Greetings and welcome to our review of the year. We hope you enjoy scanning through our projects produced across the seasons -from January 2015 to now, it's been another busy, eventful and colourful year for us.
Brave new world :
We always anticipated a colourful year and mainly designed and planned for one the year prior. With our push towards the use of more wildflowers and marrying the prairie look with modern and formal gardens, that inevitably brought colour back on a grand scheme. We considered this in painterly ways and focused on the balance of using colours from differing ends of the spectrum at the same time.
Back in February we were finalising winter garden schemes with a lean towards the brighter end of the spectrum too. Colour blocking is not showing signs of dissipating any time soon.
We normally favour the white and lime green Hydrangeas but an inspirational trip to the V&A to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit got us thinking...
Masses of ombre Hydrangeas in acid hues throughout the V&A courtyard garden was just breathtaking and certainly informed some designs and encouraged us to embrace more colour in general. Clashes of bold colours are certainly not for everyone, so as you move further through this review of the year you will see varying design briefs for colour palettes. The classics will always champion but there are also some other dramatic schemes in the mix, such as the darks.
Last year at the time of doing our review we were in the depths of a seven month landscape project installation, and we ended our review there. So picking up where we left off...
We are proud to present
Grand Oak Meadows
Grand Oak Meadows is a magical bespoke landscape with White Woodlands, Living Labyrinth and tunnels, Giant's chair, LandArt, wildflower hills, Lavender hill and a grand Oak tree, field grown circa 1970. There are formal gardens to the house and orangery, plus the guest cottage gardens all surrounded by 200 newly planted native trees of maturity. Prairie picnic & playing field and glamping snug carved into Squirrel's tail hill replete with log burning hot tub and giant fire pit. There are lots of secrets and surprises in these gardens and landscape, the idea that it takes you on a journey whatever direction you decide to go in, and that you are never disappointed in the place you reach.
7 months of land sculpting, building and planting
The lovely Winter bones of Grand Oak Meadows
Alongside the installation of Grand Oak Meadows we were readying our nursery for Spring,
and all the booked projects that would be created throughout 2015.
We had a little help from our friends too...
Installation of the 40+ year old field grown Oak tree
that now proudly stands at the heart of Grand Oak Meadows on top of Lavender hill.
The bespoke giant's chair at the heart of the living labyrinth in Winter. This acts as a reward to anyone succesfully reaching the heart of the labyrinth because you can see the entire landscape from on top of it. To give you an idea of it's scale...
it's bigger than a Land Rover. Pictured below is a fully grown man...
The Giant's chair will eventually integrate in to the landscape and become one with it as the timber silvers and the labyrinth and wildflowers grow and engulf it. Eventually you will only be able to see it from the sky or if you reach it, making it a discoverable peice of landart for future generations. We designed the labyrinth to only have one viable entrance and lots of 'false ones'. It is mapped to the shape of a pair of wings.
The very talented Meyrick & Charlie of MC Rustics were commissioned to design and build the Giant's Chair for the project. They very kindly drove it over from Wales too and helped install it.
The Eclipse 2015
Grand Oak Meadows, as all of our projects, was a pleasure to design, create and install. We would like to thank the very nice people over at Wildflower Turf for all of their assistance creating bespoke meadow mixes for the project. We would also like to thank our clients for trusting in our imaginations to create a landscape that can only get better and better over time, and that is intended for not-just-the-now but for many generations to come. Grand Oak Meadows will continue to develop over the years as more sculpture and landart pieces are introduced to it's developing woodlands.
2015 Garden Projects
Palette: Monochromatic contrasting with bolts of wildflowers, on a backdrop of rich greens
Barn Conversion and garden as featured in Real Homes January 2016
and the client's beautiful home made the cover!
More from The Cowshed this Spring
Palette : Front of house green & white, back bespoke prairie mixes, predominantly blues & darks
Front of house, Kitchen Garden, Modern Meadow Garden
Bay Tree London
Palette : Pastel pinks, blues and whites
Front & back gardens, giving this Townhouse a Contemporary Country twist.
Palette : Front of house ombre orange
The gardens continue to develop and evolve with bold new planting schemes, landart & sculpture.
