Behind the collection
Nature has been a constant source of inspiration for Annoushka for over 30 years as a designer. The garden of her West Sussex home, a labour of love and the inspiration behind her Garden Party collection; has been honed into a bold and playful space over some 25 years and is constantly evolving. Today, the beautiful garden pays tribute to the fantastical world of Alice In Wonderland; filled with oversized statues and huge topiary trees—the perfect backdrop for their notorious parties.
“What I love about the garden is that its eternally evolving,
each day and week you experience it totally differently—
it’s much like jewellery in that way. I never get bored of it.”
A visit to a fantastical topiary nursery in Nantes in South West France in 2017 first inspired Annoushka to reincarnate her West Sussex garden once more, which in her words, has been “dug up and remodelled too many times to recall!”. Wowed by the large scale plants, some of which were 40 years old and some 20 feet tall, Annoushka spent hours walking the huge fields; swept away by the magical scenery and the creative shapes and patterns that they’d been masterfully shaped into.
“Walking through the farm it felt like being on a set. It was a really chilly, foggy morning in February, we walked for ages and then all
of sudden you could just about make out these huge forms, part concealed by the mist - huge ducks and rabbits and mad geometric shapes emerged—it was an utterly surreal experience.”
Having seen inspired displays of topiary and parterre when visiting the likes of Châteaux de Villandry in the Loire Valley, Annoushka felt inspired to bring that surrealist spirit home and incorporate it into her garden. Annoushka then shipped a number of the topiary plants home and introduced them into her garden, adding graphic theatre and height to the existing thick high yew hedges, pruned into maze-like pathways.
“I love topiary because it lends strength and structure to a garden, it’s about striking a balance, much like the way I design—a big bold and dense structure sitting alongside your soft herbaceous borders is unexpected, but it works. In Winter, hedging gives marvellous protection from the elements and looks utterly gorgeous if we’re lucky enough to have a dusting of snow—it’s magical in an entirely different way.”
The family home for some 25 years, Annoushka talks fondly of the constant whirlwind of people and dogs. The kids and their friends, family, neighbours—those who pop by for supper, but stay for the weekend—it’s a home and garden filled with laughter and music. In the Summer Annoushka and John love to hold parties or welcome unexpected gatherings of their kids and their friends, who are back for the weekend. To both the ideal Summer garden party is a quintessentially British picture—mis-matched, unexpected and plentiful, with ice cold Champagne, lots of music and lots and lots of laughter.
I Love Annoushka: