June 5, 2019

Let me in!

Back in 2016 when the initial ideas for the Maggie’s Chelsea garden were distilling in my mind the focus of my attention wherever I went was gates, doorways and openings. I was caught by the childlike wonder of what lies beyond.  Desperate to recreate the feeling of excitement that comes with seeing a shut or, even better, half-opened door in the garden at Chelsea, I began taking pictures of all the gaps, gates and doorways that grabbed my eye. Here’s a collection of a few favourites and of course the fabulous steam bent oak gates from our gold-winning garden.


What is it about these that grabs the imagination? I think the approach to a garden and the sense of arrival that greets us when we enter is of the utmost importance when it comes to designing a garden. I’m always thinking about the story of one’s journey to a garden and then how we travel through the space. If that journey begins with a sense of anticipation, wonder and curiosity then what follows is all the more engaging as our senses are already heightened. Passing in to a garden from the outside should be like the children who enter the wardrobe in C.S Lewis’s story about a secret world.