Saturday 24 October 2015

Gorgeous Georgian Gems!

When I first spotted our new home on the market, I felt a heady mix of excitement and anxiety. I wondered Could this be the house we'd been searching for? Could this be our forever dream house

Georgian Staircase, London:

Certainly not in the state it is in at present....but that only added to the dream factor. I'd always vowed that if we ever moved then I didn't want to take on someone else's taste that you effectively pay for in the asking price. 

Beautiful Cotswold stone Georgian house..:

No, I wanted to have the freedom to put our own Modern Country Style stamp on the property, and the new house looked like it had a LOT of potential in that area.

Georgian Farmhouse:

I know this will sound silly to many of you but one of my initial concerns was that the house wasn't Edwardian. You see, my parents have lived in an Edwardian home forever and ever, and you know how much I loved our old Edwardian home.

Georgian farmhouse | Period Living:

And then I found myself flicking through various images I've saved over the yea of houses I love and I marvelling that the siren call of the Georgian House has been luring me in all this time!

Living room | Cosy Georgian cottage house tour

Many, many of those photos (and I've included some of the best throughout this post) were indeed of Georgian gems. I realised that I've always loved the high ceilings the doors, the windows....

 the symmetry and the elegance of that era.

Yes, I'm officially hooked!

Images via 

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Sunday 18 October 2015

Moving House!!!!!

Remember, I said I had something important to share with you and it's this....

We were very prepared to stay in our much-loved Edwardian house for life. Large period properties rarely come up where we live. Then way back in November, oh joy!, we stumbled upon a house that ticked all our boxes. Right location, right size and, be still my beating heart, a Georgian beauty that needs bringing back to life.

And, boyohboyohboy, have I been busy! Buuuuuuut before I dive right into what we're currently doing, let's backtrack together so I can share some of what I've learnt....hopefully saving you heartache along the way...

Buckle your seatbelts, my poppets, it's gonna be a bumpy ride...

Image via JessicaKnits

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Thursday 15 October 2015

The Best Books For Small Gardens

Beautiful designed Modern Country small gardens have always stolen my heart. 

beautiful garden design ideas, landscape, outdoor living

There's so much that can be done with a diminutive plot. Every inch can be smothered in love. See what I mean with any one of these gorgeous pretties....

beautiful garden design ideas, landscape, outdoor living

Two of my favourite small garden books are Garden Designer veteran John Brookes' Small Garden....

...and Designing Small Gardens by Ian Cooke.

John Brookes' Small Garden is a more comprehensive tome but Ian Cooke's is perfect for popping in a bag, or reading on the way to work. 

29680 (03).jpg (800×534):

Designing Small Gardens feels a little more comforting, as though someone in the know is holding your hand through the process, whilst Small Garden bombards you with fantastic information on every page.

Small garden design...a 'tyson bennison' chandelier hanging from a wisteria draped pergola   poised artfully over the stone table at his regency house courtyard in Battersea (South London) ~ from 'british house and garden july '10 ❀ ~  ◊  photo via 'trouvais':

Both books cover recommnded planting, hard landscaping and case studies but win very different ways.

backyard garden:

Small Garden and Designing Small Gardens (click through to buy) are brilliant, yes, but even better when used together!

Images via:
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Saturday 10 October 2015

Modern Country Garden at Christmas

I know it's the wrong time of year (though not for all you Christmas-crazy elves out there!!) but I simply had to show you how beautifully the garden in my last post transforms at Christmas time....

Oh my!!
I am officially in love with this Modern Country Garden at Christmas Garden....

Images via Atlanta Homes

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Monday 5 October 2015

A Modern Country Garden With Beautiful Bones!

It's at this time of year that my thoughts particularly turn to winter structure in the garden. It's my mantra I share when producing designs for my clients who want beautiful Modern Country Style gardens: 
always remember the bones of the garden!

You see, for much of the year, the bare bones of the garden will be all that's on show. Almost all the summer glamour will be gone, gone, gone and, if you don't plant with those colder months in mind, then what will you look at, my loves, when you're standing at the kitchen sink, gazing out, is bare twigs and tatty foliage. Doom and gloom will your companions.

However, just look at this beauty as an example by Mike Hammersmith, who does this so beautifully.

Much of the greenery here is evergreen and so will take the owners right the way through the year.

Wouldn't it look gorgeous at Christmas? Wanna see?!

Images via Mike Hammersmith

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Thursday 1 October 2015

Book Review: Twilight Garden by Lia Leendertz

I've recently stumbled upon a little-known book that I found so inspiring, I simply had to share it with you. Its full title is The Twilight Garden: A Guide to Enjoying Your Garden in the Evening Hours by Lia Leendertz. 


It's all very well writing about lunching al fresco but the simple fact is that most people, most of the time, simply don't have that luxury, and that's were Twilight Garden steps in because what you do have, I hope, is some free time in the evenings to sit and enjoy being outside.

The book is divided into two sections: Part 1 is Making Your Twilight Garden Reality, which is full of really lovely ideas relating to design, colour, scent, lighting and water, plus a whole chunk on Entertaining Outside, which helps you to think of ideas for using your garden year-long, 

A secret path... (from the book The Twilight Garden by Lia Leendertz):

However, about sixty per cent of the pages are devoted to Part 2: Plants and Palnting in which Lia takes you thorough her specific top tips for choosing flowers and foliage. If you're not a confident garden designer, Lia Leendertz's way of diving plants into Star Plants, Supporting Cast and Backstage Beauties will hold your hand through the process, which I know can seem mystifying at first. Specific advice is given on each plant, along with lively text on why you should include it in your own Twilight Garden.

I love the quote that the intention of the book is to help you create a garden that 'Entrances by day and comes alive by night'. 

Whether your garden can be measured in acres or inches, if you want to fall in love with the idea ofenjoying leisurely evenings, and who doesn't, then The Twilight Garden comes highly recommended.

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