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