I felt inspired this morning to post some garden images as it has been the Chelsea Flower Show this week and I’ve enjoyed seeing all the fabulous gardens in this year’s show. These beautiful photographs were taken in the garden on our last shoot in France a couple of weeks ago. The house we were photographing has the most beautiful gardens full of quirky touches and romantic corners. A real secret garden if ever I saw one.
This shoot from the UK version of Elle Deco is aptly titled ‘The garden of earthly delights’, and that is exactly what it brings to mind. I was blown away by the beauty of this shoot, by stylist Finola Inger with photographer Craig Fordham. The shoot evokes a bygone era with the models’ pre-Raphaelite hair and styling combined with vintage style dresses and corsages. Shot against a back drop of antique architectural pieces and bright grass and flowers, the images are other worldly. Florals are huge right now both in fashion and interiors and the whimsical Gibberd Garden provides the perfect backdrop.
This atrium is the central feature in an amazing London home. The structure contains a stairwell which forms the centre of the home and is filled with light and plants. The light well is reminiscent of the classic design of Dutch canal houses, as found in Amsterdam, which often have a similar light well through the centre of the house.
This image shows the kitchen, where the atrium really comes into its own, creating a beautiful focal point and letting in lots of natural sunlight to balance the steel.
In this image the stairwell is clearly seen and the open plan living space is centred around the light and foliage that the atrium provides.
Being an urban dweller, I really value any outside space be it window boxes, gardens or parks. I was drawn to this city garden because of its contemporary design, which acts as an extension of the owner’s living space and creates another useable room. The garden has been divided into different sections and provides space for both relaxing and entertaining. Low maintenance and easy to look after, it also provides some lush planting to create a tranquil space in the heart of the city that works for the owners.
Swiss product designer Nugyen La Chanh has designed a natural carpet made from living moss. It’s completely bonkers but such a good idea – to have a living carpet of beautiful moss in your bathroom, the perfect place for moss to thrive. The carpet, or mat, contains three different types of moss and absorbs water from the atmosphere so you don’t even need to water it. I think moss is so beautiful - it has to be one of my favourite of nature’s creations. What’s more, it must feel wonderful against your toes.
I’m always interested in the latest sustainable materials and design and this has to top the list at the moment – you can’t get much ‘greener’! It reminds me of one of my favourite gardens in Japan, where moss is used to create beautiful patterns and textures in a special ‘moss garden’ – see my photograph below, taken in Kyoto. Bringing the outside inside and finding new and innovative ways to introduce living plants to our homes can only be a good thing…
If you’re having trouble selling up why not extend what you already have instead? I’ve added this fabulous extension as inspiration for friends of mine who are building their own Grand Design in Brighton. It’s beautifully light and spacious and adds vast amounts of functional space to the existing structure.
I visited Japan recently and was really inspired by the beautiful gardens and temples in Kyoto. I spent hours visiting different gardens from perfect examples of zen gardens to contemporary garden design. These photos give an idea of some of the beautiful gardens in Kyoto. The Japanese pay such attention to every detail and each garden was exquisite in its own way.
One of the elements of design that I found most inspiring was that doorways and windows are used to frame beautiful plants so that your attention is drawn to that particular scene. Beautiful trees or magical moss gardens are brought sharply into focus by using wooden structures to create a picture within the garden. This is definitely something I have brought home with me to use in the future.
We were lucky to visit during the autumn when the Japanese flock to Kyoto and surrounding areas to view the amazing colours of the trees in autumn, just as they do when the cherry blossoms bloom in May. The Japanese culture places enormous value on natural beauty whilst controlling it in such a stylised way, yet still managing to create beautifully harmonious design.