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I’m a garden designer on tv and IRL. I’m also an author and entrepreneur who thinks she can save the world by teaching everyone a little something about landscape design.

In The Garden With: Blogging from BlackPitts

August 6, 2010

I am wrapping up this series with James Alexander Sinclair of Blogging From Blackpitts. (though I may have one or two bonus features later today or next week when I will be returning from my brief hiatus).    I have James at the very end because I have been pondering his lesser known facts about himself for some time.   He says:

“I have a small collection of tastefully sited tattoos.”

“I once filled the ground floor of my house with sand for a beach party. ”

“I once ate forty two cucumber sandwiches in one sitting for a bet.”

Here is the caveat….One of these facts is a blatant lie. Which do you think it is? I am going with the tattoo’s, because as discussed earlier this week, I suspect that like me, James might be a little more talk than action on this subject — and because I believe it to be very possible that he filled his house with sand and ate 42 cucumber sandwiches.  I am hopeful that he will share the truth of the matter with us.

James Alexander Sinclairs garden England

My Favorite things:

My favourite garden will always be my own garden: every morning, no matter what the weather, it is the first thing I see on waking and it never fails to make me happy.
I have a number of invaluable tools but among my more unusual favourites are a large plastic dustbin which is perfect for collecting general debris and prunings and a 6′ long steel crowbar. This is pleasantly heavy with a pointed end and will dig out anything from trees to lumps of stone.

sanguisorbas and poppy seed heads

As regards plants I would find it very difficult to live without Sanguisorbas.

What do you do to find inspiration?

Inspiration for gardens come mainly from the place itself: when designing a garden there are three vital points. The style of the building, the lifestyle of the client and the surrounding countryside. It is silly to try and impose a style that does not suit these three criteria: modernism outside an Elizabethan cottage or elaborate planting in a garden full of boisterous children does not work.

blackpitts garden of james alexander sinclair
Aside from that I get inspiration from life: I have designed gardens inspired by lots of things ranging from paintings to paperclips.

Best Garden or Design Advice Ever (Given or Received)?

The piece of advice I always give young designers (says he coming over all Wise Old Man of the West) is never to work for people you do not like. It will always end badly. The best advice I received was from my father who told me not to join the army.

James alexander sinclair, cleve west, joe swift three men who went to mow

P.S. As an added bonus — you might want to check out the amusing 3 who men who went to mow series which features James, Cleve West and Joe Swift.

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  1. Shellene says:

    So good to see the same philosphy I apply, especially designing gardens that compliment the architecture of the house. I just viewed a designer friends contempory garden, which was beautiful, but did notwork with the track home it was designed in. So sad!

  2. Private says:

    Love the private green stonehenge, especially in the mist.

  3. Louise says:

    love that series!
    thanks for the post, rochelle.

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