In the Garden with …. Clive Nichols

I have taken a number of garden photography courses.  Hands down the best one I ever participated in was the couple days I was lucky enough to spend with Clive Nichols the acclaimed garden photographer.  As a person who has spent a lot of time in a lot of great gardens all over the world, I am please that he has agreed to participate in the ‘In the garden’ feature…..I introduce you to….


How would you define your style?

I would say that my photography is clean, simple and passionate with a lot of emotion and atmosphere

Do you have a garden?

Yes. I own a barn in Northamptonshire and I have a walled, circular gravel garden in a style that I call barn zen. It is a very peaceful space with large rocks as seats, a tall driftwood needle and lovely honey coloured  stone walls. The planting is mainly grasses and perennials with some bulbs and peaks in June/July/August. The colours were chosen to blend into the stone – lots of dark reds, dusky pinks as well as purples

Do you have any favorite or sentimental plants or flowers?  Why are they a favorite?

My favourite flowers are tulips. I just love the amazing colours and texture of the petals and also their elegance

tulip field

What is your earliest or favorite gardening related memory?

I didn’t start gardening until I was in my thirties and the first garden I designed with blue fences all around. All my neighbours thought I was mad to use such a bold background colour but the following spring it was amazing to see the orange tulips that I planted zinging out from the blue backdrop

What are three cardinal design rules (from your design field) that you think also apply to outdoor projects?

1.      Never underestimate scale. When you visit some of the worlds best gardens you realize the importance of scale

2.      Colour co-ordinate – think about the colours you use in your garden – not just the plants but also the hardscaping – for me everything has to work together colourwise to create a beautiful view

3.      Texture – use objects and plants that have a lot of natural texture and you won’t go far wrong

Clive Recommends….

1) Wollerton Old Hall, Shropshire – a beautiful formal garden that has great plants and vistas.

2) Pettifers garden, Oxfordshire Beautiful borders packed with unusual plants

3) Orchard Dene nursery – Henley, Oxfordshire  One of the best nurseries in the country (UK) and suppliers to all the top garden designers such as Tom Stuart Smith and Dan Pearson.

4) My Canon IDS MK 111 Camera – 21 megapixels and the best SLR digital camera on the market today

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

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