What's hot in the world of horticulture.....
I have been really busy recently but I managed to squeeze in a day off today and visited Goddards House and Garden - the home of Terrys chocolatier Noel Terry. I was not disappointed and the visit highlighted a very important point.
The home and garden are in perfect harmony with each other which is no accident as the garden designer, George Millstone, worked very closely with the architect, Walter Brierley to bring the arts and crafts style to life in this place. Garden designers understand that a garden should sit well in its setting and so the style of house is crucial to the style of the garden. So, very often garden designers will work alongside architects when new house builds are planned or even when a new conservatory or extension is planned. This makes perfect logical sense and, often, the garden designer can suggest the correct placement of doors and details in connection with build to make the most of the garden.
When planning a change to your house, remember to think of the garden and bear in mind that Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design is waiting to work with your architect! If you already have your extension, we can advise on how to redesign your garden to make the most of your space.
Ever noticed how some gardens have good bone structure? By that I mean they have interesting high and low points for the eye to rest on. These gardens usually have good evergreen planting so that there is something to look at all year and sculpture as a focal point.
I made the red willow 'egg' sculpture in the picture for my pond and every morning I can enjoy the view from my window of birds which come and perch on it whilst taking a rest. The willow is striking and seems to 'glow' as it catches the low Winter sun.
The garden on the right is York Gate in Adel - if you visit only one garden this year make it this gem. It is crammed with ideas for focal points and sculpture.
And as the Winter weather arrives, try photographing your garden in snow. If it still looks interesting chances are it has good bone structure. If not, well you know where to come for advice.....!
This month I am loving the fencing on this show garden by C & W Berry which won a gold medal. The great thing about this garden is that it is full of small landscaping details which, taken altogether, pack a real punch.
Designers understand that, in contemporary spaces, the small details really count and are constantly on the lookout for ways to make fencing and paving fit the mood of the garden and elevate it from ordinary to extraordinary.
Outdoor cooking areas are really big this year and there are some wonderful ideas for making bespoke areas just perfect for your space.
If you want to know how to use water effectively in a garden take yourself to Harewood House and gardens (or call me obviously!) The reflections of the grand trees in the lake help to create a sense of serenity and are captivatingly beautiful. Water goes well with sculpture too.
Also pictured above is the bridge in the Himalayan garden providing a lovely focal point amongst the vibrant planting.
If you are looking for inspiration for your garden I can recommend a visit to Parcevall Hall gardens. The site reads like a lesson in how to incorporate stunning views into your garden - the views are framed or design 'tricks' are used to lead your gaze to them at every opportunity.
We entered the formal gardens via a short woodland walk in which we all managed to get lost but no matter as the woods were full of charming little bridges and walkways.
There is a rock garden and rose garden to explore too.
This was a floral masterpiece this year with blooms calculated to be in keeping with Her Majesty's 90 birthday celebrations.
However, when the roses, lupins and hollyhocks got just a little too overwhelming, there were quiet spaces to relax and feel calm again.
Chelsea always brings out the best and this year was no exception!
Ishihara brought us the 'garage garden' - an innovative use of a small space featuring cool and restful planting in delicate hues.
The other photograph depicts part of the Morgan Stanley Garden designed by Chris Beardshaw. It shows how sculpture can be used to bring an area alive as a 'focal point'. However, most importantly, it demonstrates that a shady garden does not have to be a dull one. You can use different textures and hues of green to introduce character and charm.
The Husqvarna Garden below was also inspirational. Designed by Charlie Albone it demonstrates wonderful balance and symmetry and those pleached trees which we designers find so useful! Elegant white peonies form a central focal point in front of the seating and there appears to be a floating roof over the seating!
The garden design world is fit and well - time to get back to the drawing board!
The musings of an obsessed garden designer....
When I am not designing gardens, I am visiting flower shows and horticultural events to bring you the latest developments!