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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 18:06

It's day one of our seven days of colour, so today... let there be light!

All week we are sharing some of our colour explorations of design through light, land, art, nature, form, style & function.

"and then it was all yellow" - Coldplay

In the spectrum of lichen, mustard, amber, saffron, straw, ochre, chartreuse and citron.

Amber chair by Jaeuk Jung

Tenturium by Nancy Mintz

10,000 workers helmets arranged as Land Art in protest of  job losses in the construction industry in Milan. - 2012

Design Heroes

Bruce Munro : Light installation Land Art

Alexander McQueen

Philippe Starck

"some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun" - Picasso

- goes well with...

With yellow the less is more approach is a good rule to follow but it can really pack a punch when coupled with greys or black. We tend to be drawn to yellow hues in the Autumn more than other seasons, but we intend to take a leap of faith and explore more colour blocking possibilities with yellow in next year's landscape designs. 

Amarelo Source book : Tsuyoshi Tane for Citizen, luv & light blog, Pinterest, habit usva, Damse Voarte, Ruifier,, Maurizio Cattelan, Benoit Courtri, Bruce munro, Vogue,, Susan Dwyer, Pattern Prints journal, Sakir Gokcebag, CHC mag, Sedio Lucette.

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7 Days of Colour

Friday, September 26, 2014 - 07:45

Starting on Monday, 22nd September we are going to give you a seven day blast of colour blocking

For seven days we will pick one colour and feature it through our design process and language - exploring colours through light, land, art, nature, form, style, function and much more...

September always finds us intensively studying colour palettes and new combinations for upcoming projects. Mapping out the planting combinations for next year really inspired our seven days of colour here on the blog, and with the prospect of some grungy, rainy days next week it seemed like it might be nice to share some of our more colourful design inspirations!

and all we can say is, expect the unexpected. 

So, with much to do for the year ahead we will crack on and hope to see you back here on Monday...

...but not for Pink Sheep (these chaps in Scotland are regularly dyed with non-toxic colourant to amuse passing motorists. Poor chaps.)

7 Days of Colour Source Book: Town & Country Hunter Wellington Boots, Glowing Toadstool from Fairy@heart, Pinterest, Daily Mail, Public art installations from Urbanist, Shroom Couture by Valentino, Oyster Mushroom and Vintage Hydrangeas by Laura Berman.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 18:31

Welcome to a new season of gardens, landscapes, landart, bringing outside in and design inspirations. September always finds us turning our attention back to our homes and interior improvements, renovations and changes. These go hand in hand with what is going on outside - in your garden, the look of your front of house, your wider landscape. Continuing to blur the boundaries between inside and out is the key nowadays to a successful look and a stylishly comfortable home.

Judges House by HC Gardens

North End by HC Gardens

Winter falls by HC Gardens

North End by HC Gardens

The Bield by HC Gardens

With Autumn around the corner there is a whole new amazing season to look forward to. Just as we do every year we will be sharing the best of Autumn and the season's trends here. Autumn is a time for planning and prepping - whether you are planning a new garden design / landscape or adding to and enhancing an existing one. So let's get busy then...

"British artists have a peculiar ability to immerse themselves in the landscape, to see it's dirt as well as it's divine glory"


Wildlife in the Nest garden, HC

As Brits we are inherently eccentric (some more than others), and we as a company believe that this should shine through in gardens and landscapes.

Claude Lalanne

Every personal garden and outdoor space deserves to be considered as much as the interior of the property it belongs to. We welcome the unusual and wonderful choices that can be made by home owners in their gardens, in fact, we encourage them! 

This is what gives them all their own unique signature style.

Stone chaise longue at The Bield, HC

It is definitely the Alice in Wonderland era in terms of design and style. People are breaking more and more from convention and giving themselves permission to be bold and out of the ordinary. Less with the following - the 'more is more' attitude is being embraced, enabling us all to become tastemakers instead.

