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Here's to 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 21:53

May all your gardens shine bright in 2016! Happy New Year from all of us at HC.

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Countdown to Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 13:36

Welcome to our Christmas countdown. No doubt you are getting in to Christmas mode by now and if not, why not? 

Well fear not, we are here to spread the cheer and get you stuffed full to the brim with festive spirit.

No skulking, lurking or loitering allowed around here... expect an unabashed celebration of cinamon coated tidings that will have your yuletide cup full and hopefully spilling over.

Let the Christmas countdown commence

Over the next eight days...

dream of a white Christmas

and/ or candy covered mountains

Stock up on tasty treats

but try not to eat your own weight in them.

Certainly cosy up indoors and remember to enjoy the festivities outdoors too

Decorate your door

and your dog

Bring outside in

and wrap up outside

Take winter wonderland walks in the woods

Or just admire  your Winter Smart garden  from the comfort of indoors 

(see our article about this in Cotswold Preview, available in Waitrose and other retailers)

and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Just 8 sleeps to go...









Over the holidays we will be keeping in touch as always on facebook but you can now join us on instagram too.

We are instagram infants (!) so we hope you will follow us and we will look forward to following you back to see what you are doing over Christmas and New Year.

Here's a snapshot from us

We are also over on houzz which is a great resource for homeowners looking for ideas. Not only that, but it also puts you in direct contact with the actual designers, creators and sources of the homes and gardens that you draw inspiration from.

We were pleased as punch to win a Best Design award on Houzz this year too!

Christmas countdown around the globe

Get more Christmas inspirations : we have made up 5 Christmas inspiration boards over on Pinterest for your perusal. They include shopping sources. Just click on the title or image to link through.

Style File } Wreaths

White Christmas

Outside in, inside out Christmas

Signature Style Christmas

Christmas Reloaded

So that's it from us. Enjoy your days and eves leading up to Christmas! We wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas indeed.


HC Christmas Blog Source Book: Julia Popova, Geof Kern, Tim Flach, Sumikko Mofu, Pumpkin the Racoon (follow him on instagram), Claudia Matarazzo, Nois7, By Nord,, Dusty Demerson, Colin Bogle, Stone Old Cottage by Architect Erpicum,, Keith Williams, Louboutin, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Anna & Molly Wain, Hendy Curzon Gardens Ltd., Pinterest (follow links)

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Friday, November 27, 2015 - 19:29

Greetings. This post is intended as a reminder of some of the wonders that inhabit our world. Come and take a walk on the wild side with us and just enjoy the beauty, dignity and magnitude of the creatures featured here... escape for a moment.

(Leader images in order of appearance - 'Ji Li' by Tim Flach and 'Eyes water' by Eric Esterle)

Carli Davidson

Paul Nicklen 

Gerald Robinson

Kyriakos Kaziras

We hope this blog posting provides you with a little inspiration and that there will be a single look, an emotion, a moment that will speak to you. Hopefully an individual appeal or 'pull' for everyone. Nature is integral to our creativity so we end up gathering many of these portraits and captured moments. It seemed like good timing to start bringing some of them together. There are a few old favourites that have appeared in previous posts but they warranted a place in our top 100 bold, brave and beautiful beasts.

- in diversity we trust -

George Scharf

Chad Cocking

Caracal (Desert Lynx)

Miguel Lasa

Another Timothy

Tim Flach "Cleopatra Eyes'

Dmitry Marchenko

Tilly Meijer

Caludia Pogoreutz

Samantha Photography Worldwide

Dumbledore by Traer Scott

Steve Hinch

Milan Malovrh

William Warby

Diana Barocsi

Konstantine Bakos

Shoebill Stork

Volodymyr Burdiak

Charlie Burlingame

Sue Demetriou

Sue Flood

Roeselien Raimond

Sergey Ivanov

Amnon Eichelberg

Wolf Ademeit


HC Gardens 

Tanja Brandt

Holly Kuchera

Peter Lilja

Elke Vogelsang

Brown Hare at Sunset by Martin Clay

"Look at me here, here on my own again, up straight in the sunshine. No need to run and hide, it's a wonderful, wonderful life. No need to laugh and cry, it's a wonderful, wonderful life." ― Black

Klaus Wiese

Opera Bat by Tim Flach

Marcus Westberg

Rega Photography


“When I'm older I'll understand" said Lucy, " I am older and I don't think I want to understand", replied Edmund” 
― C.S. LewisThe Chronicles of Narnia 

Next time on the blog } it's going to get very winter wonderful around here.

Beasts SourceBook : Photographers and Studios as listed, also Pinterest, some unknown, Tumblr, Instagram, The Guardian.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 19:45

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Wicked Plants

Friday, October 30, 2015 - 14:29

"one must be cunning and wicked in this world" - Tolstoy

It's kind of freaky Friday around here, so in the spirit of all Hallow's eve we would like to share some fierce flora with you. All plants are extraordinary, but here we are profiling some real evildoers alongside some visual mind bogglers. Expect both beautiful and ghoulish botanicals and murderous vegetation, some of which may even be skulking in your garden...

