Monthly Archives: June 2011

This morning I went to the Maggie’s Centre in London. I was there to research courtyard gardens, as I am in the process of designing some for a project and my tutor had recommended I go.

Maggie’s Centres offer support for people affected by cancer, whether patients, family or friends. Having lost family members, including Brandon, my husband, to cancer, I am acutely aware of the importance of these places and of the incredible support the people that work there provide.

I have been to other places like this, but I was not prepared for the unique and sheer peace and presence this site has. It has a palpable sense of place and upon entering it one feels immediately cocooned.

The building was designed by Richard Rogers and the gardens by Dan Pearson: both are sensationally talented in their respective fields. The space is simple and spacious and intuitive. It has been divided into a sequence of areas that people can move about in as they wish. The courtyards are interspersed throughout the building, providing serene green rooms to view and be in. I was deeply moved upon entering and spending time in the space, by the people working there, the visitors and by the example it gave of the absolute power good design has to create healthy, personal, safe and intuitive environments that enhance our lives.

RWI-Bibliothek Zürich

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes the achievements of one person simply blow me away, not just by their sheer brilliance but by their compelling drive to produce huge bodies of sensational, cross platformed works of art to share with the world.

What an astonishing legacy of beauty.

Alcea rosea ‘Nigra’, otherwise known as Hollyhock

This is a stunning plant which we planted last year in Paradise, has deep black-purple flowers with bright yellow throats. Grow it at the back of the border for best effect as they are tall and willowy. They love blazing sun and produce flowers from mid- to late summer. Sow the seed during the autumn, or late winter, for flowers the following summer. Alternatively, you can sow seed during spring for flowers the following summer.

Easy to care for and a great crowd pleaser.

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