This year we have been really focusing on learning from others, absorbing colour, pattern, texture, shape and form. Drawing inspiration from gardens and garden designers, architects and artists gives us fresh ideas and helps us to form our own visions for garden design and keeps the creative juices flowing.
Last month I visited Alnwick Gardens in Northumbria, UK and was overwhelmed by the glorious rose garden, still bursting with colour even in the autumn. The contemporary metal water features were seriously impressive and would I feel work well on a smaller scale, children were enthralled by how the water kept flowing and the Vortex was a favourite for me. The formal rose garden was just wonderful and I was able to select a few different species that would work in our Tuscan Garden Designs.
The willow maze made an impact and I would love to grow living willow sculptures or dens for kids but just need to create a damp garden for the plants to thrive in - not so easy here in the countryside near Siena. I was also reminded of the wonderful quote engraved on a standing stone within the garden 'only dead fish swim with the stream' so true and should be interpreted into all that we do.
I brought back a whole heap of notes, photos, sketches and ideas combining traditional and contemporary ideas for modern gardens here in Italy. Can't wait to start working on a few projects, but first I need to finish off the hardwood cuttings ready for the spring and pot up plants for gardens in Pescia, Monte Amiata, Siena and Montespertoli, phew!