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The lovely bones

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 11:43

Hendy Curzon Gardens Ltd.

Wabi Sabi Design

David Winston

This February we are celebrating the lovely bones of Winter gardens when all is toned down to its natural pared-back beauty. Landscapes and gardens take on new forms in Winter. The light that is cast and the muted palettes can be appreciated alongside the structures and plants that we place or occur naturally in landscapes.

Winter Gardens Hendy Curzon

 If you have followed our projects portfolio and this blog over the years you will know that we always welcome and cherish these colder months when the simpler stages of outside give us all a period of respite - after the glory of Autumn and just before the explosion of Spring in the gardens & landscapes that we create.

In Winter the little details can shine brightest and the natural look of materials, bare tree structures, lighting and thoughtful design of evergreens, render Winter gardens and landscapes in to a period of wonder and enchantment... especially if they are cast in snow or frosts. Take a look and see...

Camil Tulcan, Visual Therapy

Nagano House TNA Architects

Marianne Boesky

- The lovely Winter bones -

- Winter luxe -

- Bringing a little outside in -

-Winter whites -

- Winter Front of House -

-Winter pause -

- Winter Country -

- Humble Winter beauty -

- Winter thaw -

- Winter Wildlife Hotel -

Pared-back Winter homes & gardens

Hawthorn Tompkin's phased extentsion campus

'The Forest's floor Courtyard' in February by Hendy Curzon Gardens

Looking good in February : on our nursery table - various Ferns and Dogwoods.

Here go in the new lovely bones to this historical front of house garden project in a Cotswolds village. Our design and build sympathetically combines restoration and reclaimation with modern techniques and structural planting... and the rest of this project? Wait until Spring for the first reveal. We aim to stop traffic.

The lovely bones Source book : hendy curzon gardens ltd.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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Where the wild things are

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 11:16

Greetings and welcome to the first blog of 2014 and straight from our new studio & depot. Belated Happy New Year!

There is a lot on the horizon for 2014. After that initial downer last week of seeing dismembered Christmas trees stuffed in to wheely bins and petrified on roadsides, we were cheered by Linton's Zoo appeal for those unwanted trees for their lions and tigers to play with. If you live locally to the Zoo (Cambridge) and still have a straggler kicking around trees can be dropped off at the front gates of the zoo. Sweet!

Our own resident lion chowing down on Pussy Willow... naughty

This month we are feeling the pull of all things wild so are bringing you a blog connecting with nature and those wild ones (including humans). See what is finding its way on to our mood boards, influencing us and making us smile so far this year. It should be pretty obvious by now that we collectively love nature and animals so this post celebrates those souls and creatures that have either surprised or moved us of late. Think of this blog as our cabinet of curiosities... with a nod to those things that you won't find unless you really look. 

Shall we begin then?


let's take a walk on the wildside...

Actress Tippi Hedren, best-known for her role in Hitchcock’s The Birds, and as the mother of actress Melanie Griffith, once shared her home with lions in California, photographed here by LIFE magazine during the early 1970s. (Griffiths pictured in the pool and in bed with a lion below!)

In 1969, Tippi was filming a movie in Africa and visited an abandoned house in Mozambique occupied by 30 lions and their cubs. The time she spent there with the lions changed Hedren’s life forever and inspired her and her husband to make a movie about what they had seen.

So what did they do? They started their own pride of 50 homegrown lions, acquiring them one by one. Well of course they did...


As preparations for the film progressed, neighbors began to complain about the family’s ‘pets’ and  'the' authorities cracked down. The family packed up their things (including cats) and moved to the remote Soledad Canyon to live on the reserve with their lions, where they continued the on-and-off filming of Roar. For a project that cost over $17.5 million, the film only grossed about $2million in the end.

Tippi shocked a lot of people when she admitted that she absolutely made sure the cats slept with her and her children, believing that nothing was more important than day-and-night communication. Uh... that's no kitten Tippi...

