All posts in Garden Design

SGD Award Winner!

Monday 5th February, 2018

So THRILLED to win an award at the Society of Garden Designers Awards for our Hale Garden design, what an honour! Thank you SGD, and thank you Hardscape for hosting, and thank you Green-tech for presenting the award. Chuffed to bits!

SGD Award Finalist 2017

Thursday 28th September, 2017

We are SO EXCITED to be named as a finalist for the Society of Garden Design Awards 2017. We have been shortlisted in the Paper Landscapes category for the Hale Garden in Cheshire, read more about it here

Chuffed to bits!

CW Studio in the City

Wednesday 30th November, 2016

Two months in…

It’s all change! We packed, we moved, we’re here! Goodbye home-based studio, hello brand new, super cool, co-working space in the heart of Manchester. I had my heart set on That Space the moment I saw it so, Sophie our studio manager, got to work making sure that it was the right decision for the company and writing many many lists.

And we moved! We are in That Space, a property co-working space on Princess Street, which is a fantastic space filled with architects, planners, surveyors, contractors and developers, excellent coffee and a fridge always stacked with beers.

We have been working on some wonderful projects over the last four years, the company is growing, we have new and exciting projects lined up for 2017, and it felt like the perfect time to take the business up a notch, get into the city, and allow room for expansion… And expanding we are! We have an incredibly talented and creative graduate joining us full time in January, and our fabulous freelancers are still with us, so it’s an exciting year ahead.

Thank you SO much to everyone who has been supportive and encouraging. We are VERY grateful to our cheerleaders and wise advisors!

So, what have we been up to?

Carolyn, Director – I have been recycling all that hoarded paper that I really, really don’t need any more, sorting and packing, doing what Sophie tells me to do (she’s very strict) and buying beautiful things for my new desk that I definitely do need. My new desk turns into a standing desk, an option I consider every now and then as I sit comfortably, drinking large mugs of frothy coffee and staring out through the window at the beautiful facade of the town hall opposite.

I’ve been catching up with people (never not available for a red wine), brainstorming the company’s identity with Lucy Lomas at Luma Marketing and designing, designing, designing!

Sophie, Studio Manager – Anyone who has ever been in charge of an office move will know how stressful it can be! I’ve been busy making sure everyone who needs to know we’ve moved knows that we’ve moved, updating all of our documents and templates, introducing a new CRM and Project Management system, working on our end-of-year plan and thinking about how we can free up even more of Carolyn’s time so she can concentrate on what she does best (which isn’t filing, btw). I’ve really enjoyed being part of the CW Studio team these last 6 months and I feel such a sense of achievement knowing that I’m playing a small part in its growing success.

What are our plans for 2017?

We have a number of projects that will be on site next year, which is exciting, including a residential scheme in Castlefield with public realm and a podium courtyard garden, and Broxhead House in Hampshire, a new Business Enterprise Centre with formal landscape and an overgrown secret garden.

Moneypenny HQ phase two will be completed, and we are really looking forward to seeing the meadow in flower. We are designing a private garden that leads down to a lake, complete with boat house and jetty, and continue to design special outdoor spaces for a high school and sixth form college in Cheshire.

I’ll be teaching the London College of Garden Design diploma students again next year at Kew Gardens, where we’ll explore spatial design by making super-fast, super-scrappy, non-presentation models, and have fun with cardboard and tiny plastic people. I will be speaking at the Landscape Show at Battersea Park, which was great fun this year, and I’m also writing an article on pop-up pavilions for the Landscape Journal.

We are very excited to see what 2017 has in store for CW Studio. Pop in for a coffee if you’re in town!




Northern design Awards Finalist

Monday 12th October, 2015

Much excitement in the office today as I have been shortlisted as a finalist for the Northern Design Awards for the Didsbury Garden that was built last year. So pleased!

More bulbs going in soon as I have been retained to advise/develop the garden which is a lovely way to keep in touch with the planting, and of course the clients who are pretty marvellous.