Landart by Richard Long

'Belonging' by Patrick Murphy Studio

Bird apartment by Nendo

it's Modern Prairie time


HC Garden

Landart by Andy Goldsworthy

Prairie style is everywhere - flooding catwalks and influencing interiors. It is influencing our garden and landscapes designs with more and more clients craving the natural look of wildflower meadows and prairie style planting.

In Burford House's productive garden our clients have areas of beautiful and quintessentially English wild flowers which informalise the parterre garden.

The effect is magical.

This trend towards the more natural look sees cut flower garden designs becoming more wild and in turn is reflected in the arrangements by home owners bringing outside in.

Year by year we are laying more lands to meadows and creating mini-meadows in smaller space gardens.

'Falling Garden' by Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lenzlinger

Over the last 2 months we have been changing the look of our website, alongside launching our new portfolio and new logo - hence committing the cardinal sin of not posting a new blog for 6 weeks. We vowed we would never be so slack but in this case believe we at least had a good excuse! We hope you will take a fresh wander around our site to see all the changes.

The portfolio area is particularly exciting for us because we finally have a format where we can upload as much content as we like. At present there are some snapshot pages of Autumn gardens, cut flower gardens and Winter gardens that we have created alongside featured signature gardens and a new area of bijou gardens and courtyards.

We will continue to add to it every month and soon be able to fully share the look and merits of the gardens and landscapes throughout the seasons and as they evolve and mature over time. A concerted effort will be made this Autumn to do night shoots in order to capture gardens such as North End, The Bield, Robbie's bijou garden and Foxfire to name-but-a-few in their evening attire with their lights on! Afterall, garden lighting is integral to the spaces that we design.  

this seasons design inspirations

Palette, texture, tone and reflection are our key words this season.

Vieux Port Pavillion by Foster & Partners

Zwembalkons in Mumbai

Land Art Thessaloniki

Jelly fish in Toyama Bay

Dream big

Red is micro trending in garden design - but only if used like a splash (see North End in our portfolio)

or to punctuate a scheme - never to be used as an overall palette.

Painterly meadow with wild red Poppies punctuating it.

Red is an emotionally intense colour - it evokes strength, power and passion but can also raise blood pressure so probably best to not over do it in a garden!

'Ascension of polka dots' by Yayoi Kusmama

London Fashion week

Lake retreat AU


Pale & interesting

The Bield garden in completion right now adheres to a monochromatic palette, but one that leans towards the pale end of the spectrum.

Inky black waters under The Bield bridge give depth to this modern Cotswold garden.

F&B paint comes in to major play in this bespoke HC garden. We will be looking at this in more detail in a future blog featuring the painted garden buildings, auto gates, front of house, log stores, etcetera.

Landart by Letha Wilson

Unknown - giant sparkling white dinosaur spotted in a Cornbury back garden. See the car to get an idea of scale.

going mono

We have been looking at injecting more dark tones in to gardens. Above : Hydrangea against garden wall painted in F&B 'Railings'.

Hello George - design inspiration! via Yayoi Kusama

Bee aware

Landart - 'Clouds' by Michael Sailstorfer

Landart - 'Karma' by Do Ho Suh

Landart by Yoshimoto Nara

White Blooms, HCG

the Autumn palette

So cycling back to Autumn again, we predict a season with a slightly more muted, pared-back palette compared to last year's autumn riot of reds and oranges... we shall see (either way Autumn will be looking glorious).

Some of our September design inspirations -

Landart by Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs

Transparent Church by Pieterjan Gijs & Arnout Van Vaerenbergh

There is an elephant in the room by Daniel Firman

Delusions of grandeur by Magritte

Summer endeth (well clocks change) 26th October

There has indeed been a lot of rain of late but don't be lulled into a false sense of security, or ignore your garden's potential needs just because it is September. September can get hot and be very dry so keep an eye on keeping your outdoor space watered.

George sure is.