Palette : Acid pinks, crimson, scarlet, purple
Family garden, zoned. Bespoke multi-functional garden building for home cinema and that can be entirely opened to become one with the garden, Productive garden, Play garden, outdoor kitchen, cut flower gardens and central water pool. All hardscaping in granite and hardwood. Box pleached trees, all garden lighting installed by Life Systems, entire garden on drip irrigation with the additional feature of parasol pleached trees that rain and water the productive garden as required.
Amidst all of this our lives were eventful. We were proud to receive a best of houzz award for Design,
We got some new HC team members
Little H came in to the fold
and before long this soon became this...
Aidan and Ben (pictured) joined us as our new apprentices
Soph got engaged to Paul... awww!
Tom came back from his travels and worked the best part of the year and now he's off again. We wish him all the very best!
With great sadness we suddenly had to say goodbye to Blue after fourteen and half years. He sort of wrote the book on how to be an exceptional four legged companion to the humans.
We checked in on past projects.
The Bield, Burford was looking lush and established after just one year.
Lyme Cottage looked pretty in Spring and then got some Summer upgrades with lighting and accessories.
We kept checking in on planting schemes as they established (various projects)
Garden lighting is a must have and 2015 shone very bright indeed.
Palette : Darks,whites, cobalt blue and magenta
Palette : Grey, green and white with a splash of pink
A bijou garden retreat
We are acredited installers of Wildflower turf and as mentioned earlier we have collaborated to create bespoke meadow mixes and continue to at present.
In their blog round up of their momentous year, Wildflower Turf featured Grand Oak Meadows in their domestic gardens section. Find a link to this at the end of our review.
Grand Oak Meadows in Autumn 2015, illustrating our integral multi-season design doctrine.
North End in Autumn 2015
Burford House in Autumn 2015
Modern Prairie in Autumn 2015
Blue Corner in Autumn 2015
Designing for 2016 in the Autumn... with a little extra help
Getting inspiration for 2016 from around the UK
The Potager, Kingham
This productive and cut flower garden will be revealing itself in the Spring but here are it's bones completed in 2015. (This is garden area 1 of a three stage project including a formal parterre, Wisteria tunnel and house garden). The productive garden follows on to the stables and further fields, an orchard and beehives.
Installation of the bespoke egg water bowl at the heart of the garden
The Potager : in the works
Jasmine : in the works
We continue to follow the belief that spaces affect how you feel and how you function. Just as the interior of your home promotes your day to day (and eve to eve) comfort and functionality, your outdoor space should provide for you in a similar way. From front of house, to balcony, to back yard, to courtyard, to landscape. In town, in the country and throughout every single season, we see no reason to compromise on style and substance.
From the outset our creative vision has been to implement such spaces, with layer upon layer of thought, detail and originality. The designs for these gardens, landscapes and exteriors draw upon many, many sources of inspiration. We are influenced by the old, the new, the classical, the contemporary. We strive to be innovative and push the parameters of each brief, so our approach involves a great deal of creative energy and collaboration with our clients.
The Herringbone : in the works
Some projects are absent from this review but only because they were completed too late in the season to be photographed. They will all be showcased in 2016 in our portfolio, this exterior design blog, houzz, etc.
In the works : Kyoko's Townhouse garden
More to look out for : Look West and Nordic.
As 2015 drew to a close we wrote our first article for Cotswold Preview, celebrating Winter gardens and how we love the bones of them. Various HC projects were featured in their pared-back form.
On our return after the holiday break we are delighted to be back at Burford House to install the approved design of the new main garden to the property, and that's what the team are building now.
We intend 2016 to be bright and bold, with a diverse range of projects in the works. No two briefs have ever been the same and we think 2016 is going to continue to showcase our truly bespoke and client specific designs and services.
We would like to thank all of our great clients for their collaboration, making it a diverse and hugely creative year,
and resulting in a best of houzz award for Service too!
Last but not least, we are proud to finally be moving our company to a farm on Blenheim Estate. We will have more creative and build space, both in our studio within the barn, and outside surrounded by the countryside. The new premises (inside and out) are underway and every year from November we will be surrounded by Christmas trees from Blenheim's Forestry Department. What bliss! And of course we will keep updating as the new premises and nursery develop.
Sourcebook : All images, content, landscapes & gardens by Hendy Curzon Gardens, with the exception of the New year Gnome which is courtesy of the Wains