Sheila designed and implemented a planting scheme for Tom Raffield’s 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower show trade stand.
Inspired by the location of the Tom Raffield studio, near Helston, close to the Helford river and the gardens that are tucked into sheltered valleys leading down to the estuary. Tree ferns Dicksonia antartica, unfurling shuttlecock ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, and Rodgersia podophylla flow into open glades of meadow with Aquilegia, Iris siberica,Red campion Silene dioica, Ragged robin Lychnis flos-cuculi, sweetly scented Valeriana officinalis, culinary and aromatic Cumin and Geranium spilling over and softening the planting edge
Above the valley floor at Glendurgan, Cornwall, epiphytic plants colonise trees that came down in the 1990 storm. Orchids, lichens, ferns and mosses find their own place. Sheila grew Pleione formosana to flower for the show alongside epiphytic orchids and ferns planted amongst pin cushion moss within the organic forms of the tessellating and hanging Tom Raffield planters
Formerly a front garden that was little more than a car park and a back garden 'carpeted' with wall to wall astroturf. By reorganising the space, the family now have an extended parking area utilising unseen, overgrown planting beds, the newly hung gates can be closed and the replanted front garden can be enjoyed as a sunny and private space for morning coffee.
The rear garden is re-imagined as a 'glamour woodland', silver birch trees and shade tolerant planting surround a gravel garden with space for the table tennis table. A contemporary, linear terrace, softened with interplanting creates an extended area for a fire pit and relaxed seating. A new powder coated steel balcony links the house and garden at first floor level.
Completed in May 2019
South London garden
A deceptively simple design for a contemporary garden compliments the new architectural addition to a Victorian terraced house. A curving path and circular concrete terrace set within a soft textural meadow with dramatic colour accents.
Pleached trees trained to follow the curve of the terrace, and climbing plants against the boundary give height, form and privacy. Low input, high impact ‘meadow’ planting, randomly punctuated with orange, softens the brutalism of concrete paving
Currently on site, due for completion June 2019
Order and Arcadia
Winner 2017 Society of Garden Design Awards
What the judges said: "A bold design that fits into its surroundings without being too imposed. Demonstrates a good grasp of the scale of the large country garden and a good, well-proportioned relationship between the spaces. The strong, graphic style complements the atmosphere captured in the plan."
This scheme for a six acre garden in Kent was inspired by the linear simplicity of the new house and the natural beauty and contours of the site and its 'borrowed landscape'. An ordered garden melting into a wild and untamed ‘Arcadian’ natural environment.
The ordered design incorporates a contemporary interpretation of a walled garden, an axial pathway and empty green heart leading into effusive, overflowing planting beds which form a grid of colourful ‘hyper meadow’ style planting. An ordered orchard, sunken tennis court, fire pit and entertaining terraces, Lime allée and entrance courtyard garden dissolve into 'Arcadian' woodland, wild flower meadow and a natural swimming pond as the land falls away into the borrowed landscape.
The design employs environment specific building materials; weathered oak and Kentish ragstone paving and cladding
Sheila designs planting schemes as part of a garden commission or to rejuvenate specific areas of your garden without an entire overhaul. She aims to create planting schemes with a richness of form and texture which look good throughout the year and change with the seasons, choosing plants suited to their surroundings, which will endure over time.
West London garden
After the construction of a studio this typical London garden was badly in need of a redesign. The children had outgrown the need for a lawn and the family needed an access pathway between the house and the studio.
South facing, quiet despite its central location, the garden now provides an escape from city life with a simple, buff York stone terrace near the house providing dining and seating areas leading to a semi-circular gravel pathway cutting through exuberantly planted, predominantly green and white borders.
Climbing, shrub and rambling roses, tall bearded irises, perennials, bulbs and grasses punctuated by Yew domes create both seasonal change and year round structure, blur the boundaries with the neighbouring gardens and create privacy for the studio
Structure & naturalism
Winner 2017 Society of Garden Design Awards
What the judges said: “Beautiful sketches illustrating a wonderfully restrained design that demonstrates a lightness of touch and a strong visual stillness.”
An urban oasis for a hardworking couple cocooned within the peace of the surrounding woodland with architectural detailing and soft, seductive planting. Inspired by the juxtaposition of structure and naturalism seen at Frank Lloyd Wright's design for 'Falling Water'.
The garden is treated as a sculptural piece with a carefully defined interplay between contrasting forms and materials, light and shadow, hard landscaping and planting.
Simple in its parts yet complex in its engineering and overall effect. Changes of level are addressed with cantilevered steps which double as informal seating and softened by the romantic ornamental meadow and underplanting of the pleached trees, gentle sound of water, dappled light and foliage of Acer palmatum.