Rochelle Greayer

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Hey There! I’m Rochelle Greayer. 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.



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Garden Gallery: Alchemy Gardens’ Staircase to Nowhere

Alchemy Garden Malvern Spring Show

Folly Builder.

Can you think of a better business card title?  I wonder if anyone in the US has that title?   Folly’s are much more common in the UK where Paul Taylor runs Alchemy Gardens– a specialist folly building company.

I’m updating this post as I just came across this new project by Alchemy Gardens.  Built for the 2013 Malvern Spring Garden Show, this staircase really caught my eye.   We have a treehouse and everytime I climb into it to look down on my garden I see some revelatory new thing.  There is nothing like changing your perspective and a circular staircase folly seems like a perfect fit for a quirky garden. Alchemy Garden Malvern Spring Show

According to Wikipedia, “In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs.”

devil garden follyRight, because how else can you justify an elaborate rock cave built for the mere purpose of housing a stone devil that looks like he is emerging from the shadowy underworld?  And justify you should.  Why not?

Follys in my mind, while arguably a bit Disneyland, are the ultimate in garden escapism and personal expression.   I love a good folly, I hope someday I can find a client brave enough to request one.

moon gate by alchemy gardens

All these images are from the portfolio of  Alchemy Gardens, and many are in the permanent show gardens that they have built at their headquarters in Worcestershire, England,  where they showcase their work.


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  • 1
  1. Private

    May 5th, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I planned a folly for under my tulip poplars. It would have an oversized throne chair, and a cauldron, and a crumbling remnant of an L wall with a fireplace. It would really anchor the “leaf and twig litter” decor. So it’s all ready for when I win the lottery. I just have to blend it with the “gymnast training squirrel playground” above it.

  2. Ann Munson

    May 5th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I could look at the stone gate forever!

  3. louise

    May 6th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Found this amazing folly and remarkable photos of it by David Perry.


  4. Paul Taylor

    July 26th, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hope you enjoyed just a few photos of our show garden in the uk, always interested in what people make of our folly work!!!. ALL the best Paul,,,,, Alchemy Gardens.

  5. Cecilia

    February 6th, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    This is just absolutely beautiful. I love the idea of a staircase ending in nowhere, and the round entrance, just a dream! Thank you so much for showing this great photos.

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