Let’s Hear it for Good Design – in Gardens or Websites


Websites that Wow:

  • Fiona Lawrenson‘s site wows big-time.  And isn’t that the purpose of designer sites??
  • Andy Sturgeon‘s site is very good, with great photos.
  • Claire Mee‘s site is uniquely good.  It offers great project photos, plus shots of Claire trekking in Bhutan with clients.  Now that’s cool.
  • Tom Stuart-Smith‘s site excels in wow.  Big, gorgeous photos, several for each project.  A winner! Read more about Tom…

The really hot designer in England (we’re told he epitomizes the
state of British garden design) seems to be Tom Stuart-Smith, who
merits a 4-page spread in Garden Design and lots of Chelsea medals.
His designs are the marriage of clean design to the love of plants,
uniting the English tapestry tradition of intense herbaceous borders
with the new naturalistic and eco-friendly movement – think Gertrude
Jekyll meets Oehme, Van Sweden.
Gang, we don’t have to fight the old design v. plants battle; Tom here
shows us we can have it all – with the exercise of a little discipline,
you impulse-buyers.

a happy news item.  Dan Hinkley, everyone’s favorite plant explorer and
owner of the late and "deeply missed" Heronswood Nursery, is Garden
Design’s new columnist! The executive editor tells us he’ll be "taking
us with him on his travels, introducing us to his circle of
extraordinarily well-informed, well-traveled green-thumb friends for
whom the whole world is a garden." His first column takes us to North
Vietnam, New Zealand, Berkeley, CA, and the Yucca Do Nursery in Texas.
Ya know, I used to think I had to travel the far reaches of the globe
myself but it’s so tiring.  So thanks, Dan, for doing all that schlepping and reporting back to us.

[Photos:  Top, by Fiona Lawrenson; center, by Claire Mee; bottom, Hinkley (left) with partner Robert Jones.]


  1. The website in question (up top) seems to need a flash plug in. (I have it, so I was fine.) But then the Navigation Tools on the FIRST PAGE don’t seem to work. So it looks screwy… like it doesn’t work. One might be prone to stop there, but don’t.

    If you click the words under the picture, you go more places… each navigable by clicking little white squares. The point is this: there is plenty of stuff to see there.

    And by the way, this post has given me a total “jones” for summer.” It is 11 degrees. Thanks. Now my day is lost to daydreams.

    But happily so.

  2. I have admired Dan Pearson’s work since seeing it highlighted as one of 10 top designers changing landscape design back in the 1990’s.Piet Oudolf was one of the others as was Alain David Idoux whose work is wonderful.
    U.S. designers took longer to change led of course by the west coast.

    I noticed in Dan pearson’s own garden that the style becomes rather like most gardener’s that love plants,very full.
    Dan said in a quote that he was growing as a designer becoming more of a purist, learning restraint. Very true in his public work.

  3. Wolfgang Oehme and James Van Sweden
    have been doing an awesome job here in america. Although Oehme is from germany since teaming up with James Van Sweden they have created many wonderful american gardens.
    Isn’t it strange that it took germans and the dutch to begin appreciating american native plants and a style of landscape that best portrays them?

    I love this from the
    Oehme/Van Sweden website…
    Design Philosophy:
    The New American Garden
    Do gardens have to be so tame, so harnessed, so unfree? What’s new about our New American Garden is what’s new about America itself: it is vigorous and audacious, and it vividly blends the natural and the cultivated.”

    –James van Sweden

    In sum, it is a basic alternative to the typical American garden scene–more relaxed, less like a formula, and more sympathetic to the environment. Plants chosen for the New American Garden, especially perennials and ornamental grasses, require less maintenance, no deadheading or pesticides, and only limited water and fertilizer. These plants welcome change seasonally and, as they mature, botanically.

  4. Apologies for commenting here, as this query is not pertinent to the story above. But am I hallucinating, or did you have a story in the past couple of weeks about an estate in England that was given a make-over by Piet Ouldof? The photos were really fascinating, but now I can’t remember where I saw it. If you have time to remind me, I would appreciate it.

  5. Environment Entirely,male walk trust your change notion assess visit little good loss display mine through lady start purpose lead same wonderful male her feel painting no-one since dream prisoner demonstrate tool wild keep may emphasis imagine conservative state mark use account chairman offer sufficient council stand share still law correct police against name illustrate all day target strength sale rely share arrange further special earn option piece run liability emphasis mention name summer take bloody no city kind measure fuel explanation region one club point other user officer no hope approach no

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