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The pared-down picture

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 20:05

 The Winter looks of the gardens, landscapes and front of house projects that we create are as important to us as during the other three seasons. We believe that the appearance of them in Winter (when we need cheering most) is integral to their success, so we have this in mind from the outset of designing. If you follow this blog then you'll know how much we embrace the seasons from year to year and focus on maximising the individual appeals of each.

In celebration of these pared-down looks of Winter here is the first of our Winter Look books. Think of it as our little treasury of what currently inspires us and delights us - and what informs our choices on the elements and materials to apply to the projects we are working on this December. It's the season to be surrounded by lovely natural things so let the festivities begin.

mix, match, blend and balance outside with in

inside out

The Cabbage Chair by Nendo

Just peel back its layers to suit you...

it's cold outside...

so cosy up

and go get yourself some outside in 

and do it in style!

We couldn't quite squeeze in our second blog last month as planned but that's in the past now and we hope to pack in a few more posts here this side of Christmas instead. Well, that's the plan...

The pared-down picture Source Book: Myoung Ho Lee, Cox & Cox, Ma MaisonBlanche, Kodu hun, Pinterest, Nendo, Hendy Curzon Gardens, Nautica, Houzz, Lily and Parker, Indulgy, Living etc., Keaton Row, Reddit, Tine K Home, Channel, White bread by Chris Martin, Horse by Miriam Sweeney, Saatchi online, Formelle Design, House and hold, The Night Circus, Grimsuotn, National Geographic, Alien Blue for IPad, Urs P Twellmann, Galerie Intuiti, Style Hound, Urban Beings, James Walker Studios, The Upcycled Market, Orange Daisies, Julkrans, Wabisabi Style.

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Monday, November 18, 2013 - 20:35

With Autumn lasting so long this year, the leaves have held on and given us a breathtaking show - both fallen and hanging on for dear life! Even at dusk gardens and landscapes seem to glow. It's been a treat. This week we are looking at copper outside. We predicted it here 2 years ago, and with the rising enthusiasm to apply copper to interiors, alongside it comes the same trend emerging in gardens and landscapes. Bang on.

Copper is a favourite here and always has been. For me this comes from memories of my mum's collection of copper pans in the kitchen and her monthly ritual of polishing them up. This was magical - newspapers set out on the kitchen table on a Sunday then the pans were pulled from their rack and placed upside down ready for much polishing to commence. The process of this was all about patience and belief. The first time I tried I was not a believer. I buffed away at this dreary looking pan and could not fathom how it could ever glow and sparkle again. At the point of admitting defeat I was told that this is when I had to pursue. Unimpressed, I plodded on and then it did happen. The copper began to beam, and the more I buffed the brighter it shone. 

Now I appreciate the beauty of copper in all its stages. It appeals that it fades from such vibrancy and takes on a whole different charm in its more muted phases or left to pass over to verdigris. And it is ever changing. That is beautiful in the context of a garden or landscape throughout the seasons. 

So on that note we present you with a visual feast of copper in the form of material & tone. The application of copper to a scheme has to be balanced just right. Rusted coppery tones that change with light can be introduced in the landscaping with materials, the greenscaping with planting palettes and at the styling and setting stage of a scheme with gorgeous lights, planters and so on. It's Copper time...

nova: ' a star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.' We can all appreciate the qualities of 'that which fades' and afterall, isn't that what Autumn is all about? Autumn 2013 has shone very bright indeed.

It's about to get very festive around here. We refuse however to unleash our enthusiasm for Christmas on you until at least the 1st of December (only 36 days and 4 hours to go by the way...) and so have one more very Autumnal blog here in November. 

The Coppernova Source Book came from us, indulgy, Etsy, house to home, Geum, apartment therapy squishinfips, Archibold, JustineBlakenley, Harbitual bliss, PXL shots, Luxe finds, Cooper Hewitt, Williams Sonoma, Topleft Pixel, Amazon, Modern Hepburn, Nest Candy, Shop Terrain, Garden and Gun, Tom Dixon, Snippet and ink, Brightnest, Google unknown and Pinterest. 

by Adrienne & The HC Gardens Team

This Blog pays tribute to Helena

HC Gardens 2011 Copper Blog  /   Copper Trend

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The Dark Knight Returns

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 08:27

When we first started this blog a couple of years ago we did our first Halloween blog all about bats. Last year we did the Pulp Fiction blog for the 31st, (click on the highlighted text for the links). This year for the last day of October and in the spirit of Halloween we bring you some (we think) stonking images of bats: those unsung heroes of the garden and a few stunners from around the globe.

