grotty when we bought the place. Our main outlook is from the kitchen & the outlook is really important to me – year round, so it needed to be sorted. The previous owner had a good idea of making it formal but the scale was all wrong as was the planting they used and the garden was filled with so much rubbish. What a mess! We set about removing old sheds, a greenhouse under a tree, masses of weeds, sandpit, a pond/swamp & lots of dead plants! The terrace at …