Babylonstoren, South Africa

‘We had to call in the chicken consultant’, roared Constance. ‘You know, if you’ve got a problem with your business you call in a business consultant; well we had problems with our chickens. They stopped laying’, she boomed. ‘You see these salad leaves dangling from the beams? That’s our chicken gym. Now the chickens have to jump for their food, they lay every day’, she bellowed, with a beaming smile. Continue reading

Vergelegen Estate Gardens, South Africa

If you are anything like me, you might at this point be sitting, brow furrowed, wondering how on earth you pronounce ‘Vergelegen’. It’s almost impossible to even have a go at it. And after hearing the word many, many times, I still had to just cheat and watch a youtube clip to be reminded. It’s something like, ‘Fair-ke-lear-ken’. Obvious, really. Continue reading

Cadogan Place Gardens, London

If you were to walk around Cadogan Place Gardens on a sunny Saturday in June, I’m quite sure you’d think it a very pleasant way to pass an afternoon. Whether you were wowed by the most healthy looking roses you’d ever seen, the sumptuous herbaceous borders, the Union Jack-coloured meadow or the green, green shady woodland, amongst an enormous three hectares of immaculate planting, something’s going to ‘get’ you! Continue reading

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York

Designed places need four characteristics to ensure we enjoy them: mystery, complexity, coherence and legibility. So say Rachel and Steven Kaplan, in their book, Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective,  which draws on research-based analysis to understand which types of natural environments people prefer. This concept was just part of a fascinating article by Harry Wade that I stumbled across whilst researching the natural vegetation of New York. Continue reading