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I took this set of photos in Holland.I think they show both the different tones in nature and also the different balance of shapes.The trick with garden design is bringing the essence of these shapes into smaller, urban gardens or mid sized country gardens. If you look at the photos carefully and put your designer hat on: How can you bring the foreground, mid ground and background into your garden so that your garden feels more spacious. Can we reproduce the lovely white backs of the sheep into a formation of stones perhaps? Or clumps of wild, white flowers? Or the curved path that disappears and gives our garden design a sense of mystery? How can we use the dense tone of the Heather and contrast it with the elegant stems of the Birch trees and soft grasses? All these elements are at play with a garden design and even the smallest spaces can benefit from this approach. Often garden designers are asked to say where their inspiration comes from? Almost all talk about where they roamed as children. Which landscape would you reproduce with your garden design?
I am not always a fan of sculpture in a garden. Nature is so beautiful and intricate it is a relief not to see the marks of human endeavour in the frame. However I think garden Sculpture works when it takes us deeper into the landscape or a garden and makes us see nature with fresh eyes. Maybe in contrast or as a compliment or as a way to humble our position in the world. I like the prostrate marble figure at Parham House in West Sussex so different from classical sculptures where the hero has triumphed, or the death mask, also at Parham, with its reminder that the trees will last long after we are forgotten. And the shy woman wrought from cold hard stone but also soft and considerably more fragile than the bricks and branches and and plant life around her. The floating Blue Circle turns ornamental grass into an ocean of movement and subtle colour and the cube of photos, taken from the Chelsea 2016 Flower Show, now residing at the Praire Gardens, makes us stop and think about nature and the images we take of it.    
My Italian friend, Paola, sent me this photo from Simione in Northern Italy. This exquisite little garden has formed in a metal ring used for inserting parking prevention posts. I love the microcosm created from at least four different plants, from little seeds drifting on the wind, landing on a scrap of soil. Weeds are the greatest pioneers and even in the cracks of pavements they can give us hope- little green creatures full of innocent determination.