My design philosophy grows from a belief that truly enchanting gardens lead us out from ourselves into greater connection with the world around us; the relaxed closeness they foster when enjoyed with family and friends, or the sense of harmony with the rest of the living world as we watch our plants burst into growth, bloom, and fall back with the changing of the seasons.
Drawing on a depth of practical knowledge of plants and construction, I design gardens that forgo the obvious to create truly magical places. Starting from your ideas of what you want from your garden, I will work with you to first bring this vision into clearer focus and then to make it a reality.
I first started working in gardens on leaving school at 18, learning a range of skills from laying patios to pruning roses and clipping topiary as well as doing an RHS qualification in horticulture. After 3 years I decided to go off to university and to see the world studying anthropology in Sussex and later Copenhagen with a two year stint in Moscow in between. On returning home to London I decided also to return to gardening and set up my own business.
I have always had a keen interest in art and design and so combining this with my work in gardens was always the obvious career path for me and so I embarked on a diploma at the London College of Garden Design.
The clients wanted a statement garden that expressed a spiritual connection to nature, that fused elements of the Japanese garden tradition with the quality of the local Sussex countryside, restored the wooded areas of the property, and incorporated a natural swimming pool.
The walled garden around the house is a stylised expression of the essential qualities of the local downland landscape. Grand steps lead out to a long straight path across a meadow, cut through by a “river” of compacted chalk based on the sinuous form of the local Cuckmere river, through to a clearing within the restored woodland that features a circle of yew “standing stones”, and finally to the natural pool at the back of the garden, far away from the road and other houses.
The character of this garden was set by a beautiful, tall, old, stone wall running through the middle of it and a barn of the same stone and age which serve to separate it into distinct areas. The clients to add colour and beauty to this garden as well as space for entertaining and relaxing while retaining the three separate characters that were present. They also wanted to find a use for the barn which had been quite poorly restored and was not being made the most of.
The concept picked up on the clients desire for relaxation and three distinct characters creating a loose, carefree, and colourful space for entertaining; an ordered and balanced formal garden; and a natural, serene woodland area that also included hidden away spaces for the children to play. The rather cheap-looking, modern roof on the barn was removed, exposing the timber frame onto which Wisteria was trained, with reflective pools and lush, planting added creating a quiet space for contemplation and relaxation.