Home other sources: Annie Leibovitz/ Kiera Knightly for Vogue, Esquire, The Guardian, Pinterest, Aesthetica, Indulgy, Londonista

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Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 19:30

Hello Now that we are in to high Summer season we have been taking a wander around the English countryside both in Oxfordshire and up North to share some of our favourite places and spaces that have inspired some of our work. We take our inspirations for designs from all sorts of resources, often drawing from our heritage and beautiful British countrysides. Come and take a little wander with us....

For late June through to July Foxgloves are an absolute favourite. They tower and nod, often growing in an almost defiant manner, bringing mystical life to woodlands and dark, craggy corners of the countryside.

Foxgloves : Digitalis, are an essential source of nectar for bumble bees, butterflies and hawk moth. We can't get enough of them, as you will see in some of the gardens we have created over the last few years.

Dancing Digitalis in a Hendy Curzon Landscape, Oxfordshire

The Lakes, Cumbria. A constant source of inspiration

Black water, parterre and Lavandula in an HC Garden, Oxfordshire

Next up on our wanderings- Levens Hall in Kendal. This is a stately home with a collection of awe inspiring gardens.

In the owners words - "It is the finest, oldest and most extensive topiary garden in the world. There are over 100 pieces here, each clipped to an unusual and individual design. Some of the trees and bushes are three hundred years old and the layout of this garden has changed little since their planting and initial training in the 1690s. Then, it was really fashionable to have a garden in the Dutch style with clipped greens set in a pattern of formal box edged flower beds. Fashions changed by the 1730s however, and most similar gardens were ripped out to make way for the new trend of natural landscaping. Amazingly this garden survived that purge, was enhanced in the 19th Century, and continued even through the economic pressures of the 20th Century."

So glad it survived 'the purge' then, and from our impressions the gardens at Levens Hall are like an Alice in Wonderland experience. Yes, there are the beautiful, but arguably prerequisite formal parterre & topiary schemes placed front of house to the hall. These are guaranteed to please the masses, and perhaps are required to ease visitors in, before revealing the true wonders that lie beyond the walls...

Gargantuan geometric and abstract, 300 year old topiary pieces that defy your senses of scale and possibility, placing you inside a surreal living sculpture gallery.

Once within it's walls you feel quite humbled by the history and heritage, namely the persistance of creation. Every way you turn shows another juxtapostion of living shape, colour and form, and you have to keep reminding yourself to look back, look sideways... not just forwards. It makes you feel quite dizzy in the end.

"Curiouser and curiouser!" - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Beyond the mad hatter topiary gardens the rest does not disappoint. Amongst the maze of gardens is the massively impressive Great Beech Circle. Elsewhere, ornamental and productive gardens line the laid to lawn paths, leading to pleached Tilia tunnels,

and flourishing colour themed herbaceous borders and intoxicating rose gardens. Something for everyone then in a way, from the highly formal to the wild to the practical, to the obscure and sublime. Divine!


She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME

And she grew so tall,

She ate from a plate called TASTE ME

And down she shrank so small.

And so she changed,

while other folks

Never tried nothin' at all.” 

 - Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Wanderings through woodlands and country have, over time resulted in some of these HC Gardens of late...

Snowshill Lavender Farm...

The Walled Garden, Oxfordshire, HC

There is still a lot of Summer to unfold yet. So far the weather has been pretty kind but still, being Britain it could get hot, it could get rainy... or a combo of both. Either, or, we will keep on creating and rolling with what ever mother nature throws at us.

We love our land and gardens in the UK so much that we just need to embrace what ever each changing season offers us. For instance now, the sun is out but there is a hail storm outside. You have got to love that!

On site last week : the HC Gardens team completing a front of house garden in North Oxford. The house is a restored Victorian Townhouse so we designed a garden to complement it. It was a ruined space for so long that it felt like a true rescue! It was lovely to see the efforts on the townhouse by its owners to finally be set off by the front of house garden, as a pre-cursor to their signature style. The plants are all traditional cottage style presented in a contemporary way.

Well we said we could'nt get enough of them... Dalmatian Foxgloves nod firmly towards the contemporary in this heritage garden project.

So we will keep wandering, and finding and being inspired... to make gardens that are as unique as can be.

