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Tree Sketch
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Plant Tales No 3: Acer campestre, 'Field Maple'

Regular readers of our blogs may have noticed a slight penchant for using hedgerow plants within a gardened context – and, they’d be right! Such understated and familiar rural plants offer a wonderful counterpoint to a more structured geometric plan. There is also a similarity to the Japanese philosophy of ‘elevating the ordinary’ here, plus a touch of nostalgia for... (read more...)

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ATD Art Influences

Garden designers don’t work in isolation. Our points of reference are not purely landscape orientated – if they were, our output might become rather inward looking. We are constantly open to cross-pollination and influenced by all sorts of phenomena be they environmental, aesthetic, architectural, nostalgic, political, pragmatic, poetic, musical or literary. I’m particularly inspired by the visual arts. (read more...)

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Plant Tales No 2: Digitalis, 'Foxglove'

I'm passionate about foxgloves, in the right location they naturalise readily, they are easy to cultivate, the resulting varieties are rich in colour, stature and texture – I like the sophisticated rusty brown shades. These elegant plants have history, beauty, variety, a suspicion of danger and, being very attractive to bumblebees, serve a practical environmental purpose – what is not... (read more...)

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Plant Tales 1: Anthriscus Sylvestris 'Cow Parsley'

I fell in love with cow parsley as a boy. I knew it as a common weed and, running amok in our garden woodland, it was considered anything but precious. My brother and I would cut linking pathways through it – an early exploration into garden design? We used hazel sticks as machetes to feel like Amazonian explorers, or bare-chested,... (read more...)

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Chelsea Flower Show

My first visit to RHS Chelsea Flower Show was as a boy being dragged, kicking and screaming, by my mum. I thought it would be full of the “paisley-skirted ladies who lunch” brigade. Turns out I enjoyed it in all its diversity, the wacky and bizarre end of things, of course! But I was also struck by the elegant, contemporary... (read more...)

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