Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ibiza, Sperm Whales 03/09

I said sometime ago that I would return to my Ibiza trip in March, and I felt that it was a good time on a gloomy December day to look back at the incredible sight that we had, while sitting waiting to watch a stunning sunset.

This gives an indication of how high we were, above the sea level on a cliff overlooking the sea towards Spain.  Probably the clearest sky I have ever seen in Ibiza, and the sunsets at the best of times are pretty spectacular there.

 I love the terrain here and the natural bonsai pines growing out of the rocks are an inspiration to me.

It was at this point in time while looking out to see and waiting for the sunset, that I looked down at the sea and saw:

I hope you can see this.  It was a long way down to the sea!

We found out later that Sperm Whales had been seen around the island.  We saw about three Whales in the pod, we think.  But it was certainly the end to a perfect day.

Stodmarsh, Kent

If I ever needed to look for a good as to why we moved to Kent, this is just one of them.  Difficult to find but well worth the effort and so close to Canterbury. The place is full of bird watchers who in the main do not seem to want to communicate, as it is a bit of a solitary hobby.  We always take our binoculars ans see lots of birds, not quite sure what they all are.  We did see a Marsh Harrier in the distance.

 Flocks of Lapwings, coming in to land on the marshes

Amazing reed beds that give cover for birds.

This is a picture from one of the hides for birdwatching.

I am using these images as inspiration for me to produce some watercolour paintings.  I am trying to teach myself to paint.  I doubt if they will make it to the blog as it may put off readers looking forever. Environments like this do provide me with inspiration for gardens.  The intensity of solid monotone colour is excellent.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Japanese Garden Society

Yesterday I attended the AGM of the South East Area (UK) of the Japanese Garden Society.
A comprehensive and quick AGM, (These can be so tedious) followed by two excellent talks on a members garden and ferns.
Excellent value for money, informative and friendly.  If you have an interest in this type of garden style then I suggest you consider joining.

The society publishes an informative, member only quarterly journal, "Shakkei" that is professionally produced to a high standard.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brief Garden - Bevis Bawa. Sri Lanka October 2007

These are a few shots of the Brief Garden, created by Geoffrey Bawa in Bentota Sri Lanka.
The garden was at the home of the creator and is without a doubt one of the most simple but pure examples of how a perfect spiritual garden should look.  If you want to see some excellent photographs (It is always grey when I visit gardens) of the garden please look at Dominic Sansoni's blog site and look at the three blind men photo link.  Wonderful!!!

The garden has a unique quality and in style could be associated with great gardens of England, Spain and Japan.  But in truth it has a magical quality that is unique to its own setting.  

  The Garden feature strong architectural elements that create perceptions that the garden is on large scale when in reality it is quite small.  The garden house a number of exquisite sculptures that are scattered around the garden.

 The garden also hosts wonderful wildlife visitors ranging from Eagles to spectacular coloured lizards

The reptile was on the ear of the horse!  I will return to the garden later with more images.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Sailing in Falmouth Harbour 09/2008

My first sailing experience, in the middle of a Falmouth Fishing boat race.  Excellent experience.

Happy as it is possible to be!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Chiddingstone Castle

I have recently been involved, as a volunteer member of the design team for the proposed Japanese Stroll Garden at Chiddingstone Castle, Edenbridge, Kent.  The site lends itself to perfectly integrate a garden of this nature, as it has all the fundamental necessities, the lake, bridges, the woods and the rolling terrain.  The Castle has an incredible history, far to detailed to go into here (please see link to the Castle website: and has strong links with Japan by having one of the best antique armour and sword collections in the country.

Working with the project co-ordinator and garden designer Marie Jackson.  My role has been to take Marie's original concept ideas and turn them into suitable drawings to present for fundraising.

The proposal includes the introduction of a complete Tea House & Garden that will have views across the lake towards an existing Victorian waterfall and across to Chiddingstone Village and the Chiding Stone.

Part of the Stroll Garden Proposal will be to introduce a new Ornamental Cherry Garden to attract further visitors to the Castle in spring for the blossom viewing.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Central London - Granite benches

August 2008
This the result of a project where I designed and then installed four granite benches, to replace some poor quality marble benches in St. Christophers Place, Central London.

The benches are designed to be light enough to be dismantled and then stored at Christmas so that a Christmas tree can be erected in this area.

Ibiza - photos 03/09

Just a few shots of Ibiza in spring.   Wonderful place to go at this time of the year.  Spring flowers, comfortable temperatures, whales!


I will get on to that later, but for now just a few shots of Es Vedra in the mist.

And the countryside, stunning.

Ibiza - garden

In June this year, I was pulled in as part of a team to tidy up the garden of this original finca in Ibiza.  The finca is built around a medieval tower that was used as a defence against pirates for the community of the area.  It was great fun working with the locals.

You can see from the photo how prominent the tower is in this location,  The pines grow like weeds.

This is a cleared area showing the wonderful views over the farmland at the back of the site.

I even got to prune huge Orange trees, odd when I am more used to Bonsai and Japanese styled pruning.  Still good fun.  The fresh oranges taste great too!   I am hoping that this will turn in to a larger project where I can fully use my skills!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Japanese style addition to front garden Enfield

This is a design for a rock feature and planting to an existing area of a front garden and drive.

I apologise in advance  for my poor sketching ability, but this is something that I am working on.  It can only get better with practice.

Commercial project - Installation of large bamboos

This was an installation of the three large bamboos into an atrium area in an office block in Lower Regent Street.  Installation carried out in January 2007.

The Bamboos had to be shipped specially from Spain and stood between 5 to 6 Metres high. The bamboo are Phyllostachys vivax 'Aureocaulis'.  The actual planters used are 900 cube fibreglass planters with sealed tank irrigation. 

Photos of the completed installation

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo Time - September 2008

Photo of metal man, sea and dog. Anthony Gormley statues Crosby, Liverpool

Commercial property London WC1 - Courtyard Garden

2008. This area was added to the add value to a commercial space in central London in order to attract possible tenants by using an open well area at the rear of the property.  The area is a basement area and generally dark so lighting and the use of shade tolerant planting was required.  The planters were all glass fibre and are meant are laid out to shiled the rear mounted wall uplighters and to screen the existing AC units.  (CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW AT LARGER SCALE AND THEN PRESS THE BACK BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE BLOG)

The tables and chairs were supplied to provide a cafe type feel, to again attract the occupants to use the space.

Photos showing the completed project.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Japanese Garden Chobham

This is a design for a new Japanese Courtyard style garden.
The Garden is at the rear of an attractive Edwardian House that is internally being restored in a very sympathetic manner.  The deck is proposed to be cedar with an oak pergola over the top.
The Japanese had strong cultural influence on the Architects of the Edwardian period so this is great opportunity to assimilate styles. Click on the image to view and then go to the back button to return to the blog.

My place in the world

Wow! it is so long since I last added info to my Blog site that it looks as if I have been on another planet.  My wife and I decided that our days of living in London had come to an end and we decided that it was time to live by the sea.  Less traffic and agro all round, room to park and a larger garden.  All within a few minutes walk from the sea.  Sometimes it gets crowded on the beach and we meet another couple, but in the main it is just the two of us plus the dog.  This was over two years ago!  Now seems like a good time to catch up. 

So now I had better get on with updating the site with what has been going on at the business end of things.  However I may still from time to time drift into the virtues of country living and may also throw in a few photos of interest.