Three Chairs for Summer!

More than three actually, you’re getting a liberal sprinkling. Time to dust off the rust and bust out the garden chairs. On this count I’ve been very busy myself, playing with a friend’s garden with carte blanche to do anything I liked – a dangerous proposition. This ordinary forest green garden set…

SAMSUNG…into a mini Versailles riot of pink and gold.

garden4Inspired by the Hall of Mirrors, I dug up all junk finds to hand and livened up a very boring expanse of fence. Getting carried away, there came more:

garden1 garden6But even if you don’t have a full garden to play with, a corner will do, as they have done here at Cassland:

casslandPeaceful places to read or have tea don’t come more perfect than this Bazeley House old fashioned swing seat, which I lust after:

bazeley houseOr this Etchingham Park modern version:

etchingham park 2They have continued the look with these funky chairs:

etchingham parkIt’s superb how this summer set have been chosen to reflect and enhance the palm planting around it:

outdoor11Most who are looking for the right feel to go for in an English garden choose antique wrought iron, which in itself is decorative and never detracts from the beauty of the garden itself.  With padding:

cottage10And without:


Richmond Road:richmond road

And if you paint it on a whim such as Braeburn House…no one will mind – it’s your garden! Sweet!

braeburn house

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Pond Life

Having seen some fine examples of ancient Persian gardens recently from the neighbor’s holiday snaps, it’s clear they are the world’s original gardeners. From the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the surviving rose and water gardens still beautifying their cities today, they had ponds down pat. But we Brits have been known to rustle up a fairly decent pond or two ourselves, done in unmistakable English style with scads of water lilies, rockeries, waterfalls and picturesque planting, expertly made to look incidental. To get to the kind of level we’re going to celebrate here takes years of forward planning and patience, but everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s no reason not to have a go on a more modest scale. Water in the garden adds so much calm and loveliness. Have a go. We’re rather good at them!

First start yourself off with some lilies. We found ours here


Plus, a pond provides a habitat for all manner of wildlife. They just happen. You don’t even have to lift a finger. formal71

Great for attracting dragonflies, frogs and the occasional bird for a dip. Endless entertainment for your pets too…


And they’re just so…Monet. formal73Lots of plants prefer a very water based environment, not just bulrushes but Iris, Forget-Me-Nots (hooray!) Violets, Primula, Lobelia, many types of fern and more. This garden has a comprehensive array of water loving borders.


Add a fountain. No one’s going to stop you.  Sourceformal50

You don’t need a huge garden to start one. This London back yard is made elegant with a pond and a weathered urn. formal33

They can also be created to be a refuge as their own separate garden, when planted with privacy using trees and hedges. Heron optional. Found hereformal47

Loving this formality:


And this London elegance:

outdoor14The ultimate country house pond…



And this Victorian loveliness!




Statuary Rights

Now is the best time of year to be visiting historical gardens, as they’ll be in full bloom glory right now. If we manage to tear ourselves away from London Life and get to any, we’ll be sure to share them here, but in the meantime, we’re going to marvel at the historical grace and beauty the gardens of London and it’s surrounds are harboring quietly with an abundance of statues, grand and whimsical. There’s this gentle maiden among the flowers.


Romanesque ideal bordering a box hedge masterpiece here. formal1

Occupying a peaceful niche for a few centuries. (Americans, please…rhymes with quiche not witch). formal17

Soldiering on in a formal garden. formal18

Art gets its own secret little nook to honor it. Found hereformal44

Perspectives created skillfully…and right at the end, a Lion to entice you further. Sourceformal49

Right in the middle of London. We kid you not. Slightly bonkers, but nothing wrong with that. Foundformal70

Feeling the slight breeze. She’s reminiscent of an Art Deco bronze and we love her for it. Sourceformal74

A tiny London courtyard made beautiful by art and a brave mirror. Timeless beauty. statuary1

Different London garden, same flawless principle. Lush greens, plenty for the eye to wander over, busts, mirrors and urns. What’s not to love? statuary2