Wanderlands Source Book: All Photography - Hendy Curzon Gardens. Places and spaces visited here - Levens Hall, Kendal, Cumbria, Hendy Curzon Gardens (various) Oxfordshire, Snowshill Lavender Farm, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire countrysides, The Lakes.

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Town & Country Gardens

Monday, June 16, 2014 - 17:02

And then it was June... and how did it get to the middle of June?! With the month fast running away from us we thought we would share some teaser images from our new portfolio that we are busily building, uploading and even still photographing in some cases.

All the gardens you will see here are from our range of projects completed in the last year.

For a garden to be timeless it needs to combine modern elements with traditional techniques, materials and plants. That is the ethos at the heart of the gardens that we create, in the belief that they will all stand the test of time, maturing and settling nicely in to their environments. We design and build gardens in towns, countrysides and villages throughout Oxfordshire and beyond, and no two briefs have ever been the same.

There will always be trending favourites and common links as garden tastes and styles evolve in the UK, but  you are all unique, so every project is then bespoke...

and we therefore always aim to bring that something special to the table just for you and your garden. Not to be generically repeated again, it can be that one of a kind element (or many in some cases!) that sets your garden apart as your own unique space.

The style and period of your house is integral to the garden design.

From town houses,

to new builds,

converted properties

and country houses,

we will always create a garden to fit in with the style of your home, alongside imprinting it with your signature style.

Front of house

Your front of house and garden give the first impression of your home and the last. A well designed one can have a lasting affect. It is the space that welcomes you home, greets your visitors and bids you farewell each day so it should be more than just a place for cars and wheelie bins!

At the front of our client homes we always like to create a 'look' that acts as a pre-cursor to the interior of their homes and any gardens that lay beyond - whether that is a courtyard, average sized back garden or a vast landscape.

And, of course a great front door is always the essential link in a front of house garden scheme!

We have favoured Farrow & Ball colours for projects over recent years, with Railings and Downpipe as the firm favourites for those period houses with a distinctive interiors edge.

The colours tie in well with planting schemes and the period characteristics of the properties.

These classics will sustain the test of time but some brighter colours are starting to trend now...

This is quite exciting and great to work with from our point of view.

We were interviewed for last months issue of the interiors magazine Ideal Homes in our own digs, regarding our approach to design and the relationship between homes and gardens, including our own.

We talked about the company's garden projects and our mission to bring the outside in and the inside out seamlessly,

illustrated by designing out door rooms, displaying flowers indoors cut from the garden and by connecting colours and themes between the interior and exterior.

Also last month we discussed the topic of edible gardens with Liz Nicholls for the Oxford Times Homes & Gardens section.

We looked at ways this can apply to people that live in towns or gardens with limited space, as well as those residing in the country and in homes with generous gardens.

This year, summer for all of us should be about being outside with total ease, and for bringing some of the wonders of our gardens inside again with just the same repose. So we thought, what better way to entice us then, than by having fresh and tasty edible plants to add to our meals right at our fingertips.

We try to cover topics in the Homes & Gardens section that are about garden design and lifestyle,

but our ideas are always founded in reality as we try out and test everything that we suggest! Here we looked at creating pop up herb gardens and growing edible flowers alongside them.

This Summer

in between the great British Summer rain showers...

we hope you will all enjoy a bright, long and healthy season.

Join us here for more blogs full of blossoms, blooms, butterflies and bumblebees! Along with

bespoke gardens, land art and exterior inspirations, and whether you live in town or in the country...

have yourself

... a very British Summer 2014, indeed.

All gardens and photographs : Hendy Curzon Gardens

Projects included here : Judges House, Playwrite's Barn, North End, Norham Gardens, Chalfont front of house, Bijou & Jardin.

"It's a modern take on period style" : Ideal Homes magazine, interview by Ann Broad, Photographer Colin Poole.

'Taste of Summer" : Homes & Gardens, Oxford Times, editor Liz Nicholls, words by Adrienne Curzon. Photographs and cover by Hendy Curzon Gardens.

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