Two Styles Of English Garden: Cottage and Formal

Yellow, apricot and blue cottage garden

If every garden (and every human) was the same, the world would be a pitiful place. These very different gardens seem to suit their respective home perfectly. Viewed together, each accentuates the other’s beauty.

The first, a private cottage garden in the grounds of Dorothy Clive Gardens, is super colourful, flower-filled and just a little laissez-faire. Flowers in shades of apricot, yellow and blue gaily tumble over each other above the unifying green, partly obscuring the view from the home and creating a feeling of privacy.

Formal garden with topiary cones

The second garden, Levels Hall in The Lake District, is grand, formal and manicured. Mullioned windows of a centuries-old stately home overlook topiary cones, tall yew hedges and garden benches. A stone urn acts as a centrepiece above a circle of bedding plants. Gravel makes the area pleasant for visitors to stroll through and continues along the same neutral vein as the benches and stone building. Our eyes, naturally alert to colour and variation, find interest in the different greens while noting the feeling of harmony and restraint.   Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Neon green luchador mask

Neon green luchador mask by Todd Saunders with reflections from the studio window

These images would seem a mismatch, were it not for the weekly photo challenge. We were lucky to meet Todd Saunders earlier this year at his studio in Austin, Texas. He crafts neon artwork with a retro, pop art style. Todd also collects roadside iconography and fairground relics (if you have a clown phobia, don’t ask to go in the backyard). His studio has one of the most instantly recognisable walls in Austin. It is tempting to abandon thoughts of windows and post about Todd instead, but… (masters the impulse)… that’s best left for another day when I can do him justice.

For today, I’ll just point out the weird effect created by photographing the luchador mask through a window and superimposing power lines, blue sky, clouds and a tree. If we could see thoughts, they might look something like this. I love the distressed effect of the metal too.   Continue reading