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Winter, wonder, wander

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 10:46

Taking our inspiration from Winter wonderlands this week  - we have gathered up some lovely imagery from around the globe and found some magical places to share with you.

We love the respite of Winter and the pared-back look of lands and gardens right now. It's a good time to take a breath, reflect and behold the beauty that Winter provides us with before the plans, both already implemented and new come in to fruition.

In our next post we will be doing our review of the year - 2014, and then we will be hitting the refresh button and getting you all ready for your new year of gorgeous gardens and landscapes. Projects in the works will be showcased, alongside the results of last years works. So for now... here are our Winter finds.

Ice Flowers

Ice formations found

Tucking up in January

By appointment of the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Foundation, Snøhetta has designed an observation and information pavilion at Hjerkinn in Dovre, Norway. 

The spectacular site is located on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park at around 1250 meters above sea level, overlooking the Snøhetta mountain massif. The main purpose of the 75m2 building is to provide shelter for school groups and visitors as mountain guides lecture about the unique wildlife and history of the Dovre Mountain plateau.

Dovrefjell is home to wild reindeer herds, musk oxen, arctic foxes and a variety of endemic botanical species. A long history filled with travellers, hunting traditions, mining and military activities have left their mark on this land. 

Natural, cultural and mythical landscapes formed the basis of the architectural concept. The building design is based on a contrast between a rigid outer shell and a soft organic-shaped inner core. A wooden core is placed within a rectangular frame of raw steel and glass. The core is shaped like rock or ice eroded by natural forces such as wind and running water. Its shape creates a protected and warm gathering place, while still preserving visitor’s access to spectacular views.

Considerable emphasis was put on the quality and durability of materials so that the building can withstand the harsh climate. The shelter’s simple form and use of natural building materials reference local building traditions. At the same time, new technologies were utilized to bring modern efficiency to the fabrication process. 

The wood core was manufactured using a large scale robot-controlled milling machine based on digital 3D models. The end result of Tverrfjellhytta is a robust but refined building building, providing a protected gathering place for visitors in an enriched landscape.

Wild about... Reindeer

Reindeer are large deer with a body length between 1.2 and 2.2 m (4 - 7.25 ft), a tail length between 10 and 25 cms (4 - 10 inches) and they weigh between 120 and 300 kgs (260 - 660 lbs).
Their coat is thick - brown in colour during the summer and grey during the winter months. Their chest and underside are pale in colour and their rump and tail are coloured white. Both males and females have antlers, those of males are larger and more complex and they usually shed them after the rut, where as females keep theirs until spring.

Reindeer, or caribou, can outperform all other land animals in their energy efficiency. They're more usually seen on their mammoth annual migration to the Arctic during which the North American herds might travel for more than 5,000km - an extraordinary feat that takes them further than any other land mammal.

Reindeer have specialized hooves that adapt according to the season. During summer when the tundra is soft and wet, their footpads become spongy to provide them with extra traction and during the winter months their pads shrink and tighten, which exposes the rim of the hoof enabling them to cut into the ice and snow to prevent them from slipping. They make a clicking noise when they walk and this noise is made by tendons rubbing across a bone in their foot.

Their nose features nasal turbinate bones which increase the surface area within their nostrils. This enables cold air to be warmed by their body heat before it is inhaled into their lungs.

Reindeer are excellent swimmers and when migrating they will not hesitate to swim across a lake or river that is in their path. They can also reach speeds of 80 km/hr (50 mph) if required. 

Reindeer are found in the arctic tundra and subarctic forests of northern North America, Greenland, and northern Europe to east Asia. 

Reindeer mainly feed on grasses, herbs, sedges, mosses, fungi, twigs and lichens. During the winter months they use their hooves to dig down into the snow, an activity known as cratering, to expose a lichen they often feed on known as reindeer moss.

What's not to love?

Dukha = Reindeer people

Winter wonders

Winter BLOOM

In the Winter of 2003 a remarkable artist carried out a massive scale floral engineering installation to commemorate the closure of the Massachusetts Mental Health Hospital. Artist Anna Schuleit posed the question: how does one memoralise a building so rich with history of both hope and sadness, and do it in a way that reflects the past and a future? Schuleit believed that as a public memorial, the message should not be communicated in a generic way such as through a speech or a commemorative plaque, but rather as an experience for the public. Hence came about the idea for BLOOM.

Bloom was a reflection on the healing symbolism of flowers given to the sick when they are bed ridden and confined, and notably the then ironic absence of flowers given in psychiatric settings. With an enormous team of volunteers Schuleit set about installing what seemed to be impossible – 28,000 potted flowers were brought in to the premises and were set out, filling almost every square foot of the MMHC including corridors, stairwells, offices and even a swimming pool.