The garden was constructed by the excellent Landstruction and the stone was supplied by the fabulous Stockscape.

More photos of the garden here.

Flying Trees

Friday 17th April, 2015

I’m terrible at Sketchup. I try it every now and then, struggling with people buried up to their waist in rubbish paving and weird trees flying through the sky. But I love that quite quickly (ish) I can get some basic stuff arranged in a space, have a look around it, move a few things about, and print it out in 2d. Then I sketch over it very roughly in a few seconds and bingo! It looks as though I have good perspective drawing skills.

I really need to sort the flying trees out though.

Society of Garden Designers Awards

Monday 2nd February, 2015

I had a wonderful time at the SGD Awards last week, thank you again to the wonderful stone supplier Stockscape for inviting me. We even managed to repeat last year’s highlight of having a selfie taken with Andy Sturgeon so I was happy. No shame!

I read a great article by Darryl Moore in the Garden Design Journal on the train home the next day about how more garden designers are moving from private commissions to major public projects, such as Andy Sturgeon’s designs for Earls Court and Tom Stuart-Smith’s riverside development in Hurlingham. This crossover feels exciting and energetic.

The article also highlights collaborations between garden designers, plantspeople and landscape architects. Sarah Price, Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough creating the incredible gardens at the Olympic Park,  and the landscape architects Gross Max working with Piet Oudolf to create Potters Fields Park, a park I adore.

As an ex-theatre designer, one collaboration that I love (sadly only in pictures but I hope to get there one day) is between landscape architects Gustafson Partners (now Gustafson Porter), plantsman Piet Oudolf, and theatre designer Robert Israel, to create the Lurie Gardens in Chicago’s Millennium Garden. All incredible designers and what a combination. I’m also looking forward to seeing more about the collaboration between LDA Design landscape architects and Andy Sturgeon at Battersea Power Station.

I love having a wide range of areas to design within, public and private, commercial and domestic. All feed into each other which keeps both sides fresh, despite how different briefs and clients can be. And congratulations to all the winners at the Award Ceremony!

Dig the City, Manchester’s first Urban Gardening Festival

Thursday 26th July, 2012

I’m standing on the A56 in Manchester City Centre. To my right is Manchester Cathedral: check. To my left is the river: check. But something isn’t quite right. Here in the middle of the city, is a wildflower meadow. There’s an Antony Gormley sculpture to my left, and a beehive. Beyond that is an orchard…

I’ve written a review of Dig the City, Manchester’s first Urban Gardening Festival, for Place North West. Read it here.

How to Draw a Straight Line

Monday 25th June, 2012

I’m trying to improve my drawing skills at the moment. I love hand sketching but I just want to be… better.

On Saturday I went to a great presentation and workshop on perspective drawing by Simone Ridyard at the Riba Hub in Manchester as part of the Love Architecture Festival 2012 events. Simone is a fantastic illustrator and showed us some of her work which was just beautiful.

It was a highly enjoyable session and here are a couple of great tips that resonated with me. Continue reading…

Gazebo over the show garden plants

Show Garden Top Tips

Tuesday 19th June, 2012

I’ve recently spent some time at the BBC Gardeners’ World Live in Birmingham assisting Chris Beardshaw planting his show garden Urban Oasis.

We set out and planted 450 plants in the pouring rain. There was mud everywhere and I loved it. At one point we were bailing the water out of planting holes with buckets. I discovered that wearing waterproof trousers doesn’t mean that you won’t get soaked through to your underwear, and that as long as it isn’t too cold, being wet through is NOT THAT BAD.

Continue reading…

Chelsea Show Gardens

Friday 25th May, 2012

Some gardens at Chelsea make me sigh out loud with pleasure. I try to analyse why… ephemeral planting tick, structure creating drama tick, materials of such quality they make me suck in a deep breath, tick. But it’s a response that comes so quickly and so emotionally that I’m not sure I can always exactly put my finger on it. My heart flutters and I sigh loudly. It’s a garden that I love.

Continue reading…

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