It’s always a treat when clients tell us how pleased they are with our designs, but perhaps even greater compliments are those we don’t actually hear.

As it happens, recommendations provide us will almost all of our work – we are blessed to have such lovely clients!

A similar feeling of satisfaction was felt when I overheard a conversation between two Dutch ladies as they entered the garden at Canal House. “Heel Mooi” it began… They had got up early and were the first (of 4,000+) visitors looking at the garden as part of Open Tuinen Dagen Amsterdam 2012.

I’d recommend this three-day event where 28, mostly privately owned, gardens behind 16th and 17th century canal houses are opened. Rose and I hired bicycles and raced along the different grachts, visiting them all and meeting many of their owners. One of my favourites, by designer Michael van Gessel, at Keizersgracht 173 takes on new dimensions when viewed from the higher storeys. What a kind owner to take us to the top of the house to see! We also loved the enormous Buxus planting that disguised the level change at Kerkstraat 67.

I could go on and on…. the sun shone all weekend, apart from one mighty downpour when, bedraggled and peckish, we stopped off at a dear cousins new home on the Singel… and looked at their garden too!!

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“Heel mooi!” (How beautiful!)