This Place Is A Dump

We all share the landscape.  Some parts of it are more private than others, your back garden is away from the public gaze and you are free to treat it in whatever fashion you fancy. Inevitably you want it to be pleasing; pleasant to look at and engaging to be in. In engaging with public… Read more »

How’s Your Shed?

We need to talk about your shed. In a manner similar to that of the deck and the sandstone patio, Celtic Tiger hivemind syndrome continued full throttle when it came to the shed.  Historians will cite the years between 2001 and 2007 as the golden era of the timber garden shed. An uninitiated visitor would… Read more »

Crazy Paving

Next up on the Honour Roll of former Celtic Tiger All-Stars due a reunion tour would have to be the Sandstone patio. Suffering from credibility issues every bit as debilitating as those of the deck the lesser spotted sandstone patio has not been heard of since 2006 when it was effectively banished from civilised society… Read more »


The poor, unfortunate, much maligned deck. It is customary to chastise it mercilessly in a time honoured tradition stretching back as far as 2004 when it made its triumphant appearance in Ireland. It promised so much, for ten minutes it looked so cool and made us feel all Scandinavian.  We Can Get So Much More… Read more »

Stuck In A Moment

We’re all about the mindfulness now. Are you inhabiting the now, are you here? Are you focused on what you are doing right now, relinquishing all thought and preoccupation with the past and the future? We are encouraged to savour each moment whatever that moment is composed of, however unpleasant we might have traditionally considered… Read more »

Suburbia. Again.

Regular readers will know by now that a prime concern of mine is the dearth of sincere human interaction created and reinforced by our built environment. I have touched on the grim reality that most of us live in a version of a suburban environment that differs little from the seventy year old prototype. It… Read more »


How does the car designer decide on what to base the shape of a new model? Or where does the inspiration for a product designer, a furniture designer, an architect, an interior designer come from?  Could it be a thought, a shape, an animal, something in nature? Design is first and foremost led by the… Read more »

Less Is More

In 1973 the Tennessee Conservationist magazine ran a competition for readers. A prize was offered for the best 100 word description of a photograph of an abandoned , dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of a neglected field. A Native American man won with the following: “Picture show white man crazy. Cut down tree. Make big… Read more »

Valuing Exterior Design

Anybody can grab an A4 sheet of paper, draw a rectangle and then further divide that shape up into smaller spaces. That can be the grass, that can be the patio and whatever’s left over here, well, we’ll just call that the planting. A six year old child could do that. Design is so much… Read more »

In Capable Hands on More 4

For gardening fans it’s all been coming up roses recently on More 4. A few weeks ago we were treated to The Autistic Gardeners and now we have Titchmarsh on Capability Brown on Thursday evenings. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was born in Northumberland in 1716 and throughout a career spanning fifty years produced a body of… Read more »