working with nature...

Originally gardens were designed to protect people and plants from the alarming wilderness outside. Today, the majority of people live in urbanized communities so far removed from the natural world that the possibility of rainfall, the basic requirement of life, is usually referred to by the weatherman as a threat. As a garden designer, I find this paradox fascinating. I feel gardens can play their part in allowing us access to landscape and nature and, to a degree, feel part of it.

The New World has been the most valuable source of plants introduced to Britain; likewise Americans have admired and adapted aspects of our four centuries of garden design. In recent decades, the innovative nature of much American design has, in return, been equally influential in Britain.

Having trained in horticulture and garden design in England and lived in the States for two decades, this blending of design styles continues to interest me .

Visiting landmark gardens and landscapes throughout Europe has shaped my work. Whether dealing with drought and harsh conditions in Southern California or wetter and colder climates back home, gardens are created to work with nature rather than against it. Design is rigorous, organized and above all vibrant, scented and beautiful.

When selecting plants, I am most mindful of the architectural forms of trees, with color, and less interested in the flowers; I opt for a subtle palette of greens, blues, grays and whites. Gardens which use nature for their visionary gain that strike a delicate balance between being invited in and not quite having the upper hand, are always the most appealing--this, to me, is the art of garden making.