Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Borde Hill Garden - West Sussex

On an unseasonably warm autumnal day, with a few friends and Charlie the dog we enjoyed the beautiful russet tones and floral surprises of this Edwardian garden.

The strong reds and yellows of autumn appeared even brighter against the grey backdrop of a misty day.

Due to the lack of any really cold weather so far this year there were still some remnants of summer lingering in the rose garden and herbaceous borders, a slightly faded memory of the blue skies and bright colours that had been there before.

As the plants recede into a mass of russet colours and the flowers fade, the structure of the garden begins to reveal itself. This garden was set out as a collection of "garden rooms" a phrase that is now fashionable in garden design. It means as you walk around the space you find surprises around every corner.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Voewood House - Norfolk

I was in my home county of Norfolk last weekend for a beautiful wedding in the Arts and Crafts setting of Voewood House. Although I had been told that this house was a great example of the period (dating from 1903) I was excited to find the gardens were similarly special.

The gardens are still set out in a typical fashion of the Edwardian era and reflect the gentler, more 'hand-made' approach of this movement against the brashness and industrialisation of the Victorians.

The Edwardian garden often had a strong geometric layout, which was then softened by planting. A look back at older styles of garden was interpreted by a using a central feature, often a bird bath or water of some sort with the paths and borders laid out around.

The Arts and Crafts elements of this garden result in some unusual and quirky features.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Chelsea Flower Show 2015

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is to a garden designer what Paris Fashion Week is to a fashion designer. For me it's an annual must-do and a great place to gather inspiration for my own projects.

Here are a few things that caught my eye as I wondered round.

There were some great ideas for focal points and interesting artworks. The man crouching by the ruin had an eerie, transulsant appearance. 
If you're ever in need of some kitsch then what better than a giant cherry?

Best in Show, well for me anyway....
There were a couple of gardens that stood out for me, the colour combinations and simple layouts work well.

Deep blues and violets next to burnt orange is the absolute on-trend of gardening combinations this season.

A few extra highlights.....

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Hampstead Heath / Kenwood House - North London

On a beautifully sunny afternoon in London what better place could you be than watching the shimmering cityscape whilst surrounded by beautiful landscape at Hampstead Heath?

As I wondered past Kenwood House I thought to myself "what a beautifully English country landscape scene" and then I realised that this was in fact enhanced by one of the most famous english landscape architects; Humphry Repton. Many of what we think of as typical english landscape scenes are in fact 18th century 'enhanced' landscapes created by garden designers such as Capability Brown and Humphry Repton. It is the sweeping lawns and perfect vistas that give it away.

Although it is only March, the gloriously warm spring sunshine had produced a flourish of spring bulbs that were revealing their vibrant colours around the bases of old trees.

An anomaly only really seen (or should I say heard) in London are the bright green Parakeets that sing in shrill voices in the leafless trees, adding an air of London eccentricity to the walk.

It's thirsty work all this walking around the parkland......