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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

Vogue

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

HCG

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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Wanderlands

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!

“ALICE

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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Floral frontiers

Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 18:19

Kirsty Mitchell : Wonderland series

HC Cut Flower gardens

Gucci Garden : Chelsea 2014

Cut Flower combo from our HC nursery garden this week

Welcome to our first blog for May. Flower fever is everywhere, continuing the Floral Couture trend we have been discussing here for the last year now. From catwalks to interiors - the craving for flora fashion and design looks to be gaining some momentum now. We are especially excited that brand Gucci will be participating in the Chelsea Flower show this month.

The concept for the Gucci show garden is based on the brand's signature Flora print. For Frida Giannini, creative director of Gucci it marks a significant step in Gucci's creative portfolio. "Flora was the very first iconic design motif from Gucci's storied past that I decided to revive and reinterpret, " Giannini said. 

 "Since then I have used it on bags, dresses, scarves and as an inspiration for a series of fragrances."

The Flora print originated in a design for a scarf for Grace Kelly,

then following this, an official release came about in 1966. The Flora print went on to be a hugely coveted design on Gucci scarves in the 60s and 70s - seen to be synonymous with chic, stylish women.

Since then the print has remained a key part of the Gucci identity and we cant wait to see it come to life at Chelsea this month.

Alongside the unabating floral trends this year we see butterfly motifs becoming a popular theme. Pictured above is the Butterfly bench from Rockett St. George who are extending their unique homewares boutique in to the realms of gardens.

Butterfly by Eduardo Garcia Campos

FlowerBomb scent by Viktor & Rolf

May heralds the peak of Tulip season. We planted thousands and thousands across our Cotswolds projects last Autumn. Pictured above are the Tulip snakes at HC North End Garden.

Bringing some outside in...

well, we say it here all the time so we can't really encourage you enough!

Pictured here : Cut flowers from a townhouse garden

(Neiman Marcus Spring 2014 collection)

Prairie Style above : displaying large bunches of Cow Parsley from a country garden.

Nature's way this May 

So if you go down to the woods today you really are in for a big surprise! The naturalised Bluebells in the Cotswolds are staggering this year. We have never witnessed quite such a bold display as 2014's.

If you are out walking, cycling, driving glance towards woodland hills and you are very likely to see a bold band of blue just hovering. Once you spot it you'll see it everywhere. If you can make a trip soon to a woodland near you will find it was well worth it. We took these pictures just a stones throw away from our depot. Just, on this occasion don't bring some outside in though... you are not allowed to pick the native Bluebells!

For the last few years we have been sharing Kirsty Mitchell's Wonderland series here - the awe inspiring and enchanting floral and woodland photographic project that has a massive following by now. This season sees the epic project drawing to its conclusion.

Mitchell's series of photographs are a tribute to her late mother, who spent her life as an english teacher inspiring generations of children with her imaginative stories and plays.

'The last dance of the flowers' sees the final chapter to Mitchell's touching tribute to her mother, Maureen. A project of this magnitude, spanning 5 years in total, is an inspiration and a testament to the power of channeling grief and loss in to something of sheer brilliance. Mitchell will inspire generations to come.

No less than one thousand fresh flowers dress Mitchell's final model in the series. We share this last imagery at the end of this blog.

Kirsty Mitchell has been named the first female Nikon UK ambassador for Fine Art Photography.

Floral Country

And last in our floral frontiers trends blog this week is the wonderful Floral motif Wellington boots from Hunter no less. For chic gardeners and ramblers!

Tulips on our nursery table in May

The last dance of the flowers by Kirsty Mitchell

Floral frontiers Source book: Yanko Design, hendy Curzon Gardens, Rockett St. George, Vogue, Squidoo, Pinterest, Amateur Gardener, Hyea W. Kang, Gucci, Vogue Korea, Grazia, Kirsty Mitchell, Dejki, Syoff, RHS, Flomaker, Hunter Boots.

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Colourlands

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 16:37

Welcome to the first in our series of Colourlands blogs. This week think all things tourmaline and turquoise, patina and verdigris.

There is a plethora of colour spectrums that appear naturally in our gardens and landscapes and throughout 2014 we are exploring them here.

2014 trends in interior and fashion design promise a bold wave of strong colour choices. This will naturally inform many of our exterior selections... so this week let's soak up this palette that can translate as both highly contemporary and classically vintage.

Natural creation

This spectrum of colours is one that most of us respond to positively. Whether evoking the calm serenity of water, the protective qualities of gem stones or stimulating an attraction to vibrant pigmentation, it's a palette of colours that seems universally inspiring.

This palette of aqua and patina greens and blues seem inherently optimistic, possessing an ability to restore a sense of well being in all of us.

Other times they can echo a warm sense of nostalgia.

They stimulate creativity,

and inspire positivity.

Reminding us to appreciate the qualities of the aged

alongside embracing the possibilities of the new. 

Colourlands part I Sourcebook: Mykl Mabalay, Miikshka, Pinterest, ebay, Kerso blog, Halo Smith, Fauxology, New Orleans French Quarter door Art.com, Blue view art by Jami, The Chicken Chick, Martha Stewart, I heart it, Pantone Mind, Meadow boutique, HC Gardens, Horse Country living, The last foot print, Mindful spirits, Hugh heart, Macro village.

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