BLOOM brought beauty and wonder to what had always been an inherently taboo subject matter, evoking reactions from the public from delight to renewed sorrows.

Quote from a previous member of staff : “My therapist’s office was in the basement and the floor got covered in grass. Grass does not bloom but it cushions and it is in the right place. It is the foundation, it softens everything. Conceptually it is brilliant.”

Schuleit spoke of the project in a later interview : “I was hoping to create a work that would bring aspects of play into the seriousness of the institution, an element of the absurd. It would have been infinitely easier to work with just a few hundred flowers, or a few thousand even, but I wanted to reach my goal of twenty-eight thousand, because it had occurred to me at the beginning of the project that that was the minimum number that was missing here. If it had been a project merely for photography, we wouldn’t have needed so many. But it was really a project for the passing visitor, someone coming in, in real time, from the street and finding this sea of color inside the building, and throughout. A multitude of greetings on every floor. Really, simply, a work of the imagination. That’s all I hoped for. I was amazed by how many people wandered through the building on those four days.”

“The concept for BLOOM came to me as a site-specific installation to mark the transition of the life and history of the institution toward its closure, from its physical state to the remembered. I imagined the project on a 1:1 scale with the building, on all floors and hallways. Twenty-eight thousand flowers arrived on trucks in the span of a few days, all needing to be watered as they came in, all having to be placed in the building, unwrapped, arranged, watered again.”

Schuleit opted away from cut flowers because she wanted the art installation memorial to have life after the exhibition was over and the building was closed for good. All 28k of potted plants were distributed to shelters, halfway houses and psychiatric hospitals throughout New England. The BLOOM project possessed a strange duality, at its core it was intended to allow free access to a building that had existed as a locked and mysterious entity for nine decades, and it injected life through nature in to the institute to commemorate it.

The result was a haunting beauty to this work and a certain bravery in comment and approach by Schuleit. To us she seems like an unsung hero for her efforts back in 2003, so we celebrate her message here in pictures and enjoy that BLOOM’s ideas look contemporary today, twelve years on.

Winter wander

A pioneering contemporary artist, Tokyo-born Motoi Yamamoto carves monumental two dimensional sculptures of entire oceans, shattered planets, typhoons, mountain ranges, fractured staircases and vast plains of brain-like coils using just the one medium: SALT. 

Although striking, his works are far from being merely aesthetic. Every one of the artist’s saltscapes is an experience in its own right, and one of a highly metaphysical nature for the artist as well as the viewer. Yamamoto’s works have been shown across the world from Russia to the United States and his most recent salt Labyrinth was shown until the end of 2014 at the Parisian gallery La Galerie Particuliere.

Yamamoto has said that: ''Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings. What I look for at the end of the act of drawing could be a feeling of touching a precious memory …'' 

For Yamamoto, his saltscapes act like a frequency that allows him to tune out of everything around him. Almost like a meditation that is actually part of a never-ending healing process following his sister’s death due to severe brain cancer at the tender age of 24, it seems that it is also the artist’s way of never letting go of this ‘memory’ he speaks of.

In Japanese culture salt is a highly significant symbol for the source of life as well as being a purifying element and is often used in ceremonies celebrating life and death. Reminding of the temporality of life, regardless of the number of times the artist repeats his saltscapes, the experience remains a transcendental one that is as magnificent as it is temporary.

Light the way

This Winter a solar powered, glow in the dark cycle path was installed in Nuenen, Netherlands.

The path was unveiled by its creators Social Design Lab, Studio Roosegaarde, marking one of their most notable research projects in collaboration with Smart Highways. They are aiming to explore where public space, art and technology can all meet. In this instance the illuminated cycle path was inspired by the works of Van Gogh - fusing classical art with modern tecnology.

The project explores techniques with solar powered, glow in the dark paint and LED edging pebbles, intended to create safe and more efficient road networks for the future.

Designer Daan Roosegaarde said of the new technology " This method of illumination is more gentle to the eye and surrounding nature. Such a lighting infrastructure creates a connection with cultural history".

Frozen Planet

This chap got a lot of attention over on our Facebook page at Christmas : If you think you are feeling chilly today… This Alaskan Wood Frog froze solid in September & will remain that way for seven months, withstanding temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit. Two-thirds of it's body water turns to ice. The frog's heart stops beating, their blood no longer flows and their glucose levels sky rocket. If you picked one up and bent it, it would not respond, but it would break. When spring arrives, it will simply thaw out and hop away! Click here to see the link and conversation there.

That's it from us for this week. We look forward to sharing our review of the year here with you shortly.

Stay warm!