Name : Halfeti Rose. Origin : Turkey. Phenomenon : the only known black Rose. Status : extremely rare

Name : Euphorbia. Habitat : Commonly found in English country gardens. Classification : Poisonous. Threat level : high. Character : avoid the milky sap excreted from the plant. Dastardly deeds : Used to make poison arrows throughout history. The name euphorbia is synonymous with poison in Africa.

Name : Skeleton flower, Diphylleia Grayi. Habitat : woodlands, Japan. Phenomenon : flowers turn transparent in the rain. Status : awesome!

Name : Arachnoid Sempervivum. Habitat : common house Leek. Phenomenon : rosettes appear to be coated in spider webs. Classification : beneficial. Including herbal remedies, sap used as a coolant for wounds, 'sempervivum' means 'live forever' in Latin.

Name : Wolfsbane, Aconitum. Habitat : Commonly found in English country gardens. Classification : Poisonous. Threat level : high. Character : intoxicatingly beautiful. Dastardly deeds : Nazi scientists used it as an ingredient in poisoned bullets.

Name : Poppy, Papaver. Habitat : Commonly found in British countrysides. Classification : Toxic. Threat level : potentially lethal. Character : all parts except the seeds are toxic. Contains alkaloids including morphine and codeine, which combine to produce resinous opium. Dastardly deeds : have you seen the Wizard of OZ?!

Name : Snap Dragon, Antirrhinum. Habitat : commonly found in English country and suburban gardens. Phenomenon : the seed heads look like human skulls. Also, the origin of the name 'snap dragon' derives from squeezing the throats of the flowers and they pop open... like a dragon's jaw... Why on earth was someone strangling flowers in the first place? Status : creepy.

Name : Eucalyptus macrocarpa. Habitat : Western Australia. Phenomenon : spectacular flower pods. Status : magical

Name : Dracula benedictii, Grinning Monkey Orchid. Origin : Columbia. Phenomenon : look like cheeky monkeys. Status : bizarre

Name : Trachyandra tortilis. Habitat : house plant. Phenomenon : squiggle stems. Origin : Africa

Name : Corpse plant, Rafflesia flower. Habitat : Rainforests of South Asia. Phenomenon : flowers can weigh up to 10kg. Called the Corpse plant because it excretes a smell like rotting flesh. Status : rare. Known as 'The Queen of all parasitic organisms'.

Name : Werewolf Plant, Ephedera foeminca. Habitat : sandy shores and soils with direct sun contact. Phenomenon : this lunar loving plant only flowers during the night of a full moon. Status : strange but real

Name : The Gympie gympie. Habitat : woodlands, Northern Australia. Classification : serial killer - the world's most venomous plant. Threat level : murderous. Character : stinging hairs cover the whole plant and deliver a neurotoxin when touched. The effect is described as - like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time. Dastardly deeds : high death toll. Once stung never forgotten - if a victim survives a sting the pain will last for months and then will reoccur years after they have seemingly recovered. Extracts are potentially being developed as a biological weapon. Status : Terrible. Extraordinary Fact : There are marsupials that feed off the Gympie gympie so are seemingly immune to it's venom. Perhaps the little critters are the plant's kryptonite... see below

The Red legged Pademelon thrives on a diet of toxic salad from the Gympie gympie plant.

Name : El Arbo de la Sabina (Ancient Juniper Tree). Habitat : Spanish Canary island. Phenomenon : ancient defiance of high winds. Status : hauntingly beautiful

Occurence : following the Pakistan floods in 2010. Phenomenon : millions of spiders took refuge from the floods in trees, cocooning them entirely.

Freaky Flowers

Nectaroscordum in a Hendy Curzon woodland garden

Ghost Orchid

Ghost Flower, this one is called Casper

Darth Vader Orchid

Its those cheeky monkeys again, these ones are befittingly named Dracula Simia.

Deadly Bouquets

Yes, that's right, those cottage garden flowers that we all covet and drool over are really a bunch of reprobates too, they just bewitch us with their beauty.

Oh, how they mock us!

Delinquent Delphiniums / Larkspur, Foxgloves, Hydrangeas... the list grows

Rooted in evil : The popular Cala Lilly's roots are highly toxic.

"and now my pretties, something with poison in it, I think. With poison in it but attractive to the eye, and soothing to the smell" - The Wicked Witch of the West

Lilly of the Valley - such an unassuming name for this little lethal weapon.

The Nightmare before Christmas : Hellebores. The Christmas Rose ain't so Christmassy anymore...

Well, we hope we have not completely rendered your garden a place you now fear to tread... as if all those villanous flowers lay in wait to ambush you next time you venture out. At the end of the day, the parts of the commonly grown noxious plants are harmful if injested, and generally in large quantities. So fear not, we just advise that you don't make a meal of your borders, and wear gloves if you are handling the likes of Foxgloves, Euphorbias and Aconitum.

love at first bite : little H in an HC garden

Farewell from us!

Wicked Plants Sourcebook : Ellis Hollow, Lost at, Andrew Kearton, Pinterest, Amy Stewart, Peter Nydegger, Plant Propoganda, Cairns Tropical Zoo, Kew, Bored Panda, Hendy Curzon Gardens, Australia Geographic, Ngoc Minh Ngo

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