year end

December 31, 2014

glanum 1

In San Remy de Provence (specifically Glanum) for the year end. Can’t think of a better place to be . . .

glanum arch

san remy


glanum bust detail

. . . much to admire and much to reflect on.

glanum arch detail

How like a winter hath my absence been

From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!

What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!

What old December’s bareness everywhere!

And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time,

The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,

Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,

Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:

Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me

But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;

For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,

And thou away, the very birds are mute;

Or if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer

That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.

Sonnet 97 william shakespeare

in upheaval

April 28, 2012

The work of a landscape designer often encounters a site in upheaval with building works. Fortunately we saw this site when the existing house still sat in perfect isolation within the neglected but also lovely garden with hugely beautiful views to the landscape beyond. So useful to recollect the character that we breathed in at that site visit 4 years ago. Many things have happened since – a rejected planning application and clients who were busy on other housing schemes  – building, selling, moving in and out and just time whizzing past – but now we’re called back to see what can be done with the garden areas around the new eco house. 

Recent heavy rain and compacted sub soil from machinery movement mean horrible conditions and surfaces. The site is steeply sloping containing kitchen garden, orchard, woodland and paddocks. We’ll see! 

A few lines of T.S.Eliot came to mind:

We shall not cease from exploration.

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive

where we started and know the place for the first time.  Little Gidding

Talking practical possibilities through with the clients – drives, turning circles, pathway networks, play areas, terraces, swimming pool –  but also bearing in mind the contextual landscape of this part of Sussex (AONB), criss crossed with quiet winding lanes, banks with wildflowers and native hedgerows. Mmmmmm. Lots to absorb. We are magicians!

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:   W Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream

les balcones

December 26, 2011

In Perpignan, the Castillet, has magnificent projections with true Catalan lighting . . .

 . .   day-to-day decoration – functional but also arranged with a stylish eye.  In Illes – sur – Tet, cascades of Ipomoea (Morning Glory)  . . .

and something more architectural here . . .

and in Rue Fusterie, even more so. In Rue du Four St Jean, selective treatment of the items for the balconies . . .

and festive lights hang decorously here.

In Place Joseph Dupres, religious additions make the composition . . .

 A climbing rose contributes to the delicacy in San Antonin . . .

 . .  and more substantial, as part of the construction, as against an appendage . . .

 . . . the ancient timber and tufa building . . .

 . . and extremely simple with Shakespeare to conclude.

It is the east and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief (5)
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love! (10)
O that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing; what of that?
Her eye discourses, I will answer it.
I am too bold: ’tis not to me she speaks.  William Shakespeare  Romeo and Juliet

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