Vietnam is home to more than 16% of the world's species despite its slender size. Travelling around I felt like I was in a vast tropical glasshouse and it was hard to put the camera down and just be in the moment. Below we have the very origins of a pineapple fruit, waterlilies that grow in the countless private ponds the Vietnamese raise catfish in, one of thousands of Papaya trees in a plantation that we walked past plus the enormous leaves of a water palm from the Mekong Delta, traditionally used for waterproof roofing. D [...]
My client had an extremely sloping garden that was a struggle to mow. She wanted curves and different levels to make the garden an adventure to plant up and explore rather than a single square of lawn. We explored different shapes and lines and chose a perfect circle for the patio, a raised lawn for sun baking with a sinuous edge and a curved lower path with steps going both down and up. The water feature, made of solid stone, will bubble and shine away like an oyster in this giant shell. Say tuned for what we do with [...]
Formal shapes in a garden could be seen as over controlling and a style and inclination of another age, but love them or hate them,they can be breathtaking. Also as nature tries to burst out of its tight geometric 'bodice', a strong, interesting tension can be generated in a garden especially when it is in contrast to more wild, relaxed planting.
As winter approaches and perennials and grasses begin to droop this is a good time to look at the 'bones' of your garden, those formal shapes made from evergreens. In these pictures we have Viburmum tinus (the lollypop shapes), Buxus, and Rosmary which combine in a musical way to make this area along the outhouse a real focal point all through the winter. The Rosemary serve to give the heavy bulwark of the box columns in the background a sprightly boost and in between the gaps at ground level are silver catmint that have grown so profusely over the summer [...]
Box and yew are the two classic plants that lend themselves to beautiful formal shapes. Triangles as a shape work as a great counter balance to more natural plant forms