Winter wonder, wander SourceBook : Amplifying Glass, Kuriositas, Aabe, Archi search, Dezeen, Snohetta, Trondarberge Photo Shelter, Earth Rangers, Villrein, Thomas Kelly photos, Viral Nova, Tim Vollmer, Caras Design, Studio Roosegaard, Wildlife Trust, Lars Van de Goor

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and so to a happy New Year

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - 14:48

and so to a New Year... and may it be a happy one. A dear friend taught us to always open the front door at midnight to let out the old year and usher in the new.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice." ― T.S. Eliot

all the best for 2015 from all the team at Hendy Curzon Gardens

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Have yourself a very Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 19:29

Greetings. We hope you are all in a festive frenzy by now (in a good way) and if not... why not? We have been curating our Christmas inspirations for a while now so we hope you enjoy our visual feast of all that we consider to be stylish and inspirational this Christmas... plus we hope to get you feeling properly Christmasfied by the end of it!

Bring some outside in and take some inside out this season. The natural pared-back look is our favourite. It evokes nostalgia and warmth... just need the added visuals of snow for a full on nordic Christmas vibe now. Here's what has inspired and pleased us in anticipation of Winter and Christmas 2014.

and who wouldn't want a white Christmas?

a Winter Wonderland,

and a festive front of house...

It's now time to...

and tuck up.

surround yourself with whatever makes you chill out

and envelop yourself in all that makes you warm & relaxed

Feeling the Winter magic yet?

and if it does... stay cosy

don't chill out this much...

and keep a snow shovel at hand

We wish you

a very






Christmas indeed

From Adrienne, Nick, Sophie, Darren, Jaimie, Tom, Daniel, James & Ashley, the HC Gardens Team, and all our collective animals, including Blue, who has the chill factor covered...


The HC Gardens Christmas blog Source Book : Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogspot, houzz, Hendy Curzon Gardens Ltd., Dusky Wondersite, Balenciaga, Lars van de Goor, K flick Studio, Oddity mail, Janya Watanabe, Saroltaban, Paul Raeside, Fulviobonavia, Piero Fornasetti

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Floral Couture for 2015

Monday, December 1, 2014 - 13:32

Giambattista Valli at the Duke Mansion

be original by Hendy Curzon Gardens

Dossier Journal editorial - Hartje Andresen by Elle Muliarchyk

Flower fever has completely gone to our heads in anticipation of next year's gardens and landscapes. Our walls and desktops are covered in imagery for new palettes and inspirations - so we are sharing some of these here with you. Many of the schemes have been installed and the rest will happen over the course of the Winter both in towns and the country.

Rogue or maverick? 'Coco Cola Can' Tulip - image HC Gardens

Tulip installation by Katie Marx Flowers for The School's Maybelle calligraphy class, Melbourne

This beautiful installation by Katie Marx flowers inspired us no end. The simplicity of the green stems and the effect of the one type Tulips that look dip-dyed is very appropriate to the Calligraphy class where it was installed in.

HC Gardens Exterior Design blog

We have been colour-blocking in planting schemes for some years now, but last January and ever since we became obsessed with ombre

Givenchy Couture

This dress has inspired a huge new ombre scheme in the same colours. It will appear in Spring 2015, coming to a landscape near you very soon!

Inspiration ombre - fabric and Papaver King Kong, HC Gardens

Dune from

Photographer Midori Chan

Photographer Michael Segal

Revlon, American Vogue 1984

Catwalk Flower carpet at Mary Katrantzou's show, London Fashion week 2011

Jo Malone London 2014

HC Gardens

Soren Udby

Tunnel by Joyful Thailand

Barbie Shanghai by Slade Architecture

It's been a really good year for designing and pushing through new schemes and colour combinations and there has been a great response to this by our clients. We still love and are installing monchromatic schemes and the very classical and favoured Cotswolds cool palettes, but it is exciting to be applying and installing them in different ways.

Hendy Curzon Gardens

Hendy Curzon

Hendy Curzon

Hendy Curzon

Hendy Curzon

Hendy Curzon

MMJ Weddings & Events

Ellie Saab SS14 Show at Paris Haute Couture Fashion week


Tulip by Carl Franklin

Couture dress Alexander McQueen

Tulips by Jane Cumberbatch

French Antique Wedding Co.

Coat of flowers outside Dior Couture, Paris 2014

Modern Prairie Landscape Hendy Curzon Gardens

We are currently uploading the Modern Prairie project to our portfolio. This has been a long project that we are proud to be sharing. 

It's landscape is sculpted and cloaked in native Wild flowers.

