I think of myself as an enabler, to help anyone who is making their garden and home the success that they want.  We begin by walking around, listening and talking, listening to the place itself and ideas will flow.  As pictures are so evocative, I find that looking at photographs and books give inspiration for the potential and possibilities of any place, and gain more insight into what can be done.  Choices, options and possibilities are discovered, some used, others thought about and then put to one side and gradually a plan is made.

Every place has its own feel and presence, and then we bring in our own particular taste and style to an established old garden or a new one, opportunities are there to be found and valued, or missed and lost. 

Laura Heybrook Garden Landscape & Architectural Design Oxford

One needs to be careful, but one needs to be bold!  I believe there is always so much potential anywhere, in a tiny city garden, or a country garden with fields beyond, a small cottage or a grand house, or a house just built.  We can make a plan and create a heaven and a haven.

And this isn’t work, but fun!  I am always determined that making a garden should be one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling moments.  From the earliest times, men and women have first built a shelter and then made a garden.  We all need a home, and today our own patch, large or small, is just as needed, or now even more than ever.

The plan grows and then the garden grows, the memory of the planning and the making of the garden adds hugely to the enjoyment in all the years that follow.  Like a river, a garden never stands still, it is always changing and moving on, there is always something to do, something to try for the next season.

Laura Heybrook Garden Landscape & Architectural Design Oxford

Architecture and interiors have always fascinated me and I have enormously enjoyed making and decorating my own houses, as well as helping with others.  Making our homes, putting our houses together, is a wonderful time where we find and develop our taste and look for new inspiration and achievement.

House and garden design is the greatest art of all, making a home and bringing all the arts together, the house, furniture, fabrics, pictures, colours, decoration and then the interiors linking with the garden, with the house and garden being one is the key. 

The potential is enormous, or we can miss it, or half get there.  The rooms of the house join the rooms of the garden, all one, all to live in, every day, winter and summer, the low light of short winter days or the brilliant and dazzling sunlight of the summer.

We do have to decide what we like.  Do we like old, or do we like new?  Warm colours, or cool pale and white shades?  Cosy or crisp and slick, cluttered or sparce?  Do we look for the cottage picturesque, romantic and serene, homely lived in and cluttered?  Or minimal, sharp, all straight, modern and plain and completely tidy? 

I love the otherworldly, the romantic, seemingly effortless beauty, the look that everything has always been there but with luxury, glamour and quality.  ‘Have you done much?’ is my favourite question to be asked when I have just made a garden from scratch and remodelled the house. 

Whether you choose a modern or traditional, established style, surely everything should be easy on the eye, comfortable, beautiful and fitting in, always interesting whichever the season, always inviting, always friendly and welcoming.  ‘Echt gezellig’, as they say in Holland.