During production of Roar Melanie Griffiths, 19 years old at the time, was attacked by a lioness and needed 50 stitches to her face and then the director of photography was scalped. Thankfully Tippi has changed her views on living with lions but has not deterred from being their ambassador. In 1983, she founded the Shambala Preserve, a fully functioning animal sanctuary to protect exotic animals who have suffered from gross mistreatment and neglect.

is there anyone home?

One man's trash is another man's treasure. So true! The little brown bottle booth in our studio, collated from much digging in and around the Cotswolds.

- HOME time -

Nestle in, January can be bleak but this is all looking quite cosy...

Nice log stacking

A stack of firewood House by Piet Hein Eek for Hans Liberg

The natural earthy look. Bringing outside in with style.

For inside out and outside in what better than from the porch. Ultra modern or a little more countryfied....

Beaming! Sheer design mastery, House by architect Ray Kappe, photographed by Joao Canziani

The ultimate inside out feel, Jodlowa House by PCKO Architects, Poland

Now that looks like the place to be. Or if you really want to retreat this Winter...

Try a stay in The Igloo Village, Hotel Kakslauttanen, Lapland... no less.


Mesmerizing creatures in their landscapes.

- timeless TEXTURE -

At our new digs we have been planting many trees, including our signature Paper Birches. We plant them for our clients because we believe that they are the stars of gardens and landscapes in Winter. Also gorgeous for those textural bark shavings and peelings for Winter displays indoors. Or great for starting fires if you are caught out in the wild... according to Ray Mears!

Textural imagery by Tim Booth

On the wild and weird side - the image above is from the anthropomorphic photographic series by Portland based Etsy shop, Grand Ole Bestiary. What are your reactions to these?... mainly we find them a bit creepy but yet, somehow they have compelled us to look at them again and again! With the interiors trend toward 'display', faux taxidermy, apothecary and cabinets of curiosities these Victorianesque anthropomorphic portraits are gaining in popularity. So let's then introduce you to the Squirrelton Twins...


And getting even weirder... The famous ballet dancer Anna Pavlova (pictured at her home in London, Ivy House) who created The Dying Swan role that later influenced Swan Lake, cohabitated happily and lovingly with swans... now that is truly terrifying!

How do you do?

Another 'how do they make you feel?' question when we present this series to you. Created by Madris based industrial photographer Miguel Vallinas, the 'Second Skins' series definitely evokes a reaction. We have been toying with these for a while... what we like is that they do command the 'Marmite question'.

Love them or loathe them we admire this anthropomorphic photographic series because Vallinas is experimenting with the notion that we project our preconceptions onto people based on their appearance. He in turn confesses that he uses his preconceptions of personality to imagine a personality for each animal, that is then expressed through their outfit. This second part of a Vallinas series is all about stereotyping, (the first featured several portraits of people in their work clothes) aiming to investigate the internal aspects of human preconception.




The normally flamboyant flamingo practices some restraint here in pared down attire. Last in this corner of curiosities is the most shocking yet from the Grand Ole Bestiary...

Hello Kitty!

display : gathered Birch twigs @ our floral engineering area


- land ART & LIGHT -

Land Artists and couple Christo & Jeanne Claude create vast land pieces. Pictured here is The Running Fence in Sonoma & Marin Counties, California, live from 1972 – 1976.

When asked how they define themselves and work this was their response:

 J:Labels are important mostly for bottles of wine—but if you need a label, environmental artist is OK. We work in urban and rural environments. Still, the media continues to call us wrapping artists.

C:We borrow space and create gentle disturbances for a while. We inherit everything that is inherent in the space to become part of the work of art. All our projects are like fabulous expeditions. The story of each project is unique. Our projects have no precedent.

J: the hardest part of each project is to obtain the permits. Afterward, it's pleasure.

Over the River, project for Arkansas River, state of Colardo is currently postponed. More on these mavericks in our upcoming Land Art Blog.

Chairs by Doris Salcedo, Istanbul. 1,150 chairs : Urban Land Art installation. Respect!