The paths are mown like rivers running through the fields and hills of flowers. On it's perimeter, colour-blocked perennial schemes flow off of a natural swimming pool anchor point. We approached the planting design in a painterly way, considering every season for its merits across this landscape.

There is a walled garden of ancient Beech that contains comprehensive perennial schemes. The palette is vividly pinks, purples and white. The mutli-season schemes are contained within an informal parterre grid of clipped Buxus which we designed based on two finger prints. Visit our portfolio to see the project in detail and how it appears in different seasons. We should have the words and images completed this week. The house designed by architect Peter Feeny was featured in Dezeen magazine last month. Link appears at the end of this post.

Cool beginnings

Ombre inspirations - Clouds via Loft Global

Alexander McQueen

New too to our portfolio, Interior Designer Lorranie Chu's townhouse gardens, pictured here is the roof terrace.

Design Quixotic

Norham Gardens, HC 2014

Inspirations around our work place

Alexander McQueen & Damien Hirst scarf collaboration

Norham Gardens, HC 2014

Pakistani Wedding

Ombre Foxgloves in an HC Garden

Inspiration floral couture - Vivienne Westwood by Tim Walker

Firey Iris from an HC Garden

Ellie Saab Fall Winter 2014,

provided our floral couture inspiration for picking a dark dramatic palette for a front of house project...

North End Landscape, HC

Christian Dior Couture Spring 2007

Vintage garden vibes

New Vintage Victorian Florals from Alexander McQueen

Judge's House in November, HC Gardens

Vintage Vogue by Karen Radkai for Anthony Vaccarello

We were pleased with year 1's results at Judge's House. The garden has a very vintage feel and has even appeared as a backdrop to a photoshoot for Dubarry!

Rodney Smith

Saipua Flowers

Beautiful vintage floristry from Saipua - get the link at the end of this blog. They seem to epitomise bringing the outside in. Their flair for combinations is mouth-watering and effortlessly stylish.

Vintage floral couture inspirations - Alexander McQueen

December Hydrangeas taking on a vintage patina

Alexander McQueen - floral couture inspiration

In our office - Frozen Rose inspired by Alexander McQueen!

Floral couture inspiration from Christian Dior 

New Oriental Poppy - still flowering this season! We brought this one inside and loved the pigmentation stains on the petals. A very glamorous flower and an improvement on Perry's White. The big reveal of type will follow next Spring.

Marc Jacobs

Hendy Curzon Gardens

Hendy Curzon Gardens

Makoto Azuma

Rose, HC Gardens

Floral footwear Alexander McQueen

Katie Marx Flowers

Ombre Hydrangea, HC

In the Modern Prairie landscape, HC

Modern Prairie, HC

Alexander McQueen goes prairie!

Vintage Rose, HC

Pink Canyon, Valley of fire State park by Eddie Lluisma

Mulberry by Tim Walker

Peony & Blush Jo Malone London

Zita Elze Flowers

Vintage Hendy Curzon Garden

Victoria Beckham Vintage Country Vogue

Even Posh is getting out in the garden these days and embracing the vintage country vibe... although she looks none-too-chuffed about it!

Next time on the blog : It's Christmas... so let the countdown begin with us by decking your doors and bringing some outside in.


Dezeen feature

Saipua florals

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All about Autumn

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 14:58

It's all Autumnal...

in town, HC Gardens

in the country, HC Gardens

Autumn right now is about keeping on top of clearing down leaves and debris, and planting afresh in preparation for next year. Bulbs, perennials, new shrubs, topiary and trees. It's good to clear the decks ready for Winter.

Here's to a great November then - full of colour and design inspirations.

Autumn Look Book

Andy Goldsworthy Landart

Aurigae from depart

Treecups by Love Milo

Home by Peter McFarlane

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Cath Schneider

Autumn with colour

Tornado Water feature by William Pye

Architects : Approach Architecture Studio

Anish Kapoor

Andy Goldsworthy


Autumn heights

Pared-back Autumn

Woodland magic

Andy Goldsworthy Landart

Diphylleia grayi : woodland flowers that turn transparent in the rain

Next time on the blog : the results of our HC Gardens Autumn photo shoots (sneaky peek above). Have a very Autumnal weekend.

All about Autumn Source Book : Hendy Curzon Gardens (leader images), Pinterest, Any Goldsworthy, Deviant Art, Pinterest, Love Milo, Peter McFarlane, Chateau la coste, Houzz, Pinterest, Andy Goldsworthy, Cath Sneider, Hendy Curzon Gardens, William Pye, Archdaily, Approach Architecture Studio, Anish Kapoor, Deadmau5, pinterest, Hendy Curzon Gardens,Island house Finland, google plus, Pinterest, memeguy, HC.

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