The Last Days of Summer - RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey (Part 1)

I'm listening to Bob Dylan's 'Street Legal' as I write this blog. Perhaps not his best album from the 1970s but certainly not a terrible album that's for sure. It's actually pretty good. Anyway, it's playing right now as I sit down to write. It has been a while since I written a blog. The idea being that I venture outside when the weather is good and enjoy some of Britain's finest gardens and natural spaces and blog about them. Or write about landscape design ideas as they come to me. But day to day life can be a busy equation. Or, to be more honest with you, it's been too hot!  Here's the thing, I don't really like south-east England in the summer time. I find the humidity surprisingly repressive and as a result I tend to retreat indoors for the most part, which is what I've been doing these past few months. It was a hot one this year even by my Australian standards. However, toward the end of summer Britain miraculously boasts some of…

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Searching for 'Walden' - Hever Castle Gardens - Edenbridge, Kent

Once again I was revisiting some photos of a field trip I took with a friend on a Sunday during the season of autumn. On this particular day myself and my friend who resides in Kent decided to visit Hever Castle in Edenbridge, Kent. In Britain, the autumn season can be a bit temperamental with the likelihood of rain and overcast skies can dampen the mood somewhat. But when the conditions are right with its cool crisp air and blue sky, the results are nothing less than soul-stirring - creating the kind of weekend you'll remember for a very long time to come. At least that's how this particular Sunday felt to me. I've always felt deeply enamored by the English countryside. To me 'English Pastoral' is England with its low rolling hills, vast fields, serene lakes and, of course, the gardens. And the air quality! I can still smell its green woody sweetness to this day. There is a particular colour England displays during the autumn season: russet orange, forest green, …

Green Thoughts & Ambiance

Following on from my last blog on London's Kyoto Garden, a good friend of mine back in Australia sent me this link. I won't bore you with hyperbole on how beautiful this music is. 
Just stop what you're doing. Sit still. And listen to this.
Better still . . . tomorrow morning . . . make this the first thing you listen to before starting your day.

Zen & the Art of Garden Maintenance: Kyoto Garden - London

I've been giving some thought lately about aesthetics and key design principles within the realm of Japanese gardens and was asking myself the question, "What makes Japanese gardens look so Japanese?  Recently I was looking at some photos I took during the Easter holiday break. During that long weekend the weather was particularly amazing and, as we British do, made the most of the opportunity and left the house. A friend of mine visited a Japanese garden here in London a few weeks prior to the Easter weekend and took some rather nice photos. It took me by surprise so I asked her where this place was: Kyoto Garden, Holland Park, London. Considering I've been living in London since the beginning of 2012 I did feel kind of silly for not actually knowing about this beautiful place and the fact that I have wondered through Holland Park without actually crossing Kyoto Garden's path. Strange, I know. Although London doesn't really boast that many examples of Japanese g…

Broughton Grange - Banbury, Oxfordshire

One thing I've noticed with time and memory is that over time my mind tends to become increasingly nostalgic when recalling an actual place I once visited. I think part of the nostalgia is a certain wistfulness I sometimes feel and a longing while thinking that I may not ever get back there again.    These photos were actually taken just over a year ago in April last year. On this particular day the weather was mild and nice enough to venture outdoors and to leave behind London if just for the day, which is what I did. During that weekend Broughton Grange were having an 'Open Days' through the National Garden Scheme, and given that it was early Spring their collection of Tulips were in full bloom.   For those who haven't yet visited Broughton Grange it is situated in Banbury, north Oxfordshire - about 70 minutes by train from Marylebone station. The gardens are set on 350 acres of parkland, farmland and open meadow. Its original planting definitely owes its origins to…