Gardens of Miami No.2 – Vizcaya

January is a month when many of us dream of an escape to the sun. If we’re feeling flush we might take advantage of discounts and book a holiday. A few lucky folk may find themselves in a position to buy a property abroad – perhaps a modern villa with a pool, or a quaint […]

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Delos Reimagined

I imagine I have a lot to deal with at The Watch House, but being the custodian of a large, historic garden is a different matter altogether. Responsibilities range from maintaining the fragile fabric (living and non-living) to deciding the future course of the garden’s development; not to mention fathoming out where all the money […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2018: The David Harber and Savills Garden

  Such is my inability to pick a winner that none of my three favourite show gardens won a gold medal this year. This is why I am not a betting man. My own disappointment is irrelevant, but it must be difficult to reflect objectively on your endeavours when you’ve invested heart and soul in […]

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Story of Flowers – Azuma Makoto

  If you have delved into my essential reading list, you will already know that I find the work of floral artist Azuma Makoto breathtaking, to the point of being moved to tears by it. In a world where one frequently feels one has seen it all before, his work is a revelation, encouraging us […]

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Christmas at The Watch House

Motivated by the prospect of an OK-style, ‘At Home with Mr Christmas’ photoshoot this week, I have been decorating every corner of The Watch House in readiness for the festivities. This is the first year that the house has been properly habitable since the extension into Polegate Cottage and I have enjoyed getting into those […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016-2017: The Morgan Stanley Gardens

  Given the paucity of show gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, I regret not having written more about last year’s crop, which had a different pedigree altogether. I hope to correct one such oversight now, by comparing and contrasting Morgan Stanley’s two most recent Chelsea gardens, both designed by Chris Beardshaw. This year’s […]

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RHS Botanical Art Show 2017

  Had I not been a landscape architect, gardener or fashion designer – all professions suggested by my school careers advisor, who was largely at a loss with anyone who didn’t want to be a teacher, lawyer or doctor – I might have been a botanical artist. As a student I possessed extraordinary patience and […]

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A Once in a Lifetime Job

  Our building project was due to finish in mid July. It’s now late November and the work continues, over time and over budget. Although the end is in sight, the job may or may not be completed before Christmas. Early excitement and expectation has long since faded into disillusionment and irritation, but by next […]

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Saying it with Flowers

  Two subjects I prefer not to write about in this blog are my day job and artificial flowers. Today I make an exception, perhaps because it’s my final day working in China, or perhaps because I have been separated from real flowers for far too long. At this point in my travels I do […]

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Il Giardino di Boboli, Florence

  The Medici of Florence were not only one of the richest families in Europe for a time, but also phenomenal garden makers. They laid out the grounds of their multitudinous palaces and villas to demonstrate power and control, making extensive use of precious water, shading trees, citrus fruits and fragrant roses. The Medici gardens […]

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