Land Art Mid Pennines. Fairhaven Bubbles by Steve Messam, photographed by Lee Pilkington. Masterful!

Climbing Wall for Illoiha Omotesando fitness club in Tokyo by Nendo. Genius!

Forgotten Songs Urban Land Art installation by Michael Thomas Hill. Brilliance!



Lake Chandelier Akerselva Elvelangs Festival

Street Chandelier Urban Land Art installation by Werner Reiterer

Ball of Light by Denis Smith  / more on him coming up in our Land Art Blog : both Town & Country

Mirror House by Autumn De Wilde for Cadillac 2015 Escalade reveal

upside down mushroom ROOM by Carsten Holler, Tate Modern

Porcelain Fungi by Danny Beath


Sometimes style is effortless. This is all scavenged finds from our nursery - a fallen Birch branch, Hellebores and a specimen fern leaf displayed here. We can't encourage you enough to bring some outside in. Nature gives us gifts all year round. We will keep showing you our take on what, when & how throughout 2014. And then it's yours for the picking.



Tippi Degré is a real girl. The animals you see in these photos with her were not in any way tamed or trained by humans. Nothing is 'photoshopped'. Born in 1990 to French wild life photographer parents, Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert, Tippi had the kind of childhood that we only hear about in legends. She was named after the actress Tippi Hedren.

This Ostrich, nicknamed Linda, was apparently so afraid of hurting the small child that Tippi’s parents could rarely  capture a photo of them riding together.

One of her closest friends was Abu, the 28 year old African elephant pictured earlier. Tippi’s mother remembers, ”She had no fear. She did not realise she was not the same size as Abu."

Growing up in Africa, Tippi was living amongst the native tribespeople of Namibia. It was these tribesmen who took Tippi under their wing and taught her how to survive in the wild.

Tippi is now 23 years old and it appears in her adulthood, Tippi has shied away from a life as a potential celebrity. Very little news of her life today is available. What a pure and inspirational soul... we feel compelled to name the next resident animal after her. We'll let you know.

It’s astounding to us to learn that 22-year-old Hungarian photographer Noell S Oszvald only picked up a camera a year ago. So far she has shared about 20 of her images. (The Elephant & Zebra in the City earlier in this post are one of these). Oszvald says : “I don’t want to tell people what to see in my images. This is the reason why I never really write any descriptions other than titles. It shows what I wish to express but everyone is free to figure out what the picture says to them. It’s very interesting to read so many different thoughts about the same piece of work. " 

Pictured above is Prejudice


What came first? sculpture by Brighton based artist Kyle Bean. We featured his hotel receipts Lion sculpture on the 'Blown away' Blog last year.

Now that's it from us. Loads more Land & Garden Art & Sculpture coming up in the next few weeks. We have some cracking stuff to share.

Dog bespoke sculpture in our studio by artist Dominic Gubb for HC Gardens

The Where the Wild things are Source Book :,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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Emerald city

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 11:47

Happy Christmas Eve from all the HC Gardens team! At this point are you tucked up and all set? Are you running around like a headless chicken or are you in travel mode heading out to spend the holiday with your loved ones? Wherever you are at we hope you have a great holiday. A white Christmas seems to be on the cards  here in the UK so with that in mind we have gone for some green relief with our design inspirations and collections this week. Welcome to Emerald city...

Step this way...

Have a very merry Christmas and remember to eat your greens!

Emerald city Source Book: Anna garforth Moss graffiti artist, Kew gardens, Viktor Lyagushkin, Hendy Curzon Gardens, Pinterest, H & M, Indulgy, Welbeck, Tapiture, We heart, Chateau de sceaux, Christian Tortu, Mokimoss, Tanzania Conservation, Tumblr, Emerald Feather, BBC, Desiderata, Silpada Designs, Sarah Illenberger, Decorative branches, My fridgie, Heinz Maier, South Lounge, Telegraph, Love love chu chu, Mark Hall, Barbara Scerbo, Christopher Bentley, Deviant Art, Nachobillyanna, Okana Yasushi.

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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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