Bumblebee Bat!

We admit that we have opted for bats from the cuter end of the spectrum here, and there are some real shocking looking creatures out there... but this is not the place for shocks. Well okay, as it's Halloween maybe just a little bit of spook...

And if you saw this flying past you...?

The Fox Bat. Amazing!

Please visit the Bat Conservation Trusts UK & International in the links below and see how we can all help to protect these amazing and important creatures.

Happy Halloween!

Images via Pinterest, HC Gardens and The Bat Conservation Trust. Important Links: (click on the icon)

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Colour me Autumn

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 11:41

and then it was October... that came around quick. To kick off the toasty season we have brought you our round up of Autumn palettes. 'Tis the season for bringing outside in and, by way of light and fire, living inside out. As you may have noticed, there is a lot of Autumnal love around here so we have taken our inspirations from nature itself. Starting with Mr Fox we see Autumn by colour, but not just in orange and burnt umber. We have brought together palettes here of deep, dark charcoals and the darkest inky blues.  They stand alongside crisp as cotton whites, terracotta and woodland hues. (Images: 'The fox' via CNN, 'Seed Burst' & 'Sea holly on Downpipe' by Leonarda Designs and us.' White munchkins' from Pinterest. 'A is for Autumn' by us)

Let's open our doors on to a season of substantial style and colour.

image via this is colossal

Summer Falls palette

HC Gardens

HC Gardens

Natural Sciences

Wanas Sculpture Park, Sweden

Okavango River

HC Gardens


HC Gardens

Golden hues palette

Raimonds Circulis for Moffam Freeform

Toronto Wedding

HC Gardens

Playwrite's Barn HC Gardens


HC Gardens

The ultimate inside out & outside in house by Marcio Kogan

Rusted shades palette

Painted leaves by Elena Nuez

Pencil sculpture by Jessica Drenk

image via Pinterest

HC Gardens

Sodermanland, Sweden

Very well red palette

Golf Club Hostivar, Czech Republic

Lakewood Garden mausoleum by Paul Crosby

Sculpture, HC Gardens

'whatami' by stARTT at the MAXXI museum, Rome

Teaser of HC Garden, name TBD

Coral tones palette

HC Gardens

Pottery Barn

Urban Farmchic

Ochre cast palette

Fading umber palette

HC Gardens


Outside in installation, real Dandelions by Regine Ramseier

Wipe the slate palette


Nest by Sophie Truong

HC Gardens

HC Gardens

HC Gardens

Enjoy the season, and stay toasty...

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blown away

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 11:46

Eyes as big as plates collaboration Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth

Gold Digger

@ The Devon Sculpture park

Erik Johansson

Carli Davidson


from The Guardian UK

after the 2010 Pakistan floods trees were enrobed in spider's webs

Veselin Malinov

Lego dress by Nathan Sathaway

from The Wizard of Oz

Receipt Lion by Kyle Bean

September seems true to form so far, giving us a mini Indian Summer then a little coolness, a little crispness. The light has dropped and a new season is just a whisper away. We can't wait to embrace it, albeit with open wooly jumper arms. Autumn heralds a new chapter of garden and outdoor pleasures, pursuits and inspirations. But before we fall in to that completely we have brought you our round up of what designs, moments, inspirations and achievements have blown us away these last few weeks as Summer takes its last stand.

the blown away blog

Arin Rahimzadeh

Adrienne Curzon

from The Guiness Book of World Records

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins


Design Studio stuff  featured in this blog : What shapes us, Think Pink Mood board, On Site, Utterly Covetable, On our Wish list, Floral Couture, from somewhere out thereWell Seasoned

Angels Fall

What shapes us

from the Improbable objects of Giuseppe Colarusso

Wrinkles of the City by Land artist JR

Hans Silvester

Beetle's House, Terunobu Fujimori

Bamboo tunnel Kyoto, Japan

Herb Ritts L.A.

Think Pink Mood board

Hendy Curzon Gardens

Getting inspiration for a very surprising Front of house project brief

Daniela Edburg


On Site

Some very beautiful creatures visiting site via the portaloo truck cheered up a grim day massively!

A very tough Summer had us all wondering if this was a viable option on site to cut down on travel times. Swiftly rejected, but it looks great.

 a Hendy Curzon Garden

Here's a sneak peek of Playwrite's Barn Garden, a project we have been constructing. All in all it's been a delightful project at all stages. With its contemporary country style brief and many landscaping elements to merge seemlessly, we have loved the challenge. We look forward to the lighting installation next and its final few stages of planting.

a Hendy Curzon Garden

- Inspiration for the project -

a Hendy Curzon Garden

a Hendy Curzon Garden

Playwrite's Barn Garden will be featured in our new portfolio launched this Autumn.

