Archive

Monthly Archives: December 2011

We have a keen interest in healthy workspaces and love this beautiful landscape design project, completed in 2003, for Fashion designer Elie Tahari by MVVA. Holes were cut into the roof of the building which created green courtyards allowing the seasons to penetrate an otherwise windowless suburban box.

The choice of materials and planting has been kept very natural and sensual, the result is a tactile green room with river birch, hellebores, moss, river cobbles, and wonderful black locust planks cut lengthways to create rough wooden pathways.

Advertisements

French landscape designers Atelier Alterm produced this fabulous polly tunnel / vegetable patch near Amiens for their client, the Center of Arts for Amiens . Based on the islands of the Hortillonnages, the angular temporary structure houses and celebrates rare varieties of lettuce which have been banned from production by the French government. They hope to promote the re-introduction of a wider variety of lettuce and to encourage interest in the agricultural industry and the policies placed on it. We think it is stunning.

Check out these planters by Kornegay Design. Sleek designs, colours and finishes that would look sensational planted with some architectural grasses or small trees.

We have just begun the process of designing the terrace of an eco house in Holland Park. The house is one of three, set within a private gated courtyard. They have a wonderful sense of space and are, as it says on the website, sustainably stunning.

It is an honour to work on a building that has been designed with an eco ethos. A lot of research will have to be made into the technicalities of building a large roof terrace. Weight will be a huge consideration as this terrace sits on the second floor and for insulation reasons some of the walls are made of pulp board and shredded newspaper – it will be interesting to work out how to function alongside these materials without compromising their structure.

The brief from the clients is exciting to say the least, they want an antithesis to their other garden in Wales; the garden there is a country garden, it has a large variety of planting and has been planned and gardened by them for many years. This terrace is their town garden, they want a selective choice of plants in a contemporary and inspirational space. They invited us to taste some food they had just eaten, we sampled the delicious spoonful of wonderfully fragrant and fresh Israeli salad which was to become the basis of my brief for their garden. She said “That is what I want my garden to be like. Zingy!”

How wonderful to have clients like this.

I have been away for a while, pondering life, designing my website, enjoying friends and designing gardens. Upon graduating from Inchbald with a Postgraduate Diploma, Andrew Duff asked me to be one of the studio tutors, I was delighted and continue to enjoy this very satisfying and educational role. I feel very lucky after a year of studies to finally be realising a dream; designing gardens has long been of interest to me and has so far proved to be a wonderful, worthwhile and rewarding vocation.

The website is up and running now, cathoward.co.uk. You will see that I have recently built my first garden. The space will be photographed professionally next spring when the plants are a bit more established. It is beautifully lit at night, has a lovely relaxed feel to it, the clients love it and I can’t wait to visit them again next spring to see it in evolution.

Currently I am working on some planting plans for a beautiful Welsh country garden and a town garden in Battersea.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This morning I woke up with lines of this wonderful poetry tugging at me. I read it every couple of months, finding something new and lovely every time. As with many of Pablo Nerudas poems, it is beautiful, romantic and entrenched in nature.

Ode to the woman in her garden – By Pablo Neruda (Translated from Spanish)

Yes, I knew that your hands were

the flowering clove, the lily
silvered:
that you had something to do
with the dirt,
with the earth’s flourishing . . .
but
when
I saw you dig down, dig down,
to push aside the stones
and finger the roots,
I knew right then,
my farmer girl,
that not just your hands
but your heart
were of the earth,
that you
were making
things
there of your own,
touching
damp
doors
through which
circulate
the
seeds.

So, then,
from one plant
just
planted
to the next,
your face
stained
with a kiss
from the mud,
you came
and went
flourishing,
you went,
and from your hand
the astrolomeria’s
stalk
raised its lonely elegance,
the jasmine
dressed
your snowy brow
with stars of scent and mist.

All
grew from you,
entering
the earth,
and turning
to immediate
green light,
foliage and might.
You made contact with
your seeds,
my love,
my red-faced garden girl:
your hand
familiared
the ground
and thus right then was
the growing made clear.

Love, so too
did your watery
hand,
your earthy heart,
give
fertility
and force to my songs.
You touch
my heart
as I sleep,
and the trees bloom
from my dream.
I wake up, I open my eyes,
and you’ve planted
in me
shadowed stars
that rise
with my song.

That’s how it is, garden girl:
our love
is
of this earth:
your mouth is the plant of life, the petals of it,
while my heart works the roots.

Translation by Terence Clarke

%d bloggers like this: