One mantra of the typical garden design book is that you should begin by identifying what you need from your garden. Do you have children, do you like barbeques, do you keep bees or do you simply need an urban oasis, a “lifestyle garden”? In this mantra, the “genius of the place” has no place. Every garden simply conjoins need with an outdoor space.
Yet the most memorable gardens are inspired by dreams, not needs.
Emily Dickinson, 1851
Consider the cottage gardens à la Gertrude Jeykll with their high-maintenance July abundance and asymmetry. 18th century English landscape gardens are equally entrancing, complete with borrowed views of lush meadows and winding rivers. What about a Japanese garden? Here the accent is also on asymmetry, carefully crafted to look entirely natural but with little use of flowers. The Japanese garden trumps in its all-season beauty: pillows of snow layered on layers of shrubbery are as lovely in winter as is the quiet green of the foliage in summer. Or, for a more modern take on asymmetrical gardens, look at the Prairie style gardens of James von Sweden or Piet Oudolf. Then again, a highly formal parterre de broderie in a courtyard is equally compelling in its relentless symmetry. Or, also formal, there is something deeply satisfying and tranquil about Mughal geometrical gardens. The interplay of shimmering white marble, dazzling sunshine and soothing shade, blue water in rills that run into the star-shaped pond, clipped green hedging – together they create a paradise on earth.
This site is to welcome you into this world of dreams and of those who made them come true.