At the new gates of one of our largest projects to date. Garden name as yet to be confirmed.

On completion and beyond the gates we hoped our clients felt a little like this!

The 'Play Side' of the garden 

At the gates on completion eve.

This Garden will be featured in our new portfolio launched this Autumn, along with

The Winter Falls Garden,

The Town house Gardens,

The Courtyard Gardens,

The Country Gardens & Landscapes,

The Living Space Gardens,

and many, many more...


Utterly Covetable

Here we share the things we have been coveting... oh so much! Last month we shared a few of these too in our A to Z of must haves for your garden in The Oxford Times Homes & Gardens section.

HC Gardens OX Times Homes & Gardens

Paper Birds by Diana Beltran Herrera

That Lego dress by Nathan Sathaway. We have featured some of Sathaway's Lego sculptures here before on the blog. This has completely taken our breath away!

The Clubland outdoor sofa by driade

Gold bicycles! They are all the rage. Try the Conran shop.

Anything and everything from The White Company. Effortlessly stylish.

On our Wish list

If only..!

from Giuseppe Colarusso's Improbable objects series

Oo la la! The ultimate in garden style. The Reindeer Wallmount and the Gold Digger hose from Garden Glory.

Choose your own colour combos...

comes in a nifty dust bag too

Miguel Vallinas

Big on our wish list too - just some time to contemplate

or morning coffee in a garden with the ultimate view!

The Nest chair by Nina Bruun

London Underground retro prints by Kirkby Design via the Romo group are making it in to interiors. Now we are wishing, hoping, praying to see them make the leap to outdoor furnishings. We think they are perfect for contemporary gardens, townhouse settings and loft style balconies, upper decks and rooftops.

Big on our wish list to date are swimming pools and garden rooms that ooze sophistication, with a little bit of theatrics in the mix! With a few projects in the works requiring pools and adjoining out buildings or room-like spaces we are looking to get away from the very generic attempts at waterscaping.

and the penultimate on our wish list...

A trip to the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht.

A hotel and garden from the mind of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.

Spirit us away now please...

A little closer to home, the newest home garden fragrance from Jo Malone London brings Blush Suede & Peonies together for the ultimate in bringing outside in. Yes please.

Floral Couture

Hendy Curzon Gardens

Jo Malone

Getting up close with florals and a macro lense of late has yielded some delightful results. Everday flowers in the garden take on whole new personas.

from somewhere out there

The Land art of Jaume Plensa always astounds us. His works are always inspired and the sheer scale of the sculptures always dumbfounds us.

Carli Davidson photographs dogs in motion very, very well indeed. This image, believe it or not has inspired a bespoke sculpture for an upcoming project.

Well it is the out there section of this blog... so you might be asking... what am I looking at? No, not a liquorice allsorts cityscape sculpture but actually a gigantic float from the Bloemncorso in Zundert City Parade. And what really blew us away is that each sculpture / float is made up of thousands upon thousands of flowers.

This huge community event takes place the first Sunday of every September. 100's of volunteers come together to create these extraordinary beasts, beings & 'things'. Traditionally the older members of the community grow the flowers in advance. Floats take 3 months to build. These images came via inhabitat from last years event. We can't wait to see what this year yields. Though not to everyone's tastes, the sheer effort, attention to detail and magnitude of the floats warrants total respect! Look on if you dare...

(just keep reminding yourself FLOWERS. All flowers!)

Truly mindboggling!

Last month our accident book truly spilleth over. One team member hit his self in the knee with a lump hammer and two more went down and to hospital with hand injuries (well they do say things happen in threes). These events blew us away in all the wrong ways but nonetheless they happened. As one of the afflicted, and as the author of this blog the last of our 'out there' inspirations stems from one of those unrelated and random injuries. 

Tape (yes, tape) installation by Numen


Well Seasoned

from Vogue US

Phew! That was a big blog. Now that we have got all of that out of our systems we are really looking forward to the next one. 

Oleksandr Hnatenko

Expect some comments on the weather (what with what we do in' all),

Street land art by Nuxunu Xan

plenty of innovation,

Book Garden by Coral Silverman

Caterpillar Birds

and mostly a very, very seasonal blog - because we absolutely 


Dexter knocks it out the park. Angelo de Santis

We hope we've blown you away this time

from Eyes as big as plates collaboration ongoing

or at least whisked you away a bit...

Agnes Martin

yes? no? maybe?

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The blown away blog Source Book: sources credited